REGINA – The Saskatchewan government has announced a new program designed to improve services for breast cancer patients.
The Breast Cancer Lymphedema Pilot Program is available to both women and men who have had surgery or undergone treatment for breast cancer.
The program was created to increase patients’ awareness of lymphedema, a chronic condition where one or more extremities swell due to impaired flow of the lymphatic system.
Breast cancer treatment can cause the condition.
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Using telephone services, the program offers assessment, education and information about available services for lymphedema in the community.
If there are early signs of lymphedema, patients are referred for treatment so the condition can be managed.
Breast cancer patients can be referred to the program following surgery or while receiving cancer treatment through the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency. They can also refer themselves.
The pilot project was created by HealthLine 811, in partnership with the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency.
“Lymphedema can have a devastating, lifelong impact if it’s not detected and treated early,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said in a statement.
“The Breast Cancer Lymphedema Pilot Program is a valuable resource that helps educate patients about the condition and improves access to services.”