Europa Donna Ireland, the patient advocacy group working for better breast cancer services nationwide, hosted a breakfast seminar on Monday last, to highlight the condition of lymphoedema and to raise awareness of the support available to people at risk of and living with lymphoedema. The event took place at Alchemy Juice Co, BT2 – founded by guest speaker Domini Kemp and her sister Peaches Kemp.
The briefing also marked the launch of a new leaflet focused on lymphoedema in breast cancer which Europa Donna Ireland produced with the support of premier medical technology and services company, Medtronic, the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists, the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland and Beaumont Hospital Lymphoedema Service.
Lymphoedema is a chronic swelling that can occur in the limbs, chest or back after cancer treatment. It is estimated that approximately 10,000 people in Ireland are at risk to this condition following a cancer diagnosis.
Speaking at the event, Dympna Watson, Chairperson, Europa Donna Ireland, said: “Approximately one third of those who undergo treatment for breast cancer will develop lymphoedema. Lymphoedema is a condition which is not yet well understood here in Ireland. Hundreds of people across the country suffer in silence with this condition and are unable to access proper treatment and support.”
“Today we’re launching an information leaflet which provides all the background on the condition, highlights symptoms and provides advice on how to deal with lymphoedema. We are hosting this seminar and asking people to raise awareness about the condition and highlight the need for better patient services nationwide.”
Guest speaker Síne Vasquez, Chairperson of the Chartered Physiotherapists in Oncology and Palliative Care said: “As a frontline service provider in this area for many years, allow me to stress that there is a clear and present need for increased support for lymphoedema patients around Ireland. A standardised service for lymphoedema treatment nationwide needs to be implemented, as currently there not enough services available to patients with this condition.”
Domini Kemp, Irish Chef, said: “I’m delighted to be joining Europa Donna Ireland today to help them highlight this condition. It’s something I feel very strongly about as someone who has suffered from breast cancer. Having been through a cancer diagnosis I feel passionate about broadening the discussion around cancer and helping people understand the role a healthy diet can play in disease prevention and recovery.”
For further information about Europa Donna Ireland and to download the latest lymphoedema leaflet log onto www.europadonnaireland.ie.