Cancer patients may develop a condition called secondary lymphedema, a type of swelling caused by fluid stagnating in the body tissue. The Enloe Lymphedema Program at the Enloe Regional Cancer Center specializes in treating the pain and swelling of lymphedema and other edemas with comprehensive services for control and self-management.
Complete Decongestive Therapy
A therapist provides Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT),which involves the following:
- Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), a gentle massaging therapy that enhances functioning of the weakened lymphatic system
- Compression Therapy, using bandages, devices and garments to reduce swelling and prevent re-accumulation
- Skin Care and Hygiene, to minimize risks of infection
- Myofascial Release, a hands-on technique that provides sustained pressure into myofascial restriction to eliminate pain and restore motion.
- Decongestive and Flexibility Exercise, to facilitate lymph drainage
Benefits of treatment
- Reduced swelling
- Reduced skin abnormalities
- Reduced risk for or incidence of infection
- Reduced discomfort
- Improved appearance
- Increased function and endurance
- Confidence and competence with self-management of the condition
Treatment and support greatly improve the quality of life for persons with lymphedema. Ask your physician about a referral to this program (a prescription is required). Therapy fees are generally covered by Medicare and most private insurance plans. For further information, please call (530) 332-3800.
Class: Healthy Steps
Health Steps is a gentle therapeutic exercise class with movements designed specifically to reduce lymphedema. Call (530) 332-3855 or visit www.enloe.org/classes for details. Healthy Steps is based on the Lebed Method (www.lebedmethod.com).