Free Hotline Focuses on Lymphedema

Therapists will answer questions on cancer treatment-related swelling

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TUESDAY, Feb. 22, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients and those who care for them can get free information on lymphedema, a painful side effect of cancer treatment, by calling a national toll-free hotline Feb. 25.

The hotline, sponsored by the oncology section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST. The toll-free number is 1-877-NEED-A-PT (1-877-633-3278).

Callers can receive up-to-date information on how to minimize the effects of lymphedema, a treatment-related buildup of fluid in tissues that causes swelling, usually in the arms or legs. This chronic and irreversible condition can develop weeks, months or even years after surgery or radiation treatment.

Manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandaging, exercise and other physical therapy treatments can help manage and improve lymphedema, according to a prepared statement from APTA. Organizers stress that the hotline is not meant as a substitute for a visit to a health-care professional.

More information

The National Lymphedema Network has more about lymphedema.

SOURCE: American Physical Therapy Association, news release, Feb. 1, 2005

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