In Survivors

The Lymphedema Treatment Act took effect on January 1, and it includes new benefits for survivors dealing with this difficult condition. In this month’s Teal Talk, MOCA Community Support Program Manager Stefanie Gliniany shares what survivors should know about this new federal law.

Lymphedema is a common long-term side effect from cancer treatment. A cohort study through NIH supports evidence that 36.5% of ovarian cancer survivors will develop lymphedema. This condition occurs when your lymph system becomes blocked or does not function properly, leading to the build of lymph fluid under your skin. Lymphedema often results in pain and swelling.

Compression therapy is the essential cornerstone of lymphedema treatment, and it helps survivors effectively manage their symptoms. Before the Lymphedema Treatment Act, compression supplies were not covered by Medicare. Without this coverage, many patients did not receive the appropriate, evidence-based treatment. With the new federal law now in effect, Medicare will cover lymphedema compression treatment items. This will hopefully help lymphedema patients to maintain their overall health and quality of life.

If you are an ovarian cancer survivor who would like to connect with others living with lymphedema, consider reaching out to My Lymph Twin Cities, a patient and caregiver collaborative. Click here for more information.

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