Increasing numbers of women are surviving breast cancer, but some of the therapies used to treat the cancer can cause a serious side effect: lymphedema. That disorder is, unfortunately, often misdiagnosed or ignored in breast-cancer survivors, so Stanford researchers are launching a registry to aid in better understanding the problem. As my co-worker explains:
...The information and records of breast cancer survivors gathered in the registry will be used in a study to determine whether early diagnosis of lymphedema can help treat and, possibly, prevent it.
"There is early evidence to suggest that prompt diagnosis may reduce the severity or eliminate this problem," said Stanley Rockson, MD, the Allan and Tina Neill Professor of Lymphatic Research and Medicine, the lead investigator of the study. "If you take a wait-and-see treatment approach, by the time the lymphedema becomes noticeable, it can be quite advanced. Caught earlier, it may be more manageable, or even reversible."
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