Alberta hosts national conference on lymphedema

Event to bring together health-care practitioners, researchers, patients
Massage Therapy Canada staff
September 30, 2015
By Massage Therapy Canada staff
The 2015 National Lymphedema Conference will be an opportunity for experts, health professionals and patients to network and exchange knowledge about lymphedema.

The event takes place Oct. 23-24, 2015, in Calgary, Alberta, and brings together leaders in the field of lymphedema care and research, as well as patients, families and caregivers, to discuss the complex issues surrounding care, treatment and advocacy.

Lymphedema is an excessive swelling when the lymphatic system fails to drain fluid, cells and proteins away from tissues within the body. Lymphedema is a chronic and incurable condition that can be either genetically inherited or results due to damage to the lymphatic system as a consequence of surgery, trauma, cancer therapy or infection of the lymphatic system. Lymphedema affects between four and five million people in North America, including an estimated 300,000 Canadians. Yet many people go undiagnosed and untreated.

"Early diagnosis is essential for the best treatment results for lymphedema," said Diane Martin, president of the Alberta Lymphedema Association. "This education and awareness event provides not only the opportunity for patients to learn about recognizing the symptoms and learning to manage this chronic condition, but doctors as well."

The Alberta Lymphedema Association is co-hosting the National Lymphedema Conference with the Canadian Lymphedema Framework and the University of Calgary.

"Patients are encouraged to invite their doctors to attend the special two-hour physician accredited workshop as part of this event," Martin said.

Keynote speakers include: Dr. Christine Moffatt, a world expert on compression therapy; Dr. John MacDonald, a leading wound care expert; Dr. Pierre von der Weid, a University of Calgary lymphedema researcher; and Dr. Jay Granzow, a surgeon from the U.S. who focuses on surgical solutions for lymphedema. The program also includes 35 speakers and presenters on a variety of topics ranging from models of care and measurement to exercise and advocacy. A panel of experts is the concluding session.

"The conference is designed as a forum for lymphedema education, to update attendees on research initiatives and scientific advances and to promote partnerships between clinicians, researchers, patient advocacy groups and industry representatives. Holding this national event in Alberta will showcase the province's leading clinical and research work and also highlight recent advocacy successes, since Alberta leads the country in reimbursement of lymphedema care," said Anna Kennedy, executive director of the Canadian Lymphedema Framework.
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) is the lead sponsor of this event.

"As the largest non-government funder of breast cancer research and an advocate for the breast cancer community, we are pleased to support this important survival issue to improve diagnosis and treatment of this condition, which is so prevalent among people experiencing breast cancer," said Lynne Hudson, CEO of CBCF.

For information on registration and accommodation for the conference, please visit canadalymph.ca/conference

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