The Board of Trustees are thrilled to announce the receipt of a generous gift of £20,000 from the Elaine Gladston Charitable Trust which is to be dedicated to the treatment and relief of severe or complex cases of breast cancer related lymphoedema. This donation will fund:-
- the provision of an extra day’s treatment clinic for patients with high-need, severe or complex lymphoedema for a period of at least two years. This clinic will be badged as ‘The Elaine Gladston Trust Lymphoedema Fellowship Day provided courtesy of Mrs Deborah Pulvernis’ and
- the purchase of a new wide, height adjustable lymphoedema massage table to aid the effective and comfortable treatment of patients
The Cancerkin Lymphoedema Clinic was established in 1990, when Mr Santilal Parbhoo, breast cancer surgeon and lymphologist of international standing identified the need for specialised treatment of this uncommon but debilitating condition that can affect the upper limbs of breast cancer patients. In extreme case, the swelling can double the width and weight of the arm, resulting in significant difficulties for the patient dealing with day to day activities we take for granted such as buttoning clothes, opening a door, washing and cooking. Effective treatment to decrease the swelling can be provided through regular sessions involving specialised massage and intricate bandaging. Each session can last up to two hours and six sessions are usually required to achieve a 10% reduction in the swelling, which offers significant relief. Very few centres provide the full range of assessment and management of the condition and most practitioners work in the private sector. The demand placed on Cancerkin’s services (currently three days a week) comes from 38 hospitals, hospices and clinics around Greater London.
Cancerkin’s CEO, Victoria Todd said ‘This gift will enable Cancerkin to provide a much needed additional day of treatment. In particular, we will be able to address the needs of those with more complex cases who need more intense treatment. At Cancerkin, we aim to treat the patient and not just the cancer and this generous gift will enable us to go some way to achieving that.’
The specialist table that has been purchased is perfect for a wide range of manipulation and treatment and will be ideal both for the therapist and the patient.
Deborah Pulvernis said ‘Cancerkin is a unique oasis of tranquillity and hope. It offers you specialist treatments and support at the time you most need it. ‘
Notes for Editors:
(1) Cancerkin is a unique breast cancer charity at the Royal Free Hospital serving the Greater London area and beyond. Treat the patient, not just the cancer, has always been our maxim. Cancerkin objectives are:
- to provide information, treatment, supportive care and rehabilitation for patients with breast cancer and support for those close to them
- to offer education and training for health professionals, students and volunteers
- to undertake and collaborate in research into breast cancer and benign breast disease
- to evolve with the changing management of breast cancer in order make the very best use of our funding, staff and volunteer time.
(2) Treatment of lymphoedema begins with a careful clinical assessment after which the patient is assessed for therapy and a plan of management is drawn up. The complex therapy comprises bandaging, specialised massage, containment using a sleeve after precise measurement of the arm, skin care and education of the patient and partner. Patients are given information about the condition and how to prevent complications such as infections. They are advised about exercises to massage the arm, improve muscle tone, joint mobility and stimulate regeneration of the lymphatic channels. This is a lifelong condition and can occur at any time in a patient’s life. Regular monitoring is essential to assess the effect of treatment and an important aspect of Cancerkin’s Lymphoedema Clinic is that it provides long term management of the problem. We do not charge our patients and rely totally on voluntary funding to enable us to provide this essential service.