The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

March 7, 2013

Learn about Lymphedema



I want to write an awareness letter to help improve Lymphedema treatment coverage, for the sake of those who are diagnosed with Lymphedema.

Lymphedema affects an estimated 5 to 6 million Americans. Many women who experience breast cancer surgery have the risk of being diagnosed with Lymphedema. Without proper and consistent treatment, Lymphedema is progressive. Prognosis for the patient is far worse and treatment is more costly when the disease is not identified and treated in the earlier stages.

Medicare alone currently spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year treating largely preventable Lymphedema-related complications because they do not cover the far less costly treatments to prevent progression of the disease, which costs patients out-of-pocket expenses for compression sleeves and gloves to help treat symptoms.

There is a group who is asking for government legislatures to back the cause and to add these type of supplies to be covered under Medicare.

For additional information about Lymphedema, visit, and for information about efforts to improve insurance coverage for the disease visit Thank you.

Suzanne Lukehart Woodard