Early detection and treatment of lymphedema, before the condition has progressed to the point where physical functioning is impaired and treatment must be intensive, has been shown to result in significant cost savings.
The study, Breast Cancer–Related Lymphedema: Comparing Direct Costs of a Prospective Surveillance Model and a Traditional Model of Care, by Nicole L. Stout, et al, presented at the 2nd International Congress of Lymphology in September of 2011, in Malmo, Sweden, states that “early intervention may reduce the need for intensive rehabilitation and may be cost saving.” The prospective surveillance model which the article recommends “involves monitoring and screening to prevent negative sequelae from chronic diseases such as cancer.”
You can view the press release about the article by following this link: http://www.apta.org/Media/Releases/Consumer/2012/1/6/.
The article states significant cost savings, comparing treatment of progressed lymphedema over treating lymphedema early in its progression. While this cost savings is clinically evident to practitioners working in the field it is imperative to have research-based evidence to support clinical observation. This study is a welcome step in the right direction. I would encourage you to read the press release (see link) and the article resulting from the study by following the link embedded in the press release.
More resources and links relating to lymphedema can be found at our website here: http://www.lymphedemadepot.com/links. A guide to lymphedema related events, with a focus on Canadian events, can be found here: http://www.lymphedemadepot.com/events.