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Lymphoedema care in the community


Our second Mobile Support Unit brings lymphoedema care into the community. Lymphoedema isn’t something many people know about. It’s a condition which can be a side-effect of cancer treatment, in particular breast cancer, which means the body’s drainage system doesn’t work properly. It can lead to severe swelling in the arms, legs, feet and other parts of the body which can cause mobility problems and terrible pain. It needs lifelong management.

There are around 10,000 people in Wales living with lymphoedema and the number is rising. It affects people physically and emotionally, and can impact every part of daily life. It can be distressing, affect someone’s confidence and make it incredibly difficult to get about. For some people, just leaving the house is a huge challenge.

What it's like on board our Mobile Support Units

Having your lymphoedema treatment on board our Unit is much quicker and easier. You don't have to wait to be seen and can park right outside.

When you come on board you’ll see a friendly face and get a cuppa while you wait for your treatment. We have a television and a toilet on board and there’s a small waiting area so you can bring someone with you.

While you’re waiting you can speak to our Tenovus Cancer Care team about any other ways we can support you. We can offer advice on money matters and benefits, our ‘Callback’ service and support groups

The world's first mobile lyphoedema scanner

In 2015 we launched the world’s first mobile lymphoedema scanner on board, meaning nurses can recommend patients for ground-breaking surgery. Patients are given an injection of green dye and then, using the scanner, nurses will check to see whether the patient’s veins are strong enough for surgery to help their condition. If so, they’ll be referred to Morriston Hospital for microsurgery.

Thanks to funding from the Welsh Government, Lymphatic Venous Anastomosis (LVA) surgery, the special microsurgical technique which joins defunct lymphatics to a functioning vein, will now be taking place at Neath Port Talbot Hospital. The only other place this technique happens is at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

This technique has been a great success. The surgery is literally changing people’s lives and taking scanning into the community will help thousands of people access this vital treatment.

Help keep us on the road

Every year we save cancer patients around 45,000 miles of travelling to and from hospital and bring treatment closer to home for people in communities across Wales. If you could help keep our Mobile Support Units running, please make a donation today