1. Faulkner Breast Centre Video (full length)

    44:03

    from BWFH / Added

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    In this video presentation, breast cancer treatment options at Faulkner Hospital's Breast Centre, both pre- and post- surgery, are discussed, including our patient-centered approach to care, which strives to support, encourage, and improve the experience of all of the women we treat.

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    • Less is More For Lymph Node Removal

      01:54

      from Lee Memorial Health System / Added

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      It frequently fell into the category of unintended consequences. In an effort to aggressively combat breast cancer, women were losing lymph nodes. That often resulted in a loss of quality of life. Surgeons are now rethinking the practice. “I think we’re getting more and more away from lymph nodes, which really creates a lot of side effects, a lot of complications with lymphedema,” says Dr. Rie Aihara, surgical oncologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff. It was not uncommon for women to find themselves battling lymphedema, a life-long swelling that occurs when fewer lymph nodes are available to distribute lymphatic fluid. Many also required post-op therapies to alleviate severe pain and reduced range of motion. “There’s a lot of scaring involved and limited range of motion in usually the shoulder and sometimes the neck and thoracic region. A lot of times they cannot reach into cabinets or do their hair. Sometimes they actually need someone to help them with showering,” says Pat Curr, Lee Memorial Health System physical therapist. Comprehensive studies were done to find out if lymph node removal was necessary to treat invasive breast cancer. The conclusion was ‘no’ years ago surgeons removed 20 to 30 lymph nodes from armpit, now it’s believed that less is more. “If there were cancer cells regardless of how big the deposits were, we used to remove all the lymph nodes. But with this new data- a group of women who had these lymph nodes that were positive who went on to axillary node dissection vs. those that didn’t and the conclusion was there really were no difference. It just added risk,” says Dr. Aihara. It’s a conservative approach to breast cancer, that’s leaving women cancer-free and clear of a major complication. View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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      • Summertime and Lymphedema

        01:32

        from Lee Memorial Health System / Added

        40 Plays / / 0 Comments

        Breast cancer survivor Carol Thisted is now living with lymphedema. Commonly a consequence of lymph node removal, she has extreme, painful swelling in her arms. “It was the lymph nodes that were taken from underneath my arm, were not letting this fluid move through my body anymore,” says Thisted. Lymphedema is a chronic condition with no cure. The treatment is to wear compression garments and wraps to encourage circulation. “When we treat lymphedema we train people how to control it themselves so they know how to do all their self-care,” says Jackie Speas, a certified lymphedema therapist with Lee Memorial Health System. The condition is more challenging during the summer. “Anything too hot or too cold will aggravate a lymphedema,” says Speas. As the temperature rises, people may be less inclined to wear tight fitting body garments, but someone who is prone to swelling needs to keep it under wraps. “I do have friends that went through therapy and then they just stopped. I can see the difference. They should be wearing their arm covers and they’re not,” says Thisted. “If you just let it go it tends to progressively get worse. If you treat it, it gets better and then stays at a better stage,” says Speas. So rain or shine Carol sticks with her routine. “I wear this during the day and then at night I take this off and then I rewrap it and put the band aid bandaged on again. I would just assume do it so that I feel better.” Any discomfort pales in comparison to letting her lymphedema bloom out of control. View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we've been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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        • Treating Cancer After Affects

          01:49

          from Lee Memorial Health System / Added

          21 Plays / / 0 Comments

          Most people don’t expect another round of therapy once they’ve finished cancer treatment, but it may be necessary to deal with one of cancer’s most common after affects: lymphedema. “It’s a swelling that starts and then doesn’t go away again,” says Jackie Speas, who is a physical therapist with Lee Memorial Health System. Caused by lymph node removal, it’s commonly linked to breast cancer surgery, which disrupts the body’s ability to drain lymphatic fluid. So it accumulates, often in the arms, causing swelling and pain. “If they notice they’re having swelling, they need to get it addressed right away because it’s much easier to treat in the earlier stages,” says Speas. A recent group of studies find that patients don’t always recognize the signs of lymphedema and therefor don’t get timely treatment. Although research shows proper therapy and learning take-home techniques can reduce symptoms. “We train people how to control it themselves, so they know how to do all their self-care,” says Speas. Jackie Speas is a lymphedema therapist with Lee Memorial Health System. She teaches massage and wrapping techniques and the use of compression garments. “It actually feels better and before we ever put the bandage on. We do the massage technique the manual lymph drainage because that helps gets the fluid moving out of the extremity,” says Speas. Exercise has also proved to aid recovery. Specialized programs for women recovering from breast cancer provide a post-surgery boost. “There can be a lot of damage because there’s lack of lymph nodes and they can end up with some swelling in the arm. And we do have services for lymphedema rehab,” says Pat Curr, who is a physical therapist with Lee Memorial Health System. Like cancer itself, finding lymphedema early and treating it appropriately makes for the best outcomes. View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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          • It’s All Personal in Palliative Care

            02:09

            from Lee Memorial Health System / Added

            13 Plays / / 0 Comments

            “I was stage 3,” says Jennifer Santerre. And facing the fight of her life. Jennifer Santerre made it through a grueling trifecta of treatment for breast cancer: surgery, radiation and chemo. She thought the worst was behind her. But she was wrong. “I didn’t realize until later on my diagnosis had done so much bone degeneration and nerve damage. And so I had all this extra pain,” says Santerre. That’s when Jennifer was introduced to palliative care. “Honestly, the first thing I did was go to the dictionary an look it up,” says Santerre. “It’s really about putting the patient in the center,” says Dr. Colleen Tallen, who is a palliative care specialist for Lee Memorial Health System. A rapidly growing arm of medicine, palliative care focuses on the patient instead of their illness. “Looking at their spiritual, their emotional, their financial situation. So our team has experts in all of those areas,” says Dr. Tallen. Many times, seriously ill patients find they’re living in a new reality: one that doesn’t fit as well. Having a personal team connects them to the resources they need to make a smoother transition. “I had five, five caretakers sit down with me and do an intake. A dietitian, a pharmacist, all sitting there listening to my story and going through my personal needs. And that was amazing to me-I said I have a group of people who are here for me,” says Santerre. Jennifer got help with pain management and treatment for lymphedema, a swelling caused by lymph node removal. While specialized health care is successful in healing, it can be uncomfortable. “We’re doing really well in medicine, keeping people alive and thriving. Whether it be things like heart failure or lung disease like COPD. People are surviving after cancer. But then you go home and you realize so many things are different,” says Dr. Tallen. Whether it’s physical, financial or emotional, the palliative care team takes it personally. View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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