Compression pumps to assist breast cancer patients across Eyre Peninsula

DONATION: Branch operations manager at Port Lincoln Community Bank Prue Hywood, Zonta Club of Port Lincoln president Jo Hay, Michelle Lydeamore and Sally Bronca at the bank. Photo: Supplied

DONATION: Branch operations manager at Port Lincoln Community Bank Prue Hywood, Zonta Club of Port Lincoln president Jo Hay, Michelle Lydeamore and Sally Bronca at the bank. Photo: Supplied

Donations from the Port Lincoln Community Bank and Zonta Club of Port Lincoln will assist Eyre Peninsula patients with breast cancer treatment.

Two LX9 Sequential Intermittent Pneumatic Compression (SIPC) pumps have been donated to the Eyre and Far North Local Health Network, each worth $1780.

Zonta Club's Michelle Lydeamore said the pumps would assist patients throughout the region.

"Thanks to the generosity of Zonta and Bendigo Bank, two compression pumps have been donated to Eyre and Far North Local Health Network," she said.

"To have a pump for our more vulnerable clients to use under the guidance of the McGrath Breast Care Nurse is an exciting and welcomed addition to our community.

"They are portable and will be used in outlying regions, including Ceduna."

Twenty per cent of people who have treatment for breast cancer experience lymphoedema.

Lymph nodes are often removed during breast cancer surgery and tissue can be damaged by other treatments.

The natural flow of lymph fluid from the breast and arm can be restricted, causing lymphoedema, and this condition can be debilitating as it is uncomfortable, heavy, and creates swelling.

The swelling can become chronic and spread to the hand, and impacts on the patients' ability to do certain activities.

Compression garments, massage, exercise, laser treatments and weight control can alleviate symptoms.

Use of the LX9 SIPC pump is an emerging treatment that applies external pressure to promote the circulation of lymphatic fluid from areas such as the arm.

The pump has provided relief to clients, but not all can afford to purchase one.

There are less than 10 women in the region who have their own personal compression pumps.

To be able to use one of the donated pumps a referral will need to go to the McGrath Breast Care Nurse at Port Lincoln Health Service on 8683 2269.

The nurse will be responsible for assessing for eligibility and coordinating pump use.