The Moore Lab at the Department of Bioengineering, ICL has developed a medical device to prevent the onset of breast cancer-related lymphoedema (BCRL). BCRL is an under-represented women’s health condition that occurs in 20% of breast cancer patients and manifests as a swollen, heavy arm negatively impacting patients’ physical and mental health. The goal of the implant is to heal the damage done during treatment and hopefully prevent BCRL. In order to design the medical device to impact patients, we worked with Imperial’s Cancer Research UK Lead Nurse, to form a committee of patients who would be able to help us. Hearing their stories enabled us to understand the importance of making the device low-cost and easy-to-use, thus accessible to everyone receiving treatment to prevent all cases. Thank you to these patients for sharing their stories. Currently, we are fundraising to conduct preclinical studies to the device’s performance before we start clinical trials.
This film was made by the Moore Lab at Imperial College London to raise awareness about breast cancer-related lymphoedema (BCRL), an under-represented women’s health condition. BCRL occurs in 20% of patients receiving breast cancer treatment. In the UK and USA combined, there are almost one million women living with BCRL right now. BCRL presents as chronic arm swelling and negatively affects patient physical and mental health. Breast cancer surgery with lymph node removal severs lymphatic vessels, disrupting fluid transport from the arm. There is no cure for BCRL, only symptom management via compression garments, specialised massage, exercise, and skin care. This is expensive, and not easily accessible for patients. BCRL prevention is called for by care providers, and would save the NHS £200 million, and the USA healthcare system $650 million over five years. We want the public to know about the day-to-day challenges BCRL patients face in order to increase funding and research activities to treat and prevent this life-altering condition. People are often not aware about the reality of living with Lymphoedema.