Lymphoedema can be detected much earlier in Border patients thanks to a new $16,700 machine.
A bioimpedence spectroscopy (BIS) device was purchased by Albury Wodonga Health following a grant from the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund.
The device provides early detection of lymphoedema, which is a common side effect of some cancer treatments and involves swelling of limbs due to a build-up of fluid.
Lymphoedema cannot be cured but its long-term impacts of pain, poor mobility and infection can be reduced, especially with early detection.
Lymphoedema practitioner Kate Dahl said the previous BIS machine was outdated and "very limited".
"The BIS device we were previously using only had the capacity to measure swelling in a single arm and only in women," she said.
"It has been used for a number of years to monitor patients undergoing breast surgery at Albury Wodonga Health.
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"But this improved technology will give us the ability to better detect and measure swelling in arms, as well as legs, in both men and women.
"It will not only improve the prospective lymphoedema surveillance of people with breast cancer, but will also allow this model of care to be expanded in the future."
Lymphoedema patient Helen Moreland had breast cancer surgery in January 2019 and has been required to use the new BIS device for monitoring twice a week.
"The new machine is more accurate and gives you a graph, so I can see if I'm heading in the right direction and know if the things I'm doing to reduce the swelling is working or not," she said.
Trust fund board member John Watson said the funding for the machine was provided as part of the trust's small grants program.
"This is just another example of how we are working to ensure our regional areas have access to the same standard of cancer care as the metropolitan areas," he said.
Mr Watson also paid homage to his late wife Christine who helped bring lymphoedema treatment to the area 20 years ago.