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Living with lymphoedema, the conversation continues

Free online information session

When: Held on Thursday 16 May 2019
What Time: 7.00 - 7.45 pm AEST

About the Webinar

Lymphoedema after breast cancer is caused by damage to or removal of lymph nodes from the armpit or breast area. It may be ongoing, but it can usually be managed, particularly if diagnosed early. Lymphoedema can affect people during active breast cancer treatment, or even months or years after active treatment has finished.

Breast Cancer Network Australia’s second lymphoedema webcast will delve deeper into the challenges around living with lymphoedema. In particular, the panel will look at the common questions and themes resulting from our first webcast as well as practical ways to manage and prevent lymphoedema. This is an interactive information session where you will hear from leading experts, as well as a woman living with lymphoedema and have the opportunity to ask questions online. 

Kirsten Pilatti, CEO BCNA


Louise Koelmeyer, Occupational Therapist and Lymphoedema Practitioner

Louise is an occupational therapist with over 28 years of clinical experience in both public and private setting specialising in breast cancer rehabilitation and lymphoedema management in all areas of assessment, education, early detection and treatment. As Lymphoedema Program Manager & Senior Lecturer in the Australian Lymphoedema Education, Research and Treatment (ALERT) program at Macquarie University, Louise is involved in strategically managing and developing the education, research and treatment arms of the innovative multidisciplinary program.

John Boyages, Professor of Breast Oncology

John is a cancer specialist with more than 35 years’ experience in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.  He is Professor of Breast Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney and Director of the Australian Lymphoedema Education Research and Treatment (ALERT) centre at Macquarie University.

Wendy Mann, breast cancer survivor

I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36 with two young children. I had a lumpectomy and auxiliary clearance of 28 nodes.  No one prepared me for the dead weight useless arm that resulted. I proceeded with chemo, radiotherapy and an iridium implant and used my arm as normally as possible.

Almost two years later whilst on a flight I visibly watched my arm swell up seeing the onset of lymphoedema. Over time I sought lymphatic massage, bandaging, self-massage and wearing a compression sleeve.

I was diagnosed with a second primary breast cancer at 53 which brought a mastectomy, additional chemo and a double reconstruction. This did not influence my lymphoedema.

Now, 32 years on I know the odd and oversized arm that doesn’t straighten and makes some activities difficult is something to be aware of and respected on a daily basis.  I do not let it prevent me from enjoying an active and normal lifestyle.

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