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KATHY BATES TALKS TO 'WEBMD' ABOUT HAVING LYMPHEDEMA AND BREAST RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY

I love Kathy Bates.

She is one actress that can act.  Kathy bates has been struggling with 'Lymphedema' for a while now and also has breast cancer and had her breast removed.  Kathy says she now came forward because doctors are so uneducated when it comes to treating lymphedema.  Kathy also talks about why she hasn't had reconstructive surgery on her breast since she had them remove.  Kathy spoke to WebMD and this is what she had to say:

Bates has found a new calling as an advocate for cancer survivors and others coping with a little-known condition called lymphedema. The body’s lymphatic system transports lymphatic fluid, which contains infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. When this fluid doesn’t drain normally — most often, when lymph nodes are removed or damaged after cancer surgery — debilitating, disfiguring swelling can happen.Bates began noticing the swelling shortly after her mastectomy, and she knew right away what it was. “My mother had had a radical mastectomy — they took everything — and her arm swelled terribly. She was always a very smart dresser and wore very nice clothes, and after the surgery, she couldn’t fit into them anymore,” she recalls. “It was a real slide into her feeling ‘less than.’ And so I remember getting hysterical when, even in the hospital, I noticed strange pains in my hands and then discovered that my arms were swelling.”There’s no cure for lymphedema, but it can be treated with a complex program of physical therapy. “I had to have my arms put into these pneumatic sleeves that feel like a boa constrictor,” she says. “One arm at a time, two times a week. Now I’ve lost quite a bit of weight, and that has helped considerably, but I still have to be careful. I can’t have a lot of salt or alcohol, I have to stay out of the heat, and I’m not supposed to pick up heavy things.”“Many doctors are not educated about this disease,” says Bates, who’s doing her best to change that as a national spokeswoman for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN), which funds promising research in the field, provides scholarships for lymphedema therapists, sponsors an international patient registry, and educates patients. “I’ve been told by doctors affiliated with LE&RN that in 4 years of medical school, future doctors spend a total of 15 to 30 minutes on the lymphatic system…”Today, if Bates doesn’t have to wear her breast prostheses for a role, she doesn’t put them on. “I’ve joined the ranks of women who are going flat, as they say,” she says, laughing. “I don’t have breasts — so why do I have to pretend like I do? That stuff isn’t important. I’m just grateful to have been born at a time when the research made it possible for me to survive. I feel so incredibly lucky to be alive.”
A Very brave woman indeed.

KATHY BATES TALKS TO 'WEBMD' ABOUT HAVING LYMPHEDEMA AND BREAST RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY KATHY BATES TALKS TO 'WEBMD' ABOUT HAVING LYMPHEDEMA AND BREAST RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY Reviewed by Jason Santoro on July 12, 2017 Rating: 5

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