A team of bioengineers from Imperial College London and a surgeon from Imperial College Healthcare Trust have been working with a group of women with lymphoedema, a side effect of breast cancer treatment, to develop research that could possibly prevent lymphoedema from developing after treatment for breast cancer.
The women involved in this co-production/collaboration have been instrumental in influencing the research and the researchers by sharing their personal experiences of breast cancer treatment and how lymphoedema affects their day-to-day life. The co-production approach to research has allowed the bioengineers to learn a great deal by listening to the women’s stories and the women have gained awareness of how difficult it is to convince the healthcare system, researchers, and funders that more support is needed to identify, treat and possibly prevent lymphoedema. This learning and shared experience led to the making of this video.
The video is not meant to be informative to other patients but to allow these women to share with healthcare providers, researchers and funders their honest experience of living with lymphedema.
1 in 9 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, 90% of those women will have surgery and 20-30% of those women will develop lymphoedema. But it is not just the numbers that matter, we must also consider the impact of lymphoedema on each woman’s life, sense of self and personal wellbeing.
Thank you to the Societal Engagement Team at Imperial College London for the Participatory Research Award which made the making of this video possible.