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Medical Initiative

Medical initiative taken by the team UGO from Padova, Italy.

We are very impressed by this initiative and encourage other teams to be as assertive in ensuring they receive the best medical care possible.

Dragon Boat to start over after the illness: "U.G.O. – Unite Gareggiamo Ovunque ” team train with the “ Lymphatic Drainage Centre ” of Padova - Italy.

In Italy we are lucky to have excellent centres for the treatment of oncological diseases, able to follow the patients with the highest professionalism, establishing which is the most appropriate treatment and therapies to follow.

Often, however, removal of axillary lymph nodes may lead to lymphedema even many years after surgery. Lymphedema causes swelling of the arm, a vascular, chronic disease that can challenge, or even impair, the quality of life of a breast-operated woman. In many cases, the diagnosis comes late, when the symptoms have become apparent.

In Italy there is still little information on this topic and unfortunately lymphedema is considered a dermatological pathology of secondary importance, while in the rest of Europe and the world it is recognized as a vascular, invalidating and chronic pathology.

The sporting activity of Dragon Boat is considered precisely as a rehabilitative discipline for women with breast cancer to prevent or treat lymphedema.

The Italian U.G.O. team has recently reached the important goal of establishing a collaboration with a private medical facility in the area, the "Manual Lymphatic Drainage Center". The person in charge of the Center, in collaboration with a breast surgeon, after listening to the needs of the women of the U.G.O. team, was available to perform a free medical examination for all of them (breast examination with ultrasound and a segmented impedance test) scheduling a series of “Lymphedema Day”. These visits are also aimed at establishing a suitability of the athlete to practice Dragon Boat in safety and serenity.

The team UGO also agreed on an economically advantageous convention for lymphatic drainage treatments as, in Italy, even though they are provided by the National Health Service in at least one cycle per year, are not always guaranteed and do not ensure the immediacy of the service.

UGO are demonstrating that through the promulgation of the reality of the pink ladies you can achieve important goals: such as being able to create a network of medical care related to the practice of Dragon Boat and the management of lymphedema even where it does not exist.

Daniela Domaneschi

U.G.O. – Unite Gareggiamo Ovunque

Comment from the MAP re this initiative:

The MAP all feel that the concept of having a team of health professionals assessing patients prior to starting any sport could be very helpful to the individual and having a baseline test to look for lymphedema would also be useful. Manual lymphatic drainage could be used in situations where lymphedema is pre-existing.