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StepUp-SpeakOut.Org BlogSpot

Hello and welcome to the StepUp-SpeakOut.Org Blog Spot.

We will be using this blog for fast updates on news and information in the field of Secondary Lymphedema as a result of Breast Cancer.

We will be posting articles and information on new research and treatments, legislative and insurance information, and other pertinent information, and invite your comments.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Emory Law TI:GER team wins startup tourney, aims to produce lymphedema tool

April 21, 2014 15:47 Age: 1 days

Emory Law TI:GER team wins startup tourney, aims to produce lymphedema too

A five-man team of Emory Law and Georgia Tech students recently took home sixth place at an international startup competition. They now hope to market their winning idea — a medical device to prevent a painful and disfiguring disease that affects nearly half of all breast cancer survivors.

The LymphaTech team: Salim Vagh 14 (Tech), Robert Jones 14L, Nathan Frank 14 (Tech), Jeff Adams 14L, Mike Weiler 15 (Tech)

The TI:GER LymphaTech team focus is a diagnostic tool to prevent lymphedema, which causes an abnormal fluid buildup when lymph vessels or nodes are missing, damaged or removed. It would allow patients to regularly monitor themselves to detect swelling—critical because the condition is irreversible if not treated early.
“The device works by optically measuring lymphatic pressure, like a blood pressure cuff for your lymphatic system,” said Emory Law student Robert Jones 14L. “It’s a significant advancement over the current diagnostic gold standard, an ordinary tape measure, which is ineffective at catching the swelling until it becomes permanent.”
On April 12, the Emory Law/Tech team placed sixth at the Rice Business Plan Competition, which is billed as the world’s richest and largest such tourney for graduate students.
“It’s the hardest [startup competition] in the country to get into,” said Margi Berbari, Tech’s TI:GER program director. “Not only were they accepted, they won sixth place, best presentation and the Women’s Health Award for a total of $38,000. They’re on a roll.”
In their pitch, LymphaTech sought $2 million in funding for FDA human clinical trials and a comparative effectiveness study for insurance reimbursement approval.
“We’re no longer treating this like a class,” Jones said. “We’re focused on further laboratory research, prototype development, securing a license with Georgia Tech, and solidifying our FDA trials strategy,” Jones said. “We’re able to fund these initial steps using our competition winnings, and we will continue to seek additional funding.”
There are only six labs worldwide that perform this type of lymphatic research and none of the other labs have shown interest in commercialization, Jones said.
“Also, we’ve faced hurdles in own path to market, and the knowledge and connections we’ve gained while overcoming those definitely give us an advantage going forward,” he said.
The TI:GER team was chosen for one of 42 slots to present at the Rice competition from more than 500 applications. Teams present over three days, accelerating from a practice round and elevator pitch on Thursday, to semifinal, shark tank and final rounds on Saturday.
The LymphaTech team is: Jeff Adams 14L, Robert Jones 14L, Mike Weiler, Nate Frank and Salim Vagh. Adams focuses on contract law and healthcare regulatory practices, and Jones covers patent and intellectual property issues. On the Tech side, Weiler is a biomedical engineering PhD student who developed the idea from his work at Tech’s Laboratory of Lymphatic Biology and Bioengineering; Frank and Vagh are MBA candidates. Team advisors are Dr. Amelia Zelnak, Assistant Professor Brandon Dixon and Robert McNally. Administrative Professor Anne Rector directs the TI:GER program at Emory Law.
The next stop for the team is the 2014 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition held May 1-3, in Austin, Texas.
In 14 years, The Rice Business Plan Competition has grown from nine teams competing for $10,000 in prizes in 2001 to 42 international teams angling for a purse of more than $1.3 million in cash and prizes.
“The competition is designed to give collegiate entrepreneurs a real-world experience to fine tune their business plans and elevator pitches to generate funding to successfully commercialize their product,” according to the competition site. A majority of the 250 volunteer judges are from the investment sector, and rank teams on which company they would most likely invest in.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Living with cancer: Bedtime issues

"We are bombarded by hypersexualized images on the Internet and on television, but puritanism reigns in the offices of radiologists, oncologists and social workers."
Living With Cancer: Bedtime Issues
My cancer support group friends had lost not just sleep, but intimate pleasure and a significant aspect of their identities as women.

Wearing Compression Garments While Flying

Wearing Compression Garments While Flying

This has become a controversial topic--part of the movement to debunk risk reduction behaviors, as those who would advocate that compression garments don’t protect women at risk against the onset of lymphedema with air travel, cite that the literature hasn’t proven compression to be helpful—but we need to look carefully at the one or two studies out there, and the concern that poorly fitting compression could be harmful.

A careful review of the literature provides no proof that compression garments can harm women at risk for lymphedema or that air travel presents no risk for lymphedema.

At the 2010 NLN Conference: Sheila Ridner was speaking on the controversies around risk reduction behaviors and said “When you sit in a lymphedema support group and woman after woman tells of air flight triggering lymphedema, it’s hard to ignore.” Two of the directors of this site had their lymphedema begin after air travel: and they were “low risk”.

If you have lymphedema, there’s no controversy: you should fly with compression—ideally wrapped, or at the very least, with a glove and sleeve.

Breast Cancer Related Lymphedema and Exercise

StepUp-SpeakOut Guidelines on Exercise for Upper Extremity Lymphedema

What you should know for a smart, safe workout.

Sidestepping the Biopsy With New Tools to Spot Cancer

From NYT 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Share Cording Protocols Project 2014

Share Cording Protocols Project 2014- Breast Cancer Rehabilitation

For information on this project contact Denise Stewart at and request a flier. This is an international project. 

Risk factors for cellulitis in patients with lymphedema on April 7, 2014 by Lindsay Davey

Severe bacterial infection called ‘cellulitis’ is common in people with lymphedema.  New clinical research suggests potential risk factors to avoid.
Cellulitis is a severe inflammation that is visible as red patches on the skin that may be swollen, hot, and painful to touch. Without treatment cellulitis can quickly become life-threatening in some cases.  If you believe you may have cellulitis you should see a doctor for treatment with antibiotics.  If you have an accompanying fever, if the infection appears to be getting worse, or has red streaks spreading out from it, you may have a very serious infection that requires immediate medical attention.
Cellulitis is caused by bacterial infection of the skin and underlying tissues. Cellulitis can arise from infection with a variety of bacteria, including those normally present on the skin. People with lymphedema are predisposed to cellulitis, and may develop it without having had any noticeable cut or break in the skin.  This predisposition is due to localized immune system depression arising from decreased lymph circulation – a key component in maintaining infection control.  People with lymphedema should learn how to monitor and prevent cellulitis.


In addition to careful monitoring and infection prevention strategies, the latest research suggests that by getting swelling under control, and by being mindful of high-fat food and meat consumption, people with lymphedema may decrease their probability of developing cellulitis.
  1. Teerachaisakul M., Ekataksin W., et al. Risk factors for cellulitis in patients with lymphedema: a case-controlled study. Lymphology. 2013 Sep;46(3):150-6.

Intimacy after Breast Cancer:  Breaking the Silence

Intimacy after Breast Cancer:  Breaking the Silence