Friday, 17 February 2023, 14:16
La Cala de Mijas Lions Club came to the aid of numerous women who have suffered from lymphedema after cancer treatment by donating a cheque for 1,400 euros to the Spanish cancer association (AECC).
Since 2017, the cancer charity has been running a programme, together with Mijas town hall and La Sociedad de Cazadores de Mijas (Mijas hunting society), which offers free archery sessions to help women suffering from the condition.
Although lymphedema has no cure, it is usually possible to control the main symptoms using techniques to minimise fluid build-up and stimulate the flow of fluid through the lymphatic system. Archery practice has proved beneficial for strengthening the area affected by breast cancer.
With the removal of the lymph nodes from the armpit during surgery, women lose the ability to drain the arm, and so the swelling known as lymphedema appears.
Studies have shown that archery helps them to combat this problem. The vibration produced by the string on the bow helps with the drainage of lymphedema. This is not only supported by scientific studies carried out by cancer associations around the world, as it has also been corroborated by the users of the programme in Mijas. Several of the women explained that their lymphedema had decreased in size after just six weeks of using archery to control it.
Lions President Wynson Beswick said, "We have many strings to our bow and we are delighted that we were able to help the Mijas hunting society. Special thanks also to Paloma Gómez from the AECC, and to councillor Arancha López; with their support we are able to help the local community in many diverse ways."
Lymphedema is a long-term chronic condition that causes swelling in the body's tissues, and it can affect any part of the body, especially the arms and legs. It is a common condition for women following breast cancer treatment and mastectomies.
Exercise can be one of the most effective treatments for lymphedema, especially in the arm, where swelling can have a significant impact on the activities of daily life.
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