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Men with lymphoedema: how can services be made more inclusive?

27 February 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 4

Men are perceived as having a more privileged social status than women, leading to inequalities in pay, social and workplace roles, and access to opportunities. Attention has therefore rightly focused on gender inequalities to improve opportunities across a spectrum of issues for women. However, in some contexts, the gender positions are reversed.

An example of this can be seen in lymphoedema services. Although the UK population has an almost equal split between men and women (49% to 51%), men represent 20% per cent of lymphoedema service caseloads (Cooper and Bagnall, 2016) and there is little focus on the specific needs men who have lymphoedema.

Lymphoedema is a long-term condition that results in oedema being present in any part of the body, due to multiple causes, and at present it is incurable. It is managed through an array of methods, such as compression therapy and low-level light therapy (Lymphoedema Framework, 2006).

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