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The one hundred honoree: Cheryl Brunelle, PT, MS, CCS, CLT

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The one hundred honoree: Cheryl Brunelle, PT, MS, CCS, CLT

Mass General Giving

Cheryl Brunelle, PT, MS, CCS, CLT, has developed expertise in lymphedema management to help breast cancer patients coping with this treatment-related condition maintain the highest quality of life.

A physical therapist in Mass General’s Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Cheryl specializes in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer-related lymphedema, a swelling in the arm caused by the removal of lymph nodes or radiation. This condition can often plague breast cancer patients and significantly impact their quality of life. Cheryl always conveys a can-do attitude to her patients during their rehabilitation to reduce pain and restore mobility after surgery and radiation.

A member of the center’s Lymphedema Studies Program, Cheryl participates in research into the condition’s causes and effects. Cheryl applies her knowledge of the most advanced treatments to her practice and shares the most up-to-date information with her patients and colleagues.

“During our first session, Cheryl interviewed me intently about my physical activities prior to my cancer diagnosis,” says patient Laura who underwent a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and radiation therapy. “I realized later that she had great concern about my life prior to surgery because she had every intention of helping me return fully to those endeavors.

“Cheryl has been instrumental in helping me manage the life-long risk of lymphedema through proper education,” continues Laura. “She simply does not allow me to lower my quality of life due to the fear or misinformation surrounding it.”