Actor and cancer survivor Kathy Bates was diagnosed with Lymphedema after undergoing a double mastectomy six years ago.

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A national spokeswoman for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network, Miss Bates visits Dr. Phil on Thursday’s episode to talk about her diagnosis and extensive work with the organization.

WATCH Kathy Bates On Learning She Has Lymphedema: ‘You Think American Horror Story Is Scary? You Should Have Been In That Room With Me’

Dr. Phil Senior Producer Allie Leven says she was researching information for Thursday’s episode and was surprised to discover a personal connection with the topic.

Suspecting that Secondary Lymphedema may have played a part in her 82-year-old father, Charlie’s death several years ago, Allie says she asked her older brother, who works in medical research, about it. “He said ‘He had cellulitis, and I believe he did have Lymphedema,’” says Allie.

Dr. Stanley Rockson, co-founder of the Lymphatic Education & Research Network and an endowed chair at Stanford University for Lymphatic Research, says he tells his students: “If somebody has an attack of cellulitis - think that they might have lymphedema. If they have more than one attack of cellulitis – they have lymphedema, no matter what you see.”

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection in the skin. Dr. Rockson explains, “With an impaired lymphatic circulation, the body can’t fight off the infection.”

Allie says that looking back, knowing what she knows now, “I think maybe it’s possible that my father, Charlie, could have lived a longer life, and with better care.”

WATCH How A 6-Year-Old Helped Get Funding For Lymphedema Research

Check here to find out where you can watch Thursday’s Dr. Phil.

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Warning Signs Of Lymphedema

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Playing Warning Signs Of Lymphedema
Warning Signs Of Lymphedema