Finding the Perfect Bra After Breast Cancer: A Comprehensive Guide
Breast cancer is a life-changing experience for women, physically and emotionally. One of the most common outcomes of breast cancer is the loss of one or both breasts. Although breast reconstruction surgery is an option, many women choose to wear a prosthetic breast or use a bra that can accommodate the prosthesis. However, finding the perfect bra that fits comfortably, provides the necessary support, and looks great can be a daunting task. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different options available for post-mastectomy bras, factors to consider when choosing a bra, and tips for finding the perfect fit. Whether you have recently undergone a mastectomy or are a long-term breast cancer survivor, this guide will help you navigate the world of post-mastectomy bras and find the perfect one for you. Let's dive in!
Understanding the impact of breast cancer on bra fitting
Breast cancer and its treatment can significantly alter the shape and size of breasts. Mastectomy, lumpectomy, and radiation therapy can affect the breast's appearance, leading to asymmetry and scarring. These changes can make finding a bra that fits correctly challenging. Women who have undergone mastectomy surgery may have uneven breasts and may require a bra with a pocket for a prosthetic breast. Radiation therapy can cause the skin to become sensitive and prone to irritation, which can make wearing a bra uncomfortable.
Women who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery may require different types of bras depending on the type of reconstruction. Some women opt for implant-based reconstruction, while others choose autologous reconstruction, which uses tissue from the body to create a breast mound. Each type of reconstruction requires different types of bras.
The importance of finding the right bra after breast cancer
Finding the right bra after breast cancer is essential for several reasons. First, the right bra can help boost self-esteem and confidence. Women who have undergone breast surgery may feel self-conscious about their appearance, and wearing a bra that makes them feel comfortable and confident can help ease some of these insecurities.
Second, a well-fitting bra can help reduce pain and discomfort. Women who have undergone surgery may experience pain and discomfort in their chest area, and wearing a bra that fits well and provides adequate support can help alleviate some of these symptoms.
Finally, wearing the right bra can help prevent lymphoedema, a condition that can occur after breast cancer treatment. Lymphoedema is a swelling of the arm or chest area that can be caused by the removal of lymph nodes during surgery. Wearing a bra that is too tight or constricting can exacerbate this condition.
Factors to consider when choosing a bra
When choosing a bra after breast cancer, several factors should be considered. The first is the type of surgery you have undergone. Women who have undergone mastectomy surgery may require a bra with a pocket for a prosthetic breast, while those who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery may require a bra with a different type of support.
The second factor to consider is the type of material used in the bra. Women who have undergone radiation therapy may have sensitive skin, and wearing a bra made from soft, breathable materials can help prevent irritation and discomfort.
The third factor to consider is the level of support provided by the bra. Women who have undergone surgery may require a bra with a higher level of support to alleviate pain and discomfort in the chest area.
Types of bras to consider
Several types of bras are available for women who have undergone breast cancer treatment. Some of the most common types include:
Post-mastectomy bras are specially designed for women who have undergone mastectomy surgery. They feature pockets to hold a prosthetic breast and provide support for the chest area. Post-mastectomy bras come in a range of styles, including wire-free, front-closure, and sports bras.
Camisole bras provide higher neckline coverage, and can be useful for covering scarring after breast surgery or radiotherapy. They provide gentle support and compression to help reduce swelling and discomfort.
Sports bras are particularly important for women who have undergone breast cancer treatment. They provide additional support and compression, making them excellent for use during exercise or other physical activities.
Wire-free bras are an excellent option for women who have undergone surgery or radiation therapy. They provide support without the discomfort of underwire bras.
Bra fitting tips for breast cancer survivors
Finding the right bra after breast cancer treatment can be challenging, but there are several tips that can help make the process easier. Here are some of the top bra fitting tips for breast cancer survivors:
Get professionally measured
Getting professionally measured is essential for finding the right bra after breast cancer treatment. Many stores, including Erilan, offer free bra fitting services, and a professional fitter can help ensure that you get the right size and style of bra.
Consider adjustable straps
Adjustable straps are an excellent option for women who have undergone breast cancer treatment. They allow for a customised fit and can help prevent shoulder pain and discomfort.
Look for bras with adjustable closures
Bras with adjustable closures are an excellent option for women who have undergone breast cancer treatment. They allow for a customised fit and can help accommodate changes in breast size and shape.
Finding the right bra for post-surgery recovery
Finding the right bra for post-surgery recovery is essential for a speedy and comfortable recovery. Here are some tips for finding the right bra for post-surgery recovery:
Look for bras with front closures
Bras with front closures are an excellent option for post-surgery recovery. They are easy to put on and take off and can help prevent pain and discomfort in the chest area.
Consider bras with built-in prosthetic pockets
Bras with built-in prosthetic pockets are an excellent option for women who have undergone mastectomy surgery. They provide support for the chest area and can help hold a prosthetic breast in place. All Erilan bras (excluding Lipoelastic) include pockets for a prosthesis, but are equally comfortable to wear with natural breasts or reconstructed breasts or with breast implants.
Look for bras made from soft, breathable materials
Bras made from soft, breathable materials are an excellent option for post-surgery recovery. They can help prevent irritation and discomfort in the chest area.
Where to shop for post-mastectomy bras
Many stores offer post-mastectomy bras. Here are some of the most common places to shop for post-mastectomy bras:
Specialty lingerie stores
Specialty lingerie stores often carry a wide range of post-mastectomy bras. They also offer bra fitting services to help you find the right size and style of bra.
Large department stores
Many department stores carry post-mastectomy bras. However, they may have a limited selection, and it may be more challenging to find an experienced professional fitter.
Online retailers offer a wide range of post-mastectomy bras, making it easy to find the right style and size. Virtual online fitting appointments (you can book here) can help you work out the best option and sizing for your needs.
Resources for breast cancer survivors
Many resources are available for breast cancer survivors, including support groups, online forums, and nonprofit organisations. Here are some of the top resources for breast cancer survivors in Australia:
BCNA provides free information and support to Australians affected by breast cancer.
McGrath Breast Care Nurses bring you and your family peace of mind through expert knowledge, personal care and genuine compassion. They can help you create time in your life not defined by breast cancer.
Cancer Council Australia support people affected by cancer when they need it most, speak out on behalf of the community on cancer issues, empower people to reduce their cancer risk through prevention programs, and find new and better ways to detect and treat cancer.
Finding the perfect bra after breast cancer treatment can be challenging, but it is essential for boosting self-esteem, reducing pain and discomfort, and preventing lymphedema. By understanding the impact of breast cancer on bra fitting, considering the factors when choosing a bra, and using the bra fitting tips for breast cancer survivors, you can find the perfect bra for your needs. Whether you opt for a post-mastectomy bra, a camisole bra, a sports bra, or a wire-free bra, there are several options available. By utilising the resources available for breast cancer survivors, you can find the support and guidance you need throughout your recovery journey.