Breast cancer underwear

Dear RebeccaLouise,

I don’t think that your message has come up so I’m going to assume that it’s the same as on the Living with Breast Cancer category.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago and had a mastectomy. (I’ve since had a delayed reconstruction.)

I remember weeping after trying to get bras and going to M&S and being offered the most awful, appalling white, voluminous, laceless, graceless objects clearly designed for someone aged at least 120 years old. I later discovered companies such as Amoena and NicolaJane that sell bras for women with mastectomies.

These companies do sell nice bras but they’re aimed at probably a 30+ or even a 40+ market and are not very youthful or funky.

One thing these companies don’t sell is negligees. I think that there could be a serious market for fantastic nightwear - designed with or without pockets so that people with or without BC could have them, or so women with BC could have a choice about whether they want to wear a prosthesis at night or not. And I think this kind of thing is important because women who have had BC need to feel and know that they are sexy.

Other stuff I found difficult to get was serious swimware (for a person who prefers swimming to simply sunbathing), and tops that weren’t either too plunging or so high that they hid my collarbone (I have a very nice collarbone).

If you are going to do this please think about functionality - some stuff just doesn’t work - but also think about silk, lace, leather and, dare I say it, ATTITUDE.

Best wishes, Sue

hey sue have you thought about amoena catalogue they do some great bras and swim wear but its true some companies do not do lovely underwearfor us mastectomy girls try on line as well you can order from there .good luck lynn x

I think that the sort of designs that would be useful would be ones similar to the ones used in “Marlies Dekkers” bras and bikinis. Lots of straps to cover scars and loss of cleavage while emphasising other places such as legs, hips, waists and shoulders.

I think there is an assumption by most manufacturers of mastectomy bras that wome who’ve had breast cancer don’t want to look sexy anymore. By the way, I’m almost 49 and I still want underwear that is funky and “youthful”. i desperately wanted a pink bra following my mastectomy but could only get white or black unless I was prepared to pay over the odds and go mail order. And don’t get me started about the hideous stuff that M&S sell. As for nightwear, etc- I wish Ann Summers would do a range for women who’ve had breast surgery.

Geraldine

Just a quick mention about an overheard conversation at the hospital yesterday… for those who want a plain and simple no-nonsense every day mastectomy bra and don’t want to spend a fortune … apparently Asda are now doing them for about £6. Not sure if it’s all their George sections or just bigger stores.

hi lilacblushes yes it is george in asdas…There really good value and a really good fit …but there again only black or white to choose from but ideal for everyday wear …

I am a manager for Asda and we have a suggestion scheme, so I will make a few around this, cant promise, they are about to re launch whole range of clothing, but its worth a try

Mary
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does anybody know if they do a 32 back size?

Thanks

Ruby x

I was really disappointed in MandS who onlt seem to do full support bras which means the prosthstic will be slotted in against your skin I prefer having a pouch thingy for mine. House of fraser have some nicer bras though they are expensive.I got a nice brown one. I think I will check out Asda, just seen the other post.

Hiya, my problem is that my reconstructed breast (how I hate that term - however ‘droopy’ it was, I want my real boob back - I know, its gone - just makes me very sad, and scared - sorry, blah, blah, blah…) is a cup or two sizes bigger than my other boob - so I either have to wear a bra that is too big on one side or too small on the other - which then cuts into my implant! Oh, the things we used to take for granted.

naz

The Asda bra is surprisingly good, though since I’ve lost weight the one I have is too big. The problem is they hardly ever have enough in stock so haven’t yet found the right size (don’t have a branch nearby).
I’ve been almost driven to tears by it; they all seem to do either A and B cup sizes, or they start at size 36…I’m 34d and hardly find anything. I tried on the only one M&S had today and it was no good at all, not enough cup and the straps were too long.
I have though got a rather nice tankini from Amoena, and have ordered a one-piece swimming costume from m&s which is £25, a lot of the ones at Amoena and Nicolajane are at least double that.
As for tops, yep, a big problem. I’ve taken a deep breath and dusted off my sewing machine; I’ve never made anything before, but am going to have a go.
Di
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Edited to add - Imlauder, if you go on the m&s website and type ‘post surgery’ into the search box you will find the proper pocketed bras.

I had a WLE so have a boob-and-a-half and was wondering if it would work to get a swimsuit from Tesco/Matalan/anywhere else that does ones with those slot in pads, and then put both pads in the WLE side.

Although I am a very lucky girl and still have the upper curve of my breast, I too wish manufacturers would make more nice bras (in 36D) that are not underwired. Maybe Asda could think about doing their mastectomy or non-wired bras in one on-trend colour each season and offer equally on-trend ‘boy’ pants/thongs etc to match? Meanwhile, I have assumed Gok Wan knows his stuff and go for mis-matched but cute pants.

I ADORE the idea of an Ann Summers post-surgery range! No energy for all that right now but what a great way to invite hubby for more than a cuddle. ; - )

I am a 38E -all the nice pretty non wired bras seem to stop at a D cup. So I am left with the choice of maternity bras - not good or the hideous lacey ones that Marks do
Cant find non wired bras in my size in asda -again they seem to go as far as a DD cup
I am only 36 despite having breast surgery I still want to wear sexy and nice underwear but dont seem to be able to find any at affordable prices

Jools

I looked at M&S mastectomy bras in The Meadows, Camberley near here. No way! I agree they dont seem to think we still want to look attractive, sexy. I am 56 by the way and a 38DD. So I have bought sew in pockets from Nicola Jane to sew into my pre mastectomy bras.

Starfish x

I agree Star Fish - i went to the Meadows to look for bras. As its the biggest M and S around here I thought I would have more choice.
I was wrong

Jools x

Hi all

You may find Breast Cancer Care’s publication, ‘A confident choice’ helpful to read. It contains information about buying bras and clothing following breast surgery and has a list of specialist bra companies at the back, here’s the link:

breastcancercare.org.uk/docs/bcc_prosthesis_web_0.pdf

Hope this helps.

Best wishes
Lucy

can anyone tell me why mastectomy bras are so much more expensive than others ? after all its not our fault weve had to have surgery so why should we pay through the nose for underwear? makes me so cross ,as im now on benefits its hard to save up and buy a decent bra, ive treid asdas range but sorry girls they dont last as long as others . lynn

I’m a 32DD and have problems finding mastectomy bras and swimwear in my size. All the supposedly speciality suppliers (Amoena, Nicola Jane, Eloise) have very little (if anything) in small back with large cup sizes.

I have recently bought a swimsuit and tankini in M&S, not mastectomy wear, but fitted with an integral bra, and the hospital where I have my treatment pocketed them for me. They look great on and I am so pleased!

I would imagine that the same can be done for ordinary full-cup bras? I used to buy all mine from Bravissimo, which stock a range of larger cup sizes (including strappy tops with integral bras), so I think in future that’s what I’ll do. Easier than trying to find mastectomy wear in my size anyway!

(Should mention that I wear underwired bras - the swimwear I bought is also underwired).

xxx

|Hi,

I bought mastectomy bras in M&S recently, with integral ‘pockets’. They are pretty plain but have some lace detail, and the good thing, they are made of really soft comfortable material. This M&S has a scheme whereby you do not pay VAT on these as they are for wear with prosthesis - I just had to sign a form to say this was the case.

Lottie

Yet another thread on the issues surrounding lingerie,

Betty and Belle company, and Womanzone, are both specialist in getting a good range of lingerie including size ranges. Royce lingerie are currently stocking in Debenhams and have some lovely chocolate and pink ranges.

Eloise, Nicola Jane, Amoena, all do good ranges too. in Swimwear, and tops, as well as Nicola Jane doing nightwear. All do a pocketed service too.

any problems let me know on PM and I will give you further information as you need it. I have a vast amount of information on lingerie, and trial wear them for the companies, and with me wearing two breast prosthesis, and being a size 32DD or 30E depending on the style of bra, I have done lots of searching for a bra to fit me, and other ladies that need sizes that are not being stocked as well,
After all we are not the same shape and size, so why do they make garments that says we are…
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