Older woman who cannot face a bra!

I had a mastectomy of right breast on 15th October. I am in my late sixties and did not opt for reconstruction surgery at that time. My priority was to be rid of the tumour etc. This was welcomed by the surgeon who also said it meant for less possible complications later.  However, the tumour was very big and my wound although healthy is awful - very extensive and horribly puckered near the centre of my chest. I cannot face a bra. I have a temporary prothesis and I bought 2 bras prior to surgery, as advised. Everything is far too sore and sensitive to even contemplate trying a bra.

I wear loose cotton tops and scarves. This really does disguise the fact that I only have one breast quite effectively. Also, in public I usually have a jacket on so you can’t see anything anyway. But - it won’t always be like that especially with indoor events where the jacket won’t be worn. 
I see the oncologist on Wednesday this week and am dreading what’s in store for me. I am claustrophobic and so far all my scans have not been in an enclosed scanner. Even so, the whole body bone one with moving cameras around you was really hard and long, too. How do you cope please if you are claustrophobic? I will probably have radiotherapy.
My husband thinks I have been brave and stoical throughout - but that’s not how I feel really. Reading a few of these posts does help. I am a very new person to this forum.

Dear Mary


Welcome to the forum, although I am sorry that you have had to join us. I had a mastectomy twelve days ago. I have a ’ knitted knocker’ which is comfortable to wear in a bra. It is a charity, and if you go on to their website and place an order, giving your cup size, they will knit you a lovely, soft. knitted prosthesis, completely free of charge. No-one can tell I am wearing it, and I look very symmetrical. If conventional bras are too uncomfortable then a ’ sports type’ bra can be more comfortable, as they have a wider band under the breasts, so they don’t dig in.

Good luck with the appointment on Wednesday. Once you have a treatment plan in place you will feel calmer.
Regarding your claustrophobia, do mention this to your breast cancer nurse or the oncologist. You will not be the first person to feel like this, and I am sure they can give you coping strategies. 

I wish you the best of luck

Kind regards

Jane xx



There are open MRI scanners of various types - some you can sit up in and there may be one near to you so don’t  be afraid to ask about it. A google search will show them.


I have no experience of the full bone scan you mention so cannot comment but you will be offered sedation for the tube type scanner if that will help. 


If money is no object then open scans can be done privately but they are expensive. 


Why not research the open scanners within travelling distance, ask if they do the sort of scan you are to have, and ask your team to refer you there? Radiotherapy is different from scans and not enclosed.


Wishing you Good Luck for Wednesday





Hi maryKamille. I had a mx beginning of August this year. I wore a soft front fastening bra with a softie after surgery. When  the area was feeling sensitive in the beginning  I found it helped to wear one 24 hours for a couple of weeks. I have pull on bralet from Peacocks (£5) which has a pocket a softie/knitted knocker will go in. From 4 weeks, when I was well healed I started gentle massage using bio oil, aveeno  or coconut oil, whichever was at hand. It has improved. 

I hope your onc appointment has gone well today. I’ve not needed rads but you are not enclosed from the photos I’ve seen. There is a radiotherapy thread you can access if you do need them.