If you had a mastectomy and/or radiation treatment for breast cancer, you may need to abandon your old bras. Finding the right bra can make you feel more confident if you are insecure after surgery and can prevent additional irritation after surgery or radiation.
Choose Cups With Some Stretch
If you have one prosthetic breast and have slight asymmetry between your natural breast and the prosthesis, you will want to choose a bra with cups that have a small amount of stretch. You can select the cup size that best fits the smaller breast and the other cup will stretch slightly to accommodate the larger breast. Slight asymmetry between your breasts is less noticeable when your bra cups are not obviously too large or small.
Pay Attention To Lining Fabric
You will want to be more conscientious about the lining fabric in your bra if you have not healed from a mastectomy or are undergoing radiation treatments. Look for cotton or satin linings, which are less likely to scratch against tender skin. You may want to avoid bras with seams in or near the cup, which can rub against your skin. Radiation treatments can make your skin thinner and more susceptible to tearing. You will need to prevent friction against the radiation area to minimize abrasions.
Try A Sports Bra
A mastectomy sports bra can be a comfortable addition to your intimate apparel, even if you are not participating in sports. If you have recently had surgery, you may need a bra that will allow for changes in your bra size due to swelling, without buying additional bras. Swelling is common after a mastectomy, especially if you have lymph nodes removed.
Not only do you want to allow for changes in your bust measurement from swelling, but also changes in your band size. Most sports bras can continue to accommodate you, even if your band size changes by two or more inches. Sports bras are also better for absorbing moisture from sweating and reducing yeast growth if you are prone to rashes. You will want to minimize any chances of rashes, which could compromise healing.
Consider Foam Prostheses
If wearing a prosthesis soon after surgery is a concern for you, consider choosing one made from foam rather than silicone. Foam prostheses will be more comfortable against your skin, and you may need absorbent material if you have drains. As your surgical incision heals, you may choose to purchase silicone prostheses for a more natural appearance.
Your undergarments may need to change throughout treatments to reflect your evolving needs. Choosing the right undergarments after a mastectomy or during radiation therapy can make a significant difference in your comfort and confidence.
For more information, contact Southwest Oncology Centers or a similar organization.