Two decades back it was diffidence on both sides: survivors of breast cancer would
telephone, make appointments in
advance and visit me - accompanied by their family members, while I too would greet with
equal shyness the strong women
who had given up a most vital part of their bodies to be able to fight back the dreaded
Time flies. Now the survivors walk in more confidently.
The factors that can connect bras and breast cancer need to be pondered upon:
Bras must not be loose in the cups,
at least not in the formative and younger years.
This sometimes causes tiny lumps called fibroids in the breast.
Bras must not be so tight in the
cups that it causes the breast to spill over from
the sides, top or under. This may affect
drainage from the lymph nodes since one of the largest clusters of lymph nodes is
located under the armpit.
Underwired bras are perfectly fine
if worn through correct sizing which will ensure
that the size of the wire is precise:
neither too high under the armpit, nor so low that it digs onto the breast below the
armpit. If the size is incorrect it may
constrict drainage from the lymph node in the breast bone area.
For those who have undergone mastectomy, a good, durable, value-for-money and comfortable
prosthesis becomes the need of the hour.
There are primarily two kinds of prosthesis. Tthe one used in the West is made of synthetic
polymers called silicone.
As with most things western we have blindly caught on to this fad too, despite it being very
uncomfortable in our hot and
A Silicone prosthesis is also heavy, requiring special bras and being a great source of
stress for the shoulders which need to
bear its weight. It may also puncture or crack with time or with pressure or sometimes by a
The other simpler option is a fabric - and or foam - based prosthesis that is much
economical and lighter in weight. It can be
washed, aired and is generally very easy to maintain.
It absorbs sweat and doesn’t cost the earth either. Being light in weight it suits most bras
too, i.e., it doesn’t need special bras
to be worn into. It is far easier for breast cancer survivors because it does not stress the
On an average the polymer synthetic silicone type costs at least 8
times more than the
type with fabric and foam.
Let’s focus on the strong, empowering and beautiful “can” in cancer.