If you or someone you know has had a breast cancer diagnosis, then you’ll know that breast cancer can have a devastating impact on self-confidence and body image. But even little things can make a huge difference and it’s important to know that there is help out there.
Breast Cancer Care is the UK’s support charity, offering women support, advice and information every step of the way from diagnosis through treatment and beyond, and the charity offers a number of services that aim to help women cope with the changes to their bodies.
Breast Cancer Care recently conducted a survey into body image following breast cancer treatment and has launched a powerful new campaign to show that it is possible for women to rebuild their confidence and learn to love their bodies again – and this process is as individual as the women themselves.
The charity is often told by women that finding a well-fitted, comfortable and attractive bra after surgery can be a challenge, which is why Breast Cancer Care holds free Lingerie Evenings around the UK to help women understand both their needs and what’s on offer.
The Lingerie Evenings are private events held in high street lingerie shops or boutiques with up to 20 other women, offering a relaxed environment in which to explore the options, and meet and share experiences with other women in similar situations.
The events usually last around two and a half hours. You’ll have a lingerie fitting and learn what you need to look for in a bra as well having a chance to see how lingerie looks on models who have all had breast cancer.
‘Everyone has different feelings about their body and how they look after breast surgery,’ says the charity. ‘There is no wrong or right way to feel. For some women, it will not be an important issue. However, it is also perfectly natural to have concerns.
‘By taking simple measures you can become more confident about your body and how you look, which may affect other areas of your life in a positive way. These might include having a suitable prosthesis fitted, choosing an attractive, well-fitting bra, or making some adjustments to your clothes. Small changes could make all the difference to how you feel. What’s important is that you can make your own choices and find what is most comfortable and works best for you.’
To find out more about Lingerie Evenings and to find one near you visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk/services.
Breast Cancer Care has also published a booklet called A confident choice: breast prostheses, bras and clothes after surgery which provides information on lingerie, breast prostheses and other clothing issues following surgery. It’s available to download from the charity’s website.