question about prosthesis

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 11/5/2004 7:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I was wondering how long it takes to get used to wearing a breast prosthesis.  Any of you women who have worn them, I would appreciate your input - particularly if you are a large breasted women (or were).  How soon after surgery did you start to wear one?  Did you wear a soft insert before that?  I actually made my own soft one to use temporarily.  It's not the best, but it's cheap!  LOL  tongue
I have found out more details about my particular cancer.  I got all the copies of the reports from the doctor.  It's an infiltrating Duct Carcinoma, 6cm, T3, N1, M0, stage IIIA(AJCC) with extensive vascular space invasion.  It is poorly differentiated.  One lymph node was involved and it measured 3.8cm.  The tumor extended beyond the lymph node capsule.  There is no indication about the hormone receptor factor.  The oncologist is looking into that.
Anyway, I see the onc. on the 17th and will probably figure out my chemo schedule.  He said once every 3 weeks for 6 months.  I will most likely start soon after Thanksgiving.  What a thing to be thankful for!  No, I am thankful that I am here and it's not the worst case scenario!  Have to be positive!!!
I hope everyone has a marvelous weekend!  I'll be checking in for any responses.
L & H,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 11/5/2004 8:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kathy-
I had a lumpectomy, so I cannot offer much regarding the prosthesis. But you sound so great....hang onto that positive outlook and momentum. if you feel yourself stumble later, just remember how empowered you feel right now. For me personally, the time after getting my path reports and beginning chemo, while terrifying, was empowering. it is the time when you are taking control and can see the active treatment.

Remember too that if you have trouble with symmetry, you can get a reduction on the healthy breast. Who wants another surgery, but if it is a problem for you, keep it in mind as an option.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1106
   Posted 11/5/2004 8:17 PM (GMT -7)   
HI Kathy,
I wore a prosthesis after my first mastectomy. It was a silicone gel one and I was a DD. It was too heavy for me as I have lympedema in my right arm, under arm and chest. I about killed me. After the 2nd mastectomy I went to a smaller size, about a C. They were also the silicone gel kind and with two of them they still would hurt before long and I couldn't wait to get them off. I know there are some lighter ones out there. The only problem is if they are really light, they don't always stay down. There has got to be a happy meduim out there. Of course if I had had one breast it may have helped? I have mild lymphedema under my left arm also, so any bra etc hurts. I don't wear anything if I can get away with it. I guess that is one good thing about winter clothes! LOL!
I think it was about 4-6 weeks after surgery before I wore a prosthesis, other than the "fluff ball" one they gave meat first.
Well good luck and sending hugs to you!
L&H, Gail

 It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.   Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Grandma Cathy
Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 426
   Posted 11/5/2004 8:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kathy,

I wear a prosthesis. I had Invasive ductile - 6 cm tumor with 7 positive lymph nodes. I had chemo, mas, rads and then more chemo. My surgeon had me wait until after rads to get the prosthesis. Until then I wore the soft ones. My rads doctor didn't want me to wear a bra until after rads were done because a bra could have caused more irritation. Since I worked through treatment, I had to figure out a way to look normal. The camisoles with the pockets were too expensive for my budget. I ended up wearing the tanks with the built in bras. I lucked out and hit a sale at Wal-Mart.

Insurance pays for a new prosthesis every year along with a couple of bras. My doctor said that if I gain more than 15 pounds that I can also get a new prosthesis to avoid the lop sided look. When you do get your prescription be sure that you go somewhere that has the professional fitters.

L & H,

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 11/6/2004 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   


Wish I could help you with that but I never worn anything after my intial surgery.  But I do know that JC Penney and Dillards have great dept. when it comes to this. 


Story.. I knew a great woman who used to post on this board.  Every couple of months there was four of us from Cincinnnati that would meet for lunch, dinner, drinks, etc.  Jo-Annie lost her battle two years ago.  I remember her telling us this story that happened at her job.  Jo Annie was a smart ass. God love her she was.  She was given a memo at work and was told not to loose it that is was important.  She stuck the post it note on her prothesis and then proceeded to stick a thumb tack in it.  Then the looked at the guy who gave it to her and said... " I won't loose it now".... I never laughed so hard.  darn she was funny and I still miss her.  

After doing this stunt several times one day her "boob' exploded on her so she had to purchase another one.  That story was even funnier.

Best of luck to you.  Sometimes getting used to something is mind over matter.  I remember crying when I saw scarred up chest after my mast.  And two weeks later I was wearing my Tony's "wife beater" t-shirts. 





We have raced "for the Cure"
Worn Lee's Jeans on Friday "for the Cure"
Bought New Balance tennis shoes "for the cure"
Worn pink ribbon pins "for the cure"
Collected donations "for the cure"
Ate pink M&M's "for the cure"
Drank Sutter Home wine "for the cure"
Spent an extra $.08 on a stamp "for the cure"
Ate Lean Cuisine frozen dinners "for the cure"
We have all done our part "for the cure"
now you do yours and get us that cure.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 11/6/2004 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies.  So far I haven't been affected by looking at the scar and neither has my husband.  In fact, last night we were talking about things and he told me I'm as beautiful now as I was before.  He's quite the bullsh__ter!  Always has been.  LOL 
Have any of you used aloe vera gel from the plant to help reduce the scarring?  I've been thinking about trying it.  I know it works on smaller scars.  I have a lot of aloe plants that I could use. 
Love & hugs..............

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 586
   Posted 11/7/2004 6:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kathy, I had lumpectomy first, then a recurrence with 3 tumors, the largest at 5 cm.  I had one node and the vascular invasion also.  I found the mastectomy  very easy.  I have no problem looking at the scar.  I wear a prosthesis every day and it feels quite normal.  I believe the size I have is a 7 which is large.  My bra size is 36C, so I think we are quite the same size.  Once you have your bra on with the prosthesis tucked into the pocket, it feels normal; at least it does for me.  Good luck with treatments.  Any other questions, just ask.
-§»§«:*´`³¤³´`* Vicky §«:*´`³¤³´`*§«§-

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 11/8/2004 2:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I wore one starting about six weeks after surgery until about seven months later when I had reconstruction. It was paid for by my insuruance and I went to a medical supply place to have it fitted. I found it the other day and would be happy to send it to someone who does not have insurance and could really use it. The size would be about a 42 C or D. And yes they are very heavy.............. Hugs MK

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