© 2022 MJH Life Sciences™ and CURE - Oncology & Cancer News for Patients & Caregivers. All rights reserved.
Since having both breasts removed in 2014, I’ve been on a hunt for the perfect replacements. Through trial and error, I’ve gone through the good, the bad and the ugly, but finally came across a product that seemed to meet my needs.
A Facebook ad popped up in my feed a few weeks ago. It was for a small company that made breast prostheses. I was intrigued, so I opened the ad.
As I read about the products, I found the company was founded by a fellow cancer survivor who endured bilateral mastectomies, just like I had. She’d also struggled, just like me, to find prostheses that were both comfortable, lightweight and affordable. The more I read, the more I liked, so I decided to place an order.
The website offered a good selection of products, but instead of heavy silicone prostheses, the company’s products were made of molded foam. That made the products less expensive, but I wondered how well they’d hold up and whetherthey’d look like real breasts.
I liked the fact that the molded foam rubber prostheses could be easily inserted into camisoles, tank tops, or sports-type bras. The company also made many products with built-in shelves to hold the prostheses in place, as well as conjoined prostheses, perfect for those who’d undergone bilateral mastectomies. Without the hassle of two separate boobs, and without the look of a uni-boob, these prostheses just made sense.
When I received my package, I eagerly opened it. For the price, I wasn’t expecting much in terms of quality or workmanship but was pleasantly surprised. Removing my blouse, I slipped the racer back tank over my head and pulled it into place. The built-in prostheses were the perfect size.
Turning to look at myself in the mirror, I checked out my profile. They looked like real boobs; they just didn’t feel like real boobs. They weren’t heavy and squishy like my silicone breast forms. These foam rubber prostheses weren’t solid. They were molded but hollow inside. That was good because it reduced the amount of weight that I’d have to carry on my chest wall, but it was bad because if I was bumped into or brushed against, they wouldn’t feel real.
Although there’s nothing quite like the tissue found in human breasts, silicone prostheses come close, but need special care. If handled roughly, this type of fake breast would more than likely end in casualty. Foam rubber, on the other hand, is more durable and even with careless treatment, will eventually pop back into shape.
I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect boobs for almost eight years now. I’ve tried everything from expensive silicone prostheses to hand-knit poly fiberfill ones. I’ve even tried to make my own using birdseed as a filler. That was definitely not a good idea!
There are upsides and downsides to all, but I must say, the foam rubber ones I recently ordered are my favorites. They stay in place, don’t ride up and don’t weigh me down. They are washable and dry quickly. They give decent projection and won’t need to be replaced often. And although they don’t come with a nipple option, I didn’t mind.
Searching for the right breast replacement can be a challenge because people have different opinions and different needs, but there are many options out there. As a breast cancer survivor, the best advice I can give is to try different types of prostheses until you find one that works for you. And if you’ve had both breasts removed, the challenge doesn’t have to be doubly hard.
Just like clothing, it’s OK to have a collection of prostheses. I do. Some days I opt for a lightweight fiberfill set of forms and other days,I’ll wear silicone ones. It all depends on what I’m wearing and why, but on casual days, I believe these new foam rubber forms will be my go-to because of comfort and ease. On days when I don’t feel like wearing prostheses, I don’t. I’mOK going flat around family and close friends. They love me just the way I am and that’s what really matters.
For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.