Breast reconstructions, special bathing suits help cancer survivors embrace the summer
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
For women who have recently overcome breast cancer, the idea of going out to the beach can be overwhelming. Between their scars and changed physiques, survivors often have trouble envisioning themselves having fun - or even being comfortable - in a swimsuit. Fortunately, many women say that their breast reconstructions have changed all that.
And for those who have yet to get a reconstruction, a major clothing manufacturer has released a new line of bathing suits designed for women with mastectomies.
The swimwear is designed by Austin, Texas, resident Genae Girard, who knows all about the trouble of finding a swimsuit that fits. She's a cancer survivor herself.
Mastectomies change swimwear needs
Girard recently told Lehigh Valley Live that her inspiration for her new line of bathing suits came from her own struggles. In 2010, she found out that she had Stage 2 breast cancer, which required a mastectomy and multiple rounds of chemotherapy.
Now, at age 38, Girard has made an idea she had into a reality.
"I wondered if there were other people out there who felt lost or confused after treatment," she told the news source. "It would be a great idea if the company made swimsuits that fit us better."
So she started designing them herself.
Her suits are now being sold nationwide. The swimwear can accommodate women with nearly any post-mastectomy bust, with suits sold for women with no breast reconstruction at all, those who wear prostheses and even ladies with one remaining breast.
And they work for reconstruction recipients, too
For the nearly 100,000 women who received breast reconstructions last year (according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons), Girard suits will still work. As 26-year-old Nicole Armstrong told the news source, it's as much a mental problem as a physical one.
"The option for suits made specifically for mastectomy patients reduces the worry of 'Where will I find a suit to fit me properly,' 'Will the suit cover my scars in the right places,' 'Will people be able to notice I'm missing one (or both) of my breasts?'"
Just this year, Armstrong was the recipient of an immediate breast reconstruction with implants.
Huth K. Bathing suit season - a new best friend for breast cancer survivors? Lehigh Valley Live. June 24, 2012. http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/entertainment-general/index.ssf/2012/06/bathing_suit_season_-_a_new_be.html" rel="no_follow">http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/entertainment-general/index.ssf/2012/06/bathing_suit_season_-_a_new_be.html Accessed July 10, 2012.
2011 Reconstructive Demographics. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2011. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Documents/news-resources/statistics/2011-statistics/2011-reconstructive-procedures-trends-statistics.pdf" rel="no_follow">http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Documents/news-resources/statistics/2011-statistics/2011-reconstructive-procedures-trends-statistics.pdf Accessed July 10, 2012.
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