Treatment for breast cancer has evolved, and so have the products created to assist survivors during the course of their treatment and survival. Patients no longer have to wear heavy itchy wigs or one-color-fits-nobody lymphedema sleeves. There is no reason to juggle dangling, leaking pigtail drains or endure uncomfortable postsurgery binding. Unique products that serve the survivor community are often designed by survivors looking to fill a need that they dealt with during the course of their disease.
This article features a few products designed by and for breast cancer survivors and patients to help them cope more easily with the effects of their disease and treatment.
Postop Binding and Bra in One
An unusual bra was invented by a woman who really knows what a patient’s post breast surgery needs are: Efrat Roman conceived the idea when she woke up after undergoing a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. She had two large pieces of tape on her skin that ripped it as they were removed. The tapes were replaced by an itchy postop bra fitted with pads that quickly became stained with blood and serum. Throughout the difficult postsurgery process she wondered why a disposable compression bra that could also function as a surgical dressing was not available. “I couldn’t believe that although there are 13 million breast procedures performed annually, there’s no designated postop dressing to solve the challenges that arise from these surgeries. Nor is there a standard of care to address those issues,” Ms Roman told Oncology Nurse Advisor. She set out to create EZbra.
The EZbra garment is designed to address the needs of a patient in the 5- to 10-day period following breast surgery — or longer if the incisions still require an absorbent dressing. Patients who have undergone lumpectomies and lymph node dissection typically use the EZbra for 5 days, whereas those who have undergone mastectomies and reconstructions may use it for up to 10 days or longer. The garment can be easily adjusted to meet each patient’s specific postop requirements, as well as apply separate levels of compression and support even in cases of extreme breast asymmetry.
Men who have undergone breast cancer surgery can also use EZbra as it is currently designed; however, the company is developing a less curvy design for male patients. Ms Roman explained that her company’s mission is for its garment to become the standard of care for all breast procedures, and to be available in any hospital where breast surgeries are performed. At press time, EZbra is available online at www.ezbra.net. A discount is offered to hospital staff.
EZbra partnered with leading US breast cancer support organizations to donate EZbras to patients in need. During the month of October, people can purchase EZbras that are then donated to patients via those organizations. Visit https://ezbra.net/gift-ezbra/ for more information.
Therapeutic Device Gets a Touch of Style
Who would have thought that a compression sleeve for lymphedema could be fun? Two young patients who coped with lymphedema came up with a unique solution for a difficult problem. Compression sleeves, gloves, and gauntlets for lymphedema became fashion-forward garments when they joined forces with a fashion designer. LympheDIVAs’ garments come in 100 unforgettable designs. Its designs can make a woman look like a henna artist spent hours decorating her arm or a tattooist traced winding floral vines up her arm. Other designs would transform her arm or hand to resemble that of a cyborg, appear to be covered in dainty lace with her skin peeking through, or bedecked in multicolored flowers. Patient who prefer a more simple appearance may like the plain, skin-colored sleeve adorned with just a small design done in Swarovski crystals.
LympheDIVAs’ garments are crafted in the United States of a fine knit that resembles a second skin. All garments are infused with micro-encapsulated aloe vera to help moisturize and protect the skin. They are moisture wicking, fast drying, completely seamless, and allow full range of motion. These are compression sleeves bound to make the patient — and those around her — appreciate creativity no matter where it happens. Information on discount and donation offers are available through the LympheDIVAs website.