Special bras make the world of difference for breast cancer patients

Joanne Gough ward manager

Thanks to fundraising by the Nottingham Breast Cancer Support Group, we are able to grant £3,000 each year to ensure that every breast cancer patient at Nottingham Hospitals receives a free bra after undergoing breast surgery.

Joanne Gough, Ward Manager on Harvey 2, a breast, gynaecological and urology ward at NUH, explained: “In the past, we always tried to offer bras for breast cancer patients, but it wasn’t a robust system and some patients ended up buying their own bras after surgery, which were often ill-fitting. I felt very strongly that, if someone needed an orthotic boot, that would be provided for them – so if someone needed a bra, we should do the same.”

Joanne and her team spoke to the Nottingham Breast Cancer Support Group at the Nottingham Breast Institute, who agreed to raise £3,000 so that every patient undergoing breast cancer surgery at Nottingham Hospitals could receive one free, properly fitted bra.

She continued: “We then worked with a specialist company, Woman Zone, to identify the best bra that would be suitable for all patients, and we stocked this in a full range of sizes and colours. All staff were then fully trained in how to properly measure and fit these bras, so we could be sure that every patient received a correctly fitted bra.

“As soon as a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer, along with the other information they receive, we let them know that they will receive one free bra after surgery. This can take away some of the worry and anxiety that patients feel when coming in for surgery, as they often aren’t sure what bras to bring in with them. They can then buy any further bras from the special Bra Shop at the Breast Institute, taking with them the details of their correct measurements.

“This makes such a difference to patients at a worrying and difficult time. We also find that these post-operative fittings give patients a chance to talk about all sorts of other things as well, like concerns about their wounds, or any worry about their change in appearance. It’s an opportunity not just to get fitted for a bra, but to discuss their worries, ask questions, and receive advice and support from us.”

Bras for breast surgery patients

A selection of the bras available for patients

A representative from the Nottingham Breast Cancer Support Group said: "The Nottingham Breast Cancer Support Group are delighted to be able to make a regular donation towards the cost of providing everyone undergoing surgery with a comfortable and well-fitting bra when they are discharged. It is so important to protect the skilled work performed by the surgeons to achieve a good outcome.

“We can only do this by the continuing support of the people who fundraise on our behalf and amazingly have continued to do so over the past two years."

Thank you so much to the Nottingham Breast Cancer Support Group for making this possible.

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