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A few years ago, Hollywood star Angelina Jolie shocked the world when she announced that she will be undergoing a mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer. While some women are given the choice to choose this procedure as a preventive measure, some on the other hand, will need to resort to mastectomy as the sole treatment option for breast cancer.
Hearing the news that you have been diagnosed with breast cancer can already cause so much of stress and devastation. Soon after, your oncologist then tells you that the ideal treatment option, is for you to undergo a mastectomy, which essentially means removal of one (partial) or both (complete) breasts.
Needless to say, undergoing a mastectomy can be a rocky journey. It is not just about the uncertainty, the hope of surviving cancer and the journey to recovery but also about a battle between a woman and her femininity as well as self-esteem.
Researchers around the world have found that many patients with breast cancer perceive mastectomy as a threat to her femininity. In a study published by the Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, it found that women who have undergone mastectomy do experience a decline in her body image and total self-image.
Understanding that living with breast cancer can lead to trying times, we share insightful fashion advice dedicated to women who has undergone mastectomy.
Self-esteem concerns are slightly different with women that have gone through mastectomy as compare with those who has not. Not only worrying about looking ‘fat’ in a dress, women who have undergone a mastectomy may also worry about the size of their breasts (i.e. “Does my breasts look even?”) and if they are giving away any ‘tell-tale signs’ that they have undergone a mastectomy.
In such situation, modern medical technology, reconstructive breast surgery might be an option one would like to consider. Apart from reconstructive breast surgery, a simpler and more cost effective solution is to wear well-fitted padded bra. Or, one can opt to do nothing after undergoing a complete mastectomy – there is no right or wrong to it.
Most importantly, one should dress according to who one are – you are what you wear and this is a 100% true! As such, do not mask your insecurities and compromise your fashion sense. Instead, find in yourself the driving will to make a decision to boost your self-esteem and confidence. Be independent and confident about yourself.
Patients who have undergone a mastectomy may struggle with their self-esteem at first but eventually, they should, and have to, move on. In this respect, family support is a significant factor which can help a breast cancer patient regain confidence.
As such, it is important that not only the patient but family members too should have a positive attitude towards life.
Once you have decided to take that momentous step forward, to build your confidence and stop mastectomy from affecting your image, the first thing you do, is to focus on dressing up just like before.
You will need an open mind and a good support system. However, also remember, if one do not try, one will never know. After all, that is the reason why fitting rooms are available 😉 ; they are for you try out something new and you can never know, you might like it!
Everyone is struggling with a battle within themselves. It is all about getting out of one’s comfort zone. So, help yourself first and once you have the confidence, you can carry off any outfit you would like to wear.
Lastly, the public should not look at breast cancer patients differently. Patients with breast cancer are just like every other ordinary woman.