Post-mastectomy Bras Help Rebuild Body Confidence for Breast Cancer Survivors

Post-surgical products, like those offered by Dianes Lingerie, provide support and a sense of femininity after a mastectomy

Credit: Jen Mah

The only store to be named Best Friends of the Canadian Cancer Foundation, Diane’s Lingerie in Vancouver provides post-mastectomy bras and support

Rebuilding body confidence after a mastectomy takes time, courage and a little help from some specially designed lingerie

October is breast cancer awareness month. And while that means focusing primarily on curing and preventing breast cancer, for women who have survived the disease, other concerns may be front and centre in their lives. Literally.

When you’ve had a mastectomy, regaining a sense of comfort and confidence in your body is challenging. And for many women, overcoming that challenge requires support in the form of breast forms, camisoles with drainage management or front closing bras with breast form pockets — items you can’t get in your average lingerie shop.

“It’s important for women to find a proper prosthesis that is weighted and designed to feel just like a real breast in order to prevent their shoulders and arm from turning in,” said Diane Thomson, owner of Dianes Lingerie, one of the few Vancouver shops dedicated to helping breast cancer survivors and post-mastectomy patients reclaim feelings of femininity with post-surgical products.

Diane’s Lingerie Works with the Canadian Cancer Foundation

Initially opening her South Granville boutique with the hope of helping women find their ideal bra, Thomson’s lingerie shop has since evolved into a certified pharmacare store specializing in post-surgery bras. With a reputation for dedication to personalized customer service, Thomson extended the store’s lingerie collection to include breast forms and after-surgery bras when she noticed that more and more of her regular customers were being touched by breast cancer.

Fueled by a commitment to improving the well-being of her customers, Thomson developed strong ties with the BC Chapter of the Canadian Cancer Foundation with the aim of helping women transition through their “journeys,” as she likes to call them, as seamlessly as possible. In fact, it’s the only store to be named Best Friends of the Canadian Cancer Foundation.

Dianes creates custom prostheses
so every woman will feel comfortable
and supported

In the words of longstanding customer Laura Startup, the staff at Dianes Lingerie are “very professional and very helpful. They know people have been through a difficult time, they’re sensitive to that, and they are knowledgeable about things you never thought you’d need to know… that’s a very important service for women.”

Post-surgery Lingerie Helps Mastectomy Recovery

From the incredibly approachable staff to the elegant and open displays, it’s easy to tell that comfort and accessibility were top of mind for Thomson when she created a safe space for women entering an unexpected phase in their lives.

The staff at Dianes Lingerie are registered and certified, and thoroughly educated on which products are required at different stages following mastectomies, lumpectomies, and reconstruction. They can also customize existing garments to include pockets for breast forms. “It’s a medical necessity as well as an aesthetic thing,” said Startup. “It’s not just about feeling good, but about your posture and finding the right fit.”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This month is a good time to educate yourself about breast cancer prevention, and to get involved in some of the events and fundraising activities taking place across BC. Look for the Dianes Lingerie team in the Run for the Cure and other public awareness campaigns it has spearheaded, including Bras Across the Bridge and Hope for Tomorrow.