September 27, 2023


Breast most cancers therapy can change how you feel and look. Whether or not it’s shifting what you put on or the way you resolve to deal with hair loss from chemo, you are still in cost.

Shopping for a wardrobe that matches and makes you’re feeling good is vital,” says Maryam Lustberg, MD, MPH, director of The Breast Heart at Smilow Most cancers Hospital. “Nevertheless it’s actually vital to acknowledge the emotional and religious facet of it, too.”

Listed below are some skilled tips about garments, bras, wigs, and different headwear.

You’ll be able to seek for cancer-specific garments on-line. Or attain out to different individuals who’ve gone by the identical factor. Yow will discover like-minded of us by social media or organizations comparable to and the American Most cancers Society. 

You also can:

Meet with a tailor. If attainable, go to a cancer-focused store. They’ll measure you and offer you suggestions for tips on how to gown your physique as it’s now, which can be greater or smaller than earlier than.

Put on cozy garments. You might need extra sensitivity in case you’ve had in depth breast surgical procedure, comparable to a mastectomy or reconstruction. However normally, put on mushy clothes which are simple to tackle and off.

Gown for therapy. In case you have a port, attempt a V-neck shirt or one thing with buttons or a zipper down the entrance, says Patti Frey, an oncology nurse with Northwestern Medication Most cancers Heart.

Brief sleeves are a sensible choice in case you get chemo by a vein in your arm. And put on layers. You may get scorching or chilly throughout therapy. “You by no means know the way you’re going to really feel,” Frey says.

Create your energy wardrobe. Put on garments that make it easier to really feel “put collectively,” says Marissa Weiss, MD, founder and chief medical officer for 

Keep away from carrying issues which are too tight. You don’t need to really feel bodily uncomfortable. “Gently-fitted” garments additionally offer you extra privateness. “You might need surgical drains or different asymmetries you don’t need to reveal,” Weiss says.

Ask for assist. Fatigue generally is a large a part of most cancers therapy. “In the event you want issues to go to the dry cleaners and be picked up, inform anyone else to do this for you,” Frey says. “Save your power for the issues that you simply get pleasure from doing.”

It is determined by your therapy. Some folks can go with out further assist for some time, Frey says. However verify along with your well being care crew. You may must put on a surgical bra.

“Medical-grade bras are usually softer and don’t have underwire,” Lustberg says. “They normally have a zipper up entrance. And when you’ve got drains, a few of these undergarments have a spot the place you’ll be able to extra simply entry [them].”

Whenever you change again to a private bra, preserve consolation in thoughts.

“It’s significantly vital to put on a seamless bra — one which’s clean on the within and outdoors — in case you’re getting radiation,” Weiss says. Keep away from underwire bras, lacy bras, and any bras with elastic bands which have zig-zag stitches throughout this time to your pores and skin’s sake.

If you are going to get chemotherapy as a part of your therapy and it’s a sort of chemo that causes hair loss, you could have choices about the way you need to deal with that.

The hair loss begins about 2-3 weeks after chemo begins. It doesn’t come out unexpectedly. Many individuals get their heads shaved as a solution to take management when that begins to occur.

Hair loss is a giant deal for lots of people. Weiss even is aware of individuals who discovered it extra troubling than dropping their breasts.

“It wasn’t a part of your plan to clarify to folks, together with strangers, about why you haven’t any hair or why you don’t need to speak about that in a parking zone,” Weiss says.


If that’s true for you, a wig generally is a good solution to protect your sense of self and defend your privateness.

In the event you don’t need a wig and really feel OK about any hair loss exhibiting, that’s high-quality, too. It’s a private selection.

You should purchase a wig off the shelf. However ask your physician to prescribe a “cranial prosthesis” — a wig — and your medical insurance supplier ought to cowl the associated fee. Name your insurer forward of time to substantiate how a lot they’ll cowl.

There are execs and cons to completely different sorts of wigs, together with:

Human hair. These might look extra pure, however they are often pricey and a bit trickier to handle. “Over time, they will look form of boring in case you put on them rather a lot,” Weiss says. “They don’t have the pure oils” of hair rising out of your scalp.

Artificial. These are likely to value lower than wigs made with human hair. They usually’re normally simpler to take care of. “You’ll be able to throw them round extra they usually don’t get funky on you,” Weiss says.

You don’t must put on your wig as-is. A specialist may also help you get a glance you’re keen on.

Go to “a hair stylist or most cancers boutique, the place they will body the layers to suit extra naturally,” Lustberg says.

Ask your physician about scalp cooling. “Chilly caps” might reduce chemo-related hair loss for some folks. Your most cancers heart might need a scalp-cooling unit. If you wish to purchase your individual, ask your well being care crew precisely tips on how to use it and what you’ll be able to anticipate. And verify along with your medical insurance supplier to see in the event that they’ll pay for it.


With out your hair or a wig, your head might really feel chillier than normal. So you may want a cap or scarf for it.

Some firms make merchandise for folks going by most cancers therapy. However you don’t have to purchase particular chemo headwear.

You’ll need a head protecting that’s mushy and safe. In the summertime, choose a light-weight materials that you simply discover comfy. You may like 100% cotton, rayon, silk, or bamboo. Fleece or chenille can preserve you heat in winter.

Choices embody:

  • “Cranium cap” for below your wig
  • Sleep cap
  • Kind-fitting cap or beanie
  • Hats for various seasons
  • Pre-tied or slip-on head scarf

You’ll be able to wrap a shawl your self. It simply takes a little bit follow to learn the way.

Look Good Really feel Good is a program that gives group or on-line magnificence suggestions for folks getting most cancers therapy. You can even discover movies on-line exhibiting you completely different seems to be with scarves.

Some folks put on a baseball cap with a ponytail within the again. Yow will discover headbands with artificial hair designed for this look.

Your medical insurance supplier most likely received’t pay for a shawl or hat. However there are native and nationwide teams that’ll make it easier to discover free headwear. Ask your physician or name the American Most cancers Society at 800-227-2345 for more information.

Don’t overlook your scalp if you attain to your sunscreen. Radiation and chemotherapy could make you extra delicate to the solar.

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50 or larger.
  • Put on a tight-woven hat with a 5-inch brim.
  • Maintain radiation-treated areas away from the solar.
  • Cowl your arms and chest with an outsized button-down shirt.
  • Sit below an umbrella if you’re on the pool, seashore, or consuming exterior.

Be light along with your scalp when your hair begins to fall out. It may be tender and painful. Listed below are some issues you are able to do as you undergo therapy:

  • Use child shampoo.
  • Pat your hair dry.
  • Use a child brush with mushy bristles.
  • Don’t blow dry your hair.

Eyelashes can take a number of months after chemo ends to develop again in. And they won’t develop again similar to they have been earlier than.

Some folks use lash boosters or synthetic lashes, Lustberg says.

Eyebrows can also come out with chemo. Some folks get eyebrow microblading, a sort of everlasting make-up, forward of chemotherapy. The principle motive is to maintain the define of your eyebrows. “As soon as the hair is falling off, you’re much less positive in regards to the form,” Lustberg says.

You can even study from on-line magnificence tutorials or at a neighborhood make-up counter. Your well being care crew might have recommendation on the place to go. “They know what’s good in your space,” Frey says.

Going by most cancers therapy isn’t simple. Coping with physique modifications can run rather a lot deeper than switching out your garments or remembering to make use of sunscreen in your scalp.

Let folks near you understand how you’re feeling. You can even ask your physician to refer you a psychological well being skilled. “One-on-one assist with a devoted most cancers counselor will be actually vital,” Lustberg says.

Or attain out to a breast most cancers assist group. “Numerous instances, speaking to individuals who’ve been in your sneakers and have gone by it actually makes a world of distinction,” Frey says.