Fashion for Post-Mastectomy Women?
by Anja Mullins
Surviving breast cancer no longer means you have to sacrifice fashion, thanks to a new line of clothing
You've survived breast cancer, and now you want everything in your life to return to normal. One aspect of ‘normalcy' is dressing yourself. What shall I wear today? Well, there is nothing normal about wearing prosthesis, and this is what a large number of breast cancer survivors deal with each and every day.
t's not a question of what they want to wear; it's more an issue about what they have to wear, ‘the prosthesis'. That heavy, bulky slab of silicone that intrudes onto their sense of fashion each time they dress. They have no choice; wearing no prosthesis is equivalent to exposing themselves in public. Without that prosthesis, their sense of normalcy could not be achieved, until now!
“There was a complete lack of comfortable, everyday apparel I could wear after my own mastectomy,” said Anja Mullins, founder and CEO of Ann Jacqueline Design. “I wanted a top to ‘throw on' and give me instant normalcy”.
Anja has a teenage son, who was very concerned with his mom having to have a breast removed. It was very hard for him to forget this fact whenever he would see her without ‘the prosthesis'. Not wearing your prosthesis is an awkward feeling. “It seems everyone is trying not to stare at the missing bulge. It constantly reminds you of that rough time in your life,” Mullins reflected.
More than 200,000 women in the United States are stricken with breast cancer each year, and there are more than 2.5 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. alone.
A high percentage of these women have to endure either a single or bilateral mastectomy. Some have reconstruction. However, for the woman not able to have reconstruction, by choice or otherwise, no practical clothing has been available. Tops have to be worn with a standard, bulky, heavy and hot prosthesis that needs to be placed in the pocket of a mastectomy bra.
Anja Mullins, a breast cancer survivor in her fifth year of recovery, decided to design a line of clothing that allows women to throw on a top without having to wear an uncomfortable prosthesis, and still look ‘normal'.
Post-mastectomy patients no longer have to feel self-conscious about their appearance around family, friends, and relatives.
“Living in sunny, very warm San Diego, outdoor living is a must. Neighbors stop by as you work in the yard. Not wearing your prosthesis is an awkward situation”, continued Anja.
Fashionable one-piece clothing from Jacqueline has a feather light, built-in alterative to the prosthesis.
“It's totally comfortable and natural-looking,” said Mullins. Designing great-looking, functional clothing for breast-cancer survivors is a passion for her. Though an immigrant from the Netherlands, she also has a passion for this country, and has made a point of keeping the manufacturing work here in the United States.
That's good news for many of the 2.5 million women in the U.S. who have a history of breast cancer. Mastectomy patients no longer have to feel self-conscious about their appearance. Fashionable, one-piece clothing is now prosthesis-free and is perfect for breast-cancer survivors who have undergone either a single or bilateral mastectomy without reconstructive surgery.
What to wear today? Better yet, what not to wear today!
About the Author:
Anja Mullins is the founder and CEO of Ann Jacqueline Design at www.ajdcancer.com. She is also an advocate for breast cancer survivors. Her email address is email@example.com, or contact her by phone 800.569.0714.