Three inspirational readers have post-mastectomy make-overs and talk about how being breast cancer survivors has changed their fashion choices. Editor Diane went behind the scenes on the shoot to meet them and hear their stories in the video below.
Teresa Stone, 52 (pictured, right)
‘My sister discovered she had breast cancer three years ago and her doctor told her that my other sister and I should get checked, as our mum had died from the disease at only 57.
‘After a mammogram, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery.
‘Looking for swimwear after my surgery, I went shopping for post-mastectomy styles and was disappointed by the selection and how self- conscious I was made to feel. I felt so emotional about the experience that I decided I had to do something about it.
‘Now, after a lot of hard work, I’ve launched Brave Ladies, a swimwear range for women like me.’
Maggie Eacott, 64 (pictured, left)
‘I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 after I found a pea-sized lump.
‘I was due to have a biopsy but it turned into a lumpectomy. The surgeon also removed lymph glands from under my arm as there was cancer there, too.
‘I then had chemotherapy and radiotherapy and, soon after, my left arm swelled up – it has stayed like this ever since.
‘I now wear an elastic sleeve and take low-dose penicillin to prevent infection and I have regular check-ups with lymphoedema nurses at The Royal Marsden to keep an eye on things.
‘When I am choosing clothes, I have to see what there is that would fit my arm. This means buying tops and jackets is difficult.’
Sally Cox, 55 (pictured, right)
‘When I was 40, I felt a pea-sized lump in my right breast. Within weeks, I had my right breast removed as another lump was found sitting behind the first one.
‘After the operation, I wore a “chicken fillet” in my bra to even out my shape but it made me very self-conscious and I worried about my other breast.
‘I had my left breast removed in 2006 and reconstruction of both breasts at the same time.
‘But recently I noticed my left breast had lost its shape. My implant has been leaking and I am having another operation soon to sort that out.
‘Since my mastectomies, I always look for clothes that are comfortable around the scars.’
Be breast aware with our expert advice from Dr Melanie Wynne-Jones.