Although breast cancer is still an all-too-common diagnosis, modern advancements in prosthetic breast forms make women more comfortable and confident than ever.
Breast Cancer: An Overview
Each year, an estimated 252,710 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, making it the second most common form of cancer following lung cancer . While surgical treatments have become more effective and less invasive, many breast cancer survivors still find that prosthetic breast forms are a great match for their lifestyle and surgical site. Breast forms have been used by women of all shapes and sizes for centuries, and technological improvements have made them better than ever.
The Evolution of Cancer Treatment Options
Cancer has received a much attention through modern media outlets for centuries; medical professionals have been studying and treating the disease since the sixteenth century . In the late nineteenth century, surgeons honed their skills and made great strides in cancer treatment options as they increased their understanding of the human body. William Stewart Halsted, a professor of surgery at the world-renowned Johns Hopkins University, developed specialized treatments which focused on removing tumors, as well as areas surrounding tumors and any nearby lymph nodes . Eventually, the radical mastectomy was introduced, which involves complete removal of the patient’s breast.
Creation of Prosthetic Breast Forms
The first radical mastectomy was performed in 1882 , but along with this new procedure came other difficulties for women. As this more invasive, yet effective treatment for breast cancer treatment developed, many women discovered that the loss of their breasts negatively impacted their body image . In turn, medical professionals began developing prosthetic breast forms to attempt to mimic the appearance of patients’ natural breasts.
In 1889, the “Bosom Form” was patented by Jacob W. Greene as the first prosthetic breast form . It was available to help women restore their breasts to a more natural appearance following a full or partial mastectomy. However, the concept of a mass manufactured mastectomy breast form was still in its infancy.
Modern Breast Forms
Today, prosthetic breast forms are designed to fit an array of different women. But sometimes, an off-the-shelf form just does not fit a woman’s body, shape, or lifestyle. To solve this issue, ContourMed creates custom-made breast forms that can match a wide range of skin tones and breast shapes. These custom prosthetics mimic the slope, drape, and weight of natural breast tissue, and are made to closely resemble a woman’s remaining breast tissue.
While many off-the-shelf breast forms are made in an assembly line, the custom breast forms from ContourMed are each made by hand using the specific measurements taken by our proprietary Symmetry Scan technology. The scanner allows us to take measurements of your chest wall and create a form that is customized to your surgical site.
If you are looking for a breast form that is customized to you, ContourMed is the place to find it. Hand-crafted by experts, our forms are incomparable to any breast forms on the market today. To learn more about your custom breast form options, please contact ContourMed at 501-214-6080.