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First softies in range of skin tones launched for breast cancer patients

Breast cancer patients who have undergone a mastectomy will soon be able to get fabric-covered breast prostheses in different skin tones – a first for the UK.

Women with breast cancer are often provided with a lightweight fabric prosthesis to wear after the procedure – also known as a ‘softie.’

But as of yesterday, Monday October 3, these softies will be available in a variety of different skin tones – a launch that ties in with the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Black History Month.

They’ve been unveiled by clinicians from The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with Nubian Skin, following funding from The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

These softies can be worn ahead of reconstructive surgery, before getting a permanent silicone prosthesis, or even as a long-term option for comfort.

Despite being used widely across the UK, a survey of 100 women of colour found nearly 74% of those who use a softie, prosthetic breast or nipple were not offered one that matched their skin tone.

As a result, the new inclusive softie range hopes to improve the care women of colour receive following a mastectomy.

Currently, these new softies are only available for Royal Marsden patients – but clinicians hope to eventually roll them out more widely across the UK. 

Sarah Adomah, a lead breast clinical nurse specialist at The Royal Marsden, said: ‘For many women, having a mastectomy is incredibly traumatic and being given a softie in an inappropriate skin tone can make the experience even more upsetting. 

‘Ensuring that all breast cancer patients are given a softie that’s right for them is vital and I’m so proud to have helped bridge this gap in care.’

A Million Missed Mammograms

After being diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine mammogram in November, Dawn Butler MP was grateful to find out it was caught early.

However, she learned that a million women missed out on their mammograms due to the pandemic, with an estimated 10,000 currently living with undetected breast cancer.

Determined to change that, Dawn has launched a campaign with Metro.co.uk to get a million women to book their missed screenings.

If you have been inspired to do so after hearing Dawn’s story, please let her know on her website, emailing us or using #FindTheMillion on social media.

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