Giving Voice to Canadians Concerned About Breast Cancer

helping you understand your surgical options

SurgeryGuide

Breast Prosthetics

A breast prosthesis is a good choice if you’re uncertain about reconstruction or if you don’t feel strong enough at the time to face such a long surgery, or if surgery just isn’t right for you.  After wearing the prosthesis for a while, you’ll be better able to decide which option is right for you.

Breast prostheses are made up of a variety of light weight and natural materials, including cotton, foam and silicone. The breast form sits easily into mastectomy bras and looks very natural in clothing.

  • Foam Prosthetics 
    • Usually light-weight and cotton filled with foam
    • Machine washable
    • Easy to adjust size just by adding more cotton stuffing if need be
    • Good for when you’re recovering from surgery, radiation or when the weather is hot
    • You can get one for free from Knitted Knockers of Canada

    "Knitted knockers have been a lifesaver for many women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. They are sent to you free of charge. They are lightweight, and they don't feel as hot and sweaty as other prosthetics."
    ~Trisha~

  • Silicone Prosthetics
    • Heavier than a cotton prosthesis
    • Weight can help balance your shoulder and posture; this is particularly important to consider if you have had a single mastectomy and have a larger breast
    • Look and feel more natural and realistic
    • Can’t be used in salt water, pools or hot tubs because they can damage the silicone
    • Hand washable
    • Last from two to five years, sometimes longer if well looked after

    "I did go from the heavy ones (prosthetics) to a lighter set and find them much nicer. I have knitted ones and when it's warm I tend to use them as there is no weight."
    ~Annette~

  • Funding for Prosthetics

    For a pre-made silicone prosthesis, the average cost is between $250 and $500.  For custom prosthesis the cost can be up to $5,000. A mastectomy bra with pockets to hold the prosthesis is an added cost.  You can buy a bra with pockets or have pockets sewn into a regular bra.

    These costs are partially covered by some provincial health insurance programs. View a complete list of what’s covered in each province. For the remaining cost, your private health insurance may pay; check with your insurer. For women who cannot afford a breast prosthesis, some communities have “prostheses banks” that provide prostheses for little or no charge. To find a boutique in your area, visit the Canadian Cancer Society website, enter your postal code, and click on prostheses.