Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Prosthetics and Breast Cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and/or mastectomy surgery can have a lasting impact on female Veterans, both physically and emotionally. Did you know that Truman VA provides prosthetic items such as breast prostheses, mastectomy bras and wigs to women Veterans? These items can help improve the health and self-esteem of female Veterans undergoing breast cancer treatment.
After patients have a mastectomy (surgery to remove all or part of their breast), VA offers aids for those who have not had reconstructive breast surgery. A breast prosthesis is a fake breast that is used after surgery, when the breast has been removed or altered. A breast prosthesis is worn to mimic the natural breast. A mastectomy bra is worn after surgery for use with breast prostheses, allowing clothing to fit as it did before surgery. VA uses vendors that have certified fitters to make sure that Veterans will get a breast prosthetic and bras that fit. After a mastectomy, VA allows for one breast prosthesis every two years and four mastectomy bras each year.
Truman VA also provides female Veterans with the option of getting a wig. A wig vendor will meet with Veterans to make sure they have a wig for all occasions - workdays, normal outings and everyday use. The vendor will discuss the emotional impact that wearing (or not wearing) a wig can have on the Veteran. The wig becomes a part of those individuals, so they need to feel comfortable wearing it. VA wants to make sure that female Veterans are happy and comfortable with the wig they choose. VA offers one wig or scarf wig per treatment episode.
Truman VA’s Prosthetics & Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) has a mission to provide comprehensive support to optimize health and independence of Veterans. Touching lives and improving outcomes is of the utmost importance. If you feel that you qualify for any of the above items or have questions, please contact your VA primary care provider.
Brought to you by the Health Promotion Disease Prevention Committee