Texas Medical Center Providing Free Mastectomy Bras For Breast Cancer Survivors


If you live in the United States and have ever had a need for doctors or hospitals, you’ve most likely complained at some point about the health care system here which is so far behind the rest of the world (letsbehonest). But even if you are one of those people who has great health care insurance, chances are your insurer at some point has found a way to not cover something that is crucial. If you have no idea what we are talking about, we encourage you to watch Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’ documentary. It’s an eye-opener, although things have changed sightly now that President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act has been implemented.

A medical center in Texas is doing the unthinkable for a number of patients whose insurance is not covering something they need after a major surgery. They are providing free mastectomy bras for breast cancer survivors, as many patients cannot afford to buy them. Sure, they could be viewed as a “luxury” item by health care companies because hey, who says you need to look or feel good about your appearance after surviving one of the most deadliest killers known to humans.

But for the patients of East Texas Medical Center’s Breast Care Center in Tyler, Texas, it’s a life saver. Instead of giving patients the usual care after surgery, they are choosing to go the extra mile to ensure their well being and body image is also taken care of. Reconstructive surgeries are optional, but they have increased in the United States in recent years, as have preventative mastectomies (thanks to Angelina Jolie’s choice which she wrote about in the New York Times in May 2013).


“According to a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, reconstructive surgery grew from 43 percent to 63 percent between 1998 and 2007,” reports the Tyler Morning Telegraph who originally shared this story.

“Some women opt for a breast prosthesis as they forgo an additional surgery or wait to receive one. A breast prosthesis is an artificial breast form that can be worn after a mastectomy. It helps balance the body and can prevent back and neck pain and protect surgical incisions.”

If the bras and prosthetics aren’t covered by insurance, they can cost up to $150, a hefty fee for someone to pay who already has a tonne of medical expenses from treating their cancer.

“The problem is, a lot of insurances won’t pay for these devices so women look for other alternatives,” Dianne Adelfio, vice president of operations for ETMC’s Cancer Institute said. “That’s why we’re very happy to support this program. This gives the women in our community the opportunity to have access to these bras that they may otherwise not have access to and can’t afford.”

The American Cancer Society once received funding for a prosthesis program but could no longer support it, and decided to hand over the rest of their inventory to the ETMC.


Dianne Adelfio says women recovering from breast cancer deal with issues not related to physical health.

“Surgery is a difficult thing for anyone to go through, but when you’ve lost a body part after surgery, women often do end up having self-image concerns because they don’t look the same,” she said. “They don’t feel the same any longer. It’s as if they’ve lost a part of who they were. These prosthetic bras give them an opportunity to regain something that they’ve lost.”

This is seriously as awesome thing the medical center is doing! Hooray for communities looking after patients when other systems often fail. For those who happen to live in the Tyler area you don’t have to be a member of the ETMC, nor do you have to make an appointment. The bras, for so long as they are available, come in a range of sizes and colors.

While the world is going through some horrible and traumatic events right now, it’s nice to sometimes just remind ourselves of the good that does exist. Well done East Texas Medical. You’ve restored a little bit of faith (and body confidence) in the lives of some women.




  1. michelle byrom says:

    im just in need of some bras if you will please google my name and see what happened to me having to serve 14 yrs,on death row when the judge new and hid evidence of my innocence knowing i had cancer and never said a word,please there is also a gofund me sight in my name by Andrew dodge no hits yet times are hard,im living off of 750. a month and need help the bras sizer 40 ccc i was 48ddd michelle byrom,,,mibyrom@hotmail,com 615-578-3314,,,,p.o,box 6009 Nashville tn.37206 ive been in the hospital this round almost 1 month this time, please contact me if u can help me , thank u in advance,michelle byrom and please take your time to read the story by refinery29,

    • Hi Michelle, thanks for sharing your story. Wow what an ordeal you have been through. We can send your info to the company mentioned in this article and see if they can help you out. We hope you treatment goes well.

  2. Pingback: 'The Women Of The Rose' Author On Why Poverty Shouldn't Prevent Breast Cancer Treatment - GirlTalkHQ

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