You might be battling cancer, but you are determined as ever to keep life as normal and as relaxed as possible.
Despite having treatment, why can’t you wear clothes and accessories that are fit for purpose but can be fun too?
There are hats for cancer patients that can instantly improve your mood and suit your personality. There are plenty of other options if you want clothing that is comfortable but stylish and can even give you a lift in spirits.
Here is a look at how to pick the right clothing, plus some hints on keeping your skin protected and choosing the perfect fabrics.
The importance of choosing the right clothing
Your main focus will be on your treatment schedule and progress. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with clothing and lighten things up during your treatment for cancer. This can make a difference in several ways.
It can be stressful trying to choose the right clothing. If you know the style you like, think about having some clothing designed and search for items that are made with your comfort in mind.
If you want to carry on working as much as possible during your treatment, find some clothes that look the part and let you get on with it. Choose something that offers you the right level of physical freedom.
Fatigue is a common issue when you are a cancer patient undergoing treatment. It makes sense to allow for this, wear clothes designed to resist getting wrinkled. You can then relax and be confident that your outfit will still look good and in shape when you get back to work.
Protection against the sun
Remember that both chemo and radiation treatments increase your skin’s level of sensitivity to sunlight. This is why you need to be sure your clothes will give you adequate protection against the sun.
Some of us burn more easily than others, but all cancer patients are more vulnerable to the effects of the sun. It won’t matter even if you are dark skinned and don’t normally burn that easily.
Many chemotherapy agents used are also radio-sensitizers. This means that the sun’s rays become harsher against you when you have also been exposed to chemotherapy drugs.
If you are undergoing chemo treatment, be aware that this will make your entire body vulnerable and sensitive to the sun. The answer is to try and limit your exposure to the sun to no more than ten minutes at a time. Aim to wear clothing that covers you as much as possible.
The effects of chemo treatment stay in your body for up to two months after completion. If you have radiation after the chemo, this can also make your skin far more sensitive than normal.
Your scalp will be sun-sensitive as a result of chemotherapy, so make sure you wear something protective. This can be a turban, scarf or some other type of hat designed to give you the cover you need giving you style and protection at the same time.
Right choice of fabrics
You will want to choose clothes that look good as well as being appropriate for your treatment. Choose your fabrics carefully as they can make a big difference to your levels of comfort.
As your treatment progresses you can experience a heightened level of sensitivity with your skin. It may also feel either overly dry or moist, more than usual.
Avoid wearing types of fabric that are likely to irritate your skin. Give wool and roughly woven fabrics a wide berth as these are likely to cause you too much discomfort.
Good choices would be breathable fabrics like cotton, rayon, and silk, these fabrics should help reduce the prospect of irritation and keep you feeling cool.
Also, bear in mind that having chemo often raises the prospect of getting a vaginal infection so pick some cotton or silk underwear for better comfort and avoid the synthetics for a while.
After your mastectomy
If you have had to undergo a mastectomy, you will still want to look and feel as natural and comfortable as possible.
There is a wide range of post-mastectomy clothing available. There is no reason why you can’t find a solution you are happy with that looks good.
Look around for mastectomy bras, camisoles, and swimsuits, these are all specifically designed to provide you with the comfort and support that you need and want.
You will be able to find suppliers who specialize in breast forms and you can get a range of clothing made with pockets to secure your breast form.
You don’t need to compromise on style when you choose the right clothing to make your cancer battle more comfortable.
Kay Gravette founded Hats With Heart in 1993 as a result of her own need. After Kays passing in 1998, Hats With Heart, continues to meet the needs of women enduring the stages of cancer treatment and hair loss due to alopecia, trichotillomania, lupus, burns and other medical conditions and treatments.