Find out about organisations and resources to help you cope and get information about mastectomy wear and prosthesis suppliers.
Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK is the largest cancer research organisation in the world outside the USA. We are the European leader in the development of new anti-cancer drugs. We fund research on all aspects of the disease from its causes, to treatment and prevention, education and psychological support for patients.
We are also committed to producing high quality information for people affected by cancer, health professionals and the general public. We do this through the About Cancer pages on our website, our news and resources, and our range of health awareness leaflets.
Cancer Chat is our free online discussion forum for people affected by cancer. It is a safe space to talk to other people in similar situations, and find information and support.
If you have a question about cancer, you can contact our team of specialist cancer information nurses. Call free on 0808 800 4040, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. To talk in your preferred language, ask for our interpreting service. Or you can send us a question online.
Breast cancer support organisations
Breast Cancer Now is a charity dedicated to funding breast cancer research. It was formed by the merger of The Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer in June 2015.
Tel: 0333 20 70 300
Breast Cancer Care provides breast cancer information and support across the UK. All services are free and include a helpline and a website. They offer practical and emotional support to people affected by breast cancer and partners. And information about mastectomy wear (including bras and swimming costumes). They have a range of leaflets and factsheets (also available in braille and audio CD's)
Tel: 0345 092 0800
A support group for people diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. Offers support and advice during treatment and beyond. This is a closed group. You need to apply online to join.
Provides support and information if you are concerned about hereditary breast cancer. There is an email address and a telephone number for enquires. Outside office hours, there is a 24 hour answerphone to leave your message.
Tel: 01629 813000 (helpline 24 hours)
The Haven offers free support, information and complementary therapies to people affected by breast cancer. They have drop in centres in London, Hereford, Yorkshire, Wessex and Worcester. They offer a programme to help you feel better and develop a healthier lifestyle. If you can't get to a Haven centre, they can offer help over the phone, the website and the Haven at Home DVD.
Tel: 020 7384 0099
General support organisations
Macmillan Cancer Support is a charity that provides practical, medical and financial support for people with cancer. They provide booklets on cancer and treatments and run helplines that provide cancer information and benefits advice. They have a wide range of factsheets, leaflets, audiotapes and CD's that cover breast cancer and treatment. Some factsheets are available in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.
Tel: 0808 808 0121
This charity provides skincare and make up workshops for women undergoing cancer treatment. They have been running for 22 years and workshops are held in 86 hospitals and support centres across the UK. You can find your nearest workshop and read more about the work of the charity on their website.
Tel: 01372 747500
This is a national charity that offers information and support to anyone affected by lymphoedema. They run support groups, a helpline and a website. They also produce a range of information including 25 factsheets about lymphoedema and its treatment, 2 DVDs about self management techniques and a newsletter.
Tel: 020 7351 0990
Maggie’s is a national charity with centres across the UK. They offer care and support to people affected by cancer. Each centre is beside an NHS cancer hospital and is run by specialist staff. You can join a support group, take part in weekly sessions like relaxation and stress management or learn about nutrition and health.
Tel: 0300 123 1801
Healthtalk is run by the DIPEx charity. It collects people's experiences about cancer and other diseases in writing and as video clips. You can find out about people's experiences of tests, treatments and living with cancer. There is also a patient forum.
Suppliers for women who have had breast surgery
Amoena makes and retails breast forms (prostheses), prosthetic nipples, mastectomy lingerie, nightwear and mastectomy swimwear. They also sell sports wear (active wear). They have stockist across the UK and you can also make online orders.
Tel: 023 80 270345 (9am-5pm)
Betty and Belle is a lingerie shop where you can get expert bra fitting. They sell mastectomy lingerie, breast prostheses and swimwear, including non wired support bras and front fastening bras for after breast surgery. The collection is also available online.
Tel: 0161 929 1472 (Tues to Friday 10am to 5pm, Sat 10am to 4pm)
A lingerie and swim wear boutique specialising in quality brands, plus size lingerie, swim wear, and mastectomy wear.
Tel: 01332 865554
An online supplier of breast prostheses,mastectomy bras and swim wear. It also sells front fastening bras for after surgery.
Tel: 0845 22 55 080
Books about breast cancer
Emma Pennery, Val Speechley and Maxine Rosenfield
Class Publishing, 2008
Contains information about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. It offers guidance on the various forms of treatment and care, including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It also gives information about complementary therapies, practical advice about managing life with and after cancer (diet, exercise, work and finances). And answers questions about relationships and family.
Sheldon Press 2006
Coming to terms with a diagnosis of breast cancer isn't easy. This book gives reassurance and practical advice about getting on with life as normally as possible. It is helpful for friends and family as well as people with breast cancer.
Owl Books 2007
It is a book written by an American breast cancer specialist. It includes information on recent treatment developments. It is mainly for people with primary breast cancer.
Marisa and Ellen Weiss
Three Rivers Press 2010
This American book discusses all the physical and emotional issues that you may have after finishing cancer treatment.
A book for women who have just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Written by a woman who has been through treatment for breast cancer. Provides information about what breast cancer is, how it is diagnosed and the treatment options available. It also talks about the emotional effects after a cancer diagnosis.
BCM Publishing, 2014
A personal story and guide to talking about cancer to children. Written by a woman diagnosed with breast cancer aged 43 when her son was 7 and her daughter was 3. The book has information about coping with treatment and coping emotionally when you have children.
Lange Media, 2009
A complete guide to breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, breast reconstruction, complementary therapies, research trials and coping with cancer. It is an American book, so some aspects are not relevant to UK readers.
Dick Rainsbury and Ginny Straker
Class Publishing, 2008
Written by a breast surgeon and breast care nurse. Gives information about breast reconstruction that aims to help women to make decisions about this type of surgery. It describes the surgical process, the possible benefits and problems. It also talks about psychological aspects of breast reconstruction, gives options for women who decide not to have reconstructive surgery, and explains how other treatments may affect or be affected by reconstruction.
Books about lymphoedema and early menopause
Dr Peter Mortimer and Gemma Levine
Elliott & Thompson, 2017
Explains the causes and symptoms of lymphoedema. Describes treatments, including massage, exercise, and compression garments. It also has information about coping day-to-day with lymphoedema.
Evelina W. Sterling and Angie Best-Boss
Fireside Books, 2010
An American book that has information on treatments and other ways of managing early menopause. As it is American, some of the options and resources may not be available in the UK.
Avon books, 2000
Discusses the physical and emotional effects of early menopause and how to cope with them.
Janet Rhys Dent
Radcliffe Publishing 2007
ISBN 1 84619 150 5
This is an easy to read book of one woman’s experience of breast cancer. As she considers the dilemmas and discoveries of the diagnosis, both inside and outside hospital, she reflects on what being a patient means, where she gets information and support and how her attitude to life and living changes.
32, Ratcliffe Road,
Northumberland NE47 6ET
A warm and humerous, but honest account of 1 woman's experience of breast cancer. The author has included a writing exercise at the end of each chapter, which many people may find helpful. The price is £6.99 (including postage and packing). All profits go to the Northern Cancer Support Group.
Lucas Books, 2002
This is 1 woman's story of having breast cancer. It's easy to read and gives good explanations of tests and treatment. It explains the more unpleasant aspects of treatment in a non-frightening way. It has a strong spiritual focus and may not suit everyone but others may find it a useful source of support.
Sarah Jane Phillips
Published by the author 2013
This is a warm and easy to read book about a 36 years old woman’s experience of breast cancer (some 20 years after treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma). The author gives an honest and open account of her feelings and experiences during her diagnosis, treatment, and the early years following treatment. She describes what the tests and treatments involve, and offers insight into what it really feels like and how she coped at each stage. The author is very positive about the support she receives from her family and friends, and the health professionals involved in her care. Proceeds from the book will go towards the NHS trust where she had treatment.
Information for children and people with a learning disability
Sheila Hollins and Wendy Perez. Illustrated by Beth Webb
Gaskell, November 2000
ISBN 1 901242 53 6
The book tells a simple story about a women going for a mammogram and getting her result. It also explains what happens if you are called for further tests and how to look out for any changes in your breasts – being breast aware.
National Health Service (NHS) Cancer Screening Programmes
This is a picture leaflet for women with a learning disability to tell them about breast screening. You can read or download this leaflet in PDF format on the NHS website.
Written by a psychiatrist who had breast cancer, Mummy’s Lump is a reassuring story, told in a familiar way for young children and is suitable for any family who needs to talk about a difficult subject like cancer. It covers diagnosis, going into hospital, treatments and hairloss. It helps children to understand what is happening.
Videos of people's stories
Find out about the experience of living with and beyond cancer by seeing and hearing people share their personal stories on film. Healthtalk’s researchers created a library of interviews with people who have survived for 5 years or more after a cancer diagnosis.
Find out what people said about issues such as lifestyle choices, physical effects and the impact on work and family.
Find local cancer support and information services
NHS Choices has a service that tells you about local information and support.