Shine offers products and services to support the cancer treatment and recovery experience.
Breast prostheses and bras
Changes to one’s body image are difficult for most women. We all require care to adjust to change. Shine is here to offer options, choices, and emotional support to help you through this process. We provide an environment where you can find the products you need to restore your body image with respect, privacy, and support.
Shine offers a wide selection of products and services for all post-mastectomy needs:
- Post-surgical garments
- Breast prostheses
- Active wear
Shine provides mastectomy fittings in a beautiful and sensitive environment. Professional staff are certified mastectomy fitters and will assist you in achieving the best fit.
Call (206) 606-7560 to schedule an appointment with our certified fitter.
Frequently asked questions for breast prosthetics and mastectomy bra
A breast prosthesis or breast form is an artificial breast that is used after a woman’s breast has been surgically altered or removed. Whether the loss of the breast is permanent or temporary, a breast form can be worn to simulate the natural breast and body shape. Full breasts and partial breasts, known as equalizers, can be purchased to balance the appearance depending on what type of surgical procedure was performed. These forms come in a variety of materials (usually silicone, foam, or fiberfill) and can be worn inside a bra or attached to the body with a special adhesive.
Many women who have been treated for breast cancer have had surgery, like a lumpectomy, modified or simple mastectomy, or radical mastectomy.
A silicone breast prosthesis is weighted and simulates the natural breast. One of its advantages is that it helps your body be symmetrical again and remain in balance. When the body is out of balance following a surgery of this kind, other muscle-skeletal problems can develop. Back, neck, and shoulder problems are common as well as a tendency for one shoulder to drop downward and inward while the other rises up. Women also often report that the bra rides up or moves around if there is no weighted breast form on one side of the bra.
Wearing a breast prosthesis is a personal choice. Many women want to wear one because they want to wear the same clothing that they wore prior to the surgery and they want to look symmetrical. There are other advantages to having a breast prosthesis.
- Gives you warmth
- Protects your chest and scars
- Helps balance your posture
- Keeps your bra from shifting or riding up
- Helps prevent problems with curvature of the spine, shoulder drop, and muscular pain in the neck and back
A mastectomy bra is a special bra with pockets to hold a breast prosthesis. There are many attractive bras that come in several colors (white, ivory, black, red, and nude/beige) that can be fitted at the time of the prosthesis. New products are always becoming available (in different shapes, weights, etc.) so it is a good idea to visit Shine to see if there have been any advances since your last fitting.
We carry brands like Amoena and Anita.
You should always consult your physician about when to where a breast form. It varies for each woman depending on her surgery and healing. Most women will be able to wear a prosthesis (breast form) within two to eight weeks after surgery, once there are no longer any open wounds or stitches. Camisoles that have soft attachable prostheses can be worn immediately after surgery until the surgical site is healed.
Shine is a cancer specialty store that fits breast prostheses and bras and provides other services. Unlike some lingerie or department stores, we cater to the needs of women with breast cancer. There are many different brands of prostheses. The most important concern is finding one that is comfortable and fits your body. Our expert certified breast prosthesis fitters will fit the bra and prosthesis. You may schedule an appointment for your fitting. The first fitting usually takes about an hour.
Shine does not sell prostheses over the Internet because we believe these products need to be fit by a certified fitter. Every woman's body is different. Most women require only one prosthesis and the goal is the match the look of the other breast and to find something that is comfortable. Expert fitters have seen hundreds of different bodies, know the products that are available, and can provide a woman with the best professional fit. Sometimes there is more than one option and that really cannot be determined without trying it on. We have found that even under the best of circumstances, where patients come into the store, the fit can be difficult for some patients. We encourage you to find a place that has prostheses and certified fitters who really understand the fitting problems. Buying a breast prosthesis is not like shopping for other items and the knowledge of the person helping you can make a big difference in what you purchase and how you feel.
You may purchase the prostheses yourself; however, it is a good idea to check your medical insurance before doing this to find out if they will cover the price, how frequently they will replace the prosthesis, and what kind of authorizations are needed.
It is important that you know what your coverage is prior to your fitting.
Since prostheses have a wide range of prices, it is a good idea to find out as much as possible in advance. You need to play an active role in determining what is allowed by your insurance or medical group so that you can receive the best value as well as the best fit and comfort.
Shine requires payment in full. We are happy to assist you with courtesy billing. This allow us to submit the claim on your behalf so the reimbursement will go directly to you.
A doctor usually writes a prescription for a breast form, and some insurance companies require a special authorization just like they do for specialists or other medical procedures referred from a primary care doctor. A typical prescription for a breast prosthesis and bras would say the following: "Breast prosthesis for (right, left, or bilateral) and (quantity) prosthetic bras for (diagnosis)."
Please note that if there has been a recent change in your body that requires a new prosthesis such as weight gain or weight loss, your doctor should include this information on the prescription. Any information that supports the medical necessity of the prosthesis will help your insurance plan understand what you need and why. This will facilitate more rapid authorization and/or payment processing by your insurance plan.
CMN/Practitioner Notes (PDF). Please bring a copy of your CMN/Practitioner Notes with your prescription to your fitting appointment.
There are many different kinds of breast forms, and the prices vary. A high priced breast form does not insure good quality or a good fit. A proper fitting in our store is the best way to find a good fit that meets your budget. Here is the range of prices that you can expect:
- Silicone Prostheses $245 - $390
- Non Silicone Prostheses $150 - $200
- Balance Form $90 - $150
- Contact Form $400 - $550
- Post Surgical Products $40 - $98
- Mastectomy Bras $36 - $98
Shine’s trained staff will assist with product selection and proper fit of Juzo compression garments for upper and lower extremities. Measurement for custom garments is available with an appointment.
Compression garments are recommended for people who have swelling or are at risk for swelling. They are fit and worn primarily on the arms and legs, but can also be used on other parts of the body. During and after cancer treatment, people may experience swelling, known as lymphedema. Compression garments are used to help reduce the risk of swelling. Other things that can cause temporary swelling are flying on airplanes, pregnancy, or other medical conditions.
Frequently asked questions for compression sleeves and garments
Lymphedema is a swelling caused by an accumulation of lymph fluid in an area of the body. This type of swelling often occurs after surgery or radiation to that area in which vessels may have been damaged or lymph nodes removed.
Edema is a build-up of fluid in tissues of the body not yet returned to the circulatory system. This fluid is different than lymph fluid and is usually not permanent or persistent.
Many patients will be prescribed garments that will provide compression for the affected limb. The garments help to keep fluid from accumulating in the limb. These garments have specific amounts of pressure and can be worn on the legs, hands, feet, or arms. The garments are made of a tight stretchy fabric. An expert fitter must fit compression garments (sleeves). Measurements are taken, and a patient must try on the sleeves to make certain that they have a comfortable fit. Sometimes sleeves must be custom made, but most people are able to find a pre-made sleeve in a suitable size. The sleeves prevent the accumulation of more fluid in the limb; they do not pump fluid out of the limb. The garments are usually used in combination with therapy or as a preventive or maintenance measure.
Lymphedema sleeves and treatment can change the size of the affected limb as can various activities. Sometimes patients need more than one sleeve during this process because of the changing size of the limb. There is a tendency for patients to think that their sleeve has been fit improperly. Sometimes it has been, but more often than not, the limb has changed in size.
Note: These sleeves wear out with continued daily use and must be refit and replaced on a regular basis (approximately every three to six months). Over time with washing and wearing they lose their compression. Different levels of compression are used for prevention versus maintenance.
A prescription is needed for compression garments over the level of 20-30 mmHg. Your doctor or nurse practitioner may write your prescription. Most practitioners will provide a prescription for all levels to ensure you are receiving the proper product.
In order to provide courtesy billing, a prescription is required.
It is important to talk to your insurance company to determine whether these are covered items and what kind of authorization may be needed. Please bring this Practitioner Notes for Compression Form (PDF), filled out by your practitioner, when you come to purchase compression garments.
Your doctor may be required to provide a medical justification for your compression garment in order for your insurance company to reimburse for the product. Many doctors do not fully understand these sleeves, how they work or what may be required by your insurance company. Talk to your doctor about these issues at the time your referral is made. Inform them that you may need a letter justifying the need and that they may need to provide this on an ongoing basis as your garment needs to be changed or renewed.
The products vary in price. Those that are custom made are more expensive than those which are stocked as part of our regular inventory. The following listing will provide an approximate idea of the range of prices for these products. The most important concern is to obtain the best product for your particular condition, which should be assessed by the physician/treatment team who is involved with the care of your lymphedema or edema.
- OTC Compression Products: $25 - $95
- Prescription Compression Products: $90 - $150
- Custom Products available upon request based on measurements: Call for pricing
Wigs, hats and hair alternatives
Shine offers a number of options to people faced with hair loss due to cancer treatment. We have a licensed cosmetologists who provide compassionate and complimentary head shave services that allow you to choose “when” the best time is for your hair to come off. Unlike most department stores, Shine is a small boutique environment where knowledgeable staff is sensitive to patients' feelings about the changes in their hair. Since hair loss is common for many customers, Shine provides a safe atmosphere to explore different types of hair alternatives and head coverings, and to find products that fit you as an individual.
Shine provides a comfortable, private salon space where all patients and their support friends and family can find information and solutions to hair loss. We offer a myriad of unique and practical head covering solutions, from wigs, hats and scarves to Chemo Beanies and natural fiber head wraps.
Shine carries a select line of well styled synthetic wigs, with the ability to special order your color quickly. Liners, sleep caps, brushes, and shampoos are also available for sale. We also provide complementary wig trims.
For head coverings, Shine runs the gamut of traditional cotton squares to Chemobeanies. We carry beautiful, functional head coverings from brands you know and trust, like SmartWool and Lillie & Coho.
Our philosophy is to offer sensible products for use during cancer treatment and beyond. If you’re a person who likes to customize your look, we have many options. If you prefer a "no-fuss" approach, you will also find a great selection.
Hats can be elegant, like something you'd wear to a wedding, or a simple sun shade. They provide warmth and are practical for men and women. Shine carries hats of all styles in a wide variety of shapes and price ranges that can inspire even those just trying to cover a bald head. There are great lifestyle choices for everyone. Come in and play with the many looks our hats can provide.
Inventory changes frequently. Look for new and engaging head coverings every time you visit Shine.
Head shave program
Shine is proud to offer complimentary head shaves, provided by licensed cosmetology/barber volunteers. Head shaves take place in a salon setting at Shine. Your supportive family and friends are welcome to join in shaving or just to cheer you on!
Please call (206) 606-7560 to schedule an appointment.
Frequently asked questions about hair loss
There are many different options for dealing with hair loss and most people select more than one. Many women buy a wig, some scarves, and a couple of caps and hats to meet the needs of their lifestyle, where they are going, and how they are dressed. Many men choose to shave off their hair and buy one or two hats to protect their heads when they are outdoors.
Shine is a specialty store for people receiving cancer treatment. We offer products and services to help you through your treatment process including complimentary head shaves and wig fittings. We can help you with the many choices you’ll have and show you how you can dress up or dress down different selections with scarves, hats, buffs, etc.
Insurance companies usually do not pay for hats, scarves, and caps. Medicare does not pay for wigs.
Some companies pay for part or the entire price of a wig. Find out what your insurance company will or will not pay BEFORE you begin to shop for a wig. You will need a prescription from your doctor. We recommend that the prescription request: "Hair prosthesis for alopecia from chemotherapy due to (cancer diagnosis)."
At Shine, we are able to sell wigs to you without charging sales tax when the wig is prescribed as a prosthetic device for alopecia regardless of the insurance company's coverage policies. We do not bill for wigs.
Shine has aids and reading materials to support an active and healthy sexual life, offered in an open and welcoming environment. Examples of products include books, condoms, organic lubricants, vaginal dilators and vibrators.
Skin care products
Shine offers a wide range of skin care products, many recommended by Fred Hutch staff. You will find old favorites like Bag Balm, Udderly Smooth, and Cetaphil, Cera Ve, along with oncology research-based Lindi Skin and organic W.S.Badger products.
Canes are used to help improve your safety and stability while walking. We carry both standard and designer models. With your prescription, we can provide assistance with paperwork for you to submit to your medical insurance.
When you come to purchase a cane, please bring your prescription and a Practitioner Notes for Canes form, filled out by your practitioner.