Nurse launches special lingerie brand to help women living with breast cancer

A nurse from Cheshire with first hand experience of living with breast cancer has launched a post-mastectomy lingerie brand to help other women feel confident about their bodies.

Heather Glover was first diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2017. She was treated with a round of chemotherapy, followed a lumpectomy, the removal of her lymph nodes and radiotherapy.

When the 50-year-old was given the all clear in 2018, it was only eight months before the cancer returned.

This time, Heather needed to have a mastectomy, followed by a preventative and symmetrising mastectomy on the other side the following year.

A year after her mastectomy, Heather underwent a preventative and symmetrising mastectomy on the other side. Credit: ITV Granada

After her surgery, Heather felt that wearing prosthetics had changed her character.

She struggled to find bras suitable for flat chested women until eventually, she turned to a friend with a passion for sewing.

This is where the idea of Skarlette, a new form of lingerie for flat chested women was born.

Since launching Skarlette in May 2021, Heather and her friend Kate Maurice and have already started receiving international orders - a proportion of all profits going direct to Prevent Breast Cancer

Since launching Skarlette in May 2021, Heather and her friend Kate Maurice and have already started receiving international orders Credit: ITV Granada

Fundraising for Prevent Breast Cancer

Heather spends her spare time money for Prevent Breast Cancer. In September, alongside a team of 45 friends and family, Team Skarlette will take part in the Manchester 10k.

All but Heather are running in Prevent Breast Cancer t-shirts and Skarlette sashes and Heather will be wearing a Skarlette bra to complete her run.

How many people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 15% of all new cancer cases.

Across Britain there are some 55,200 new breast cancer cases every year – around 150 every day, according to Cancer Research UK (CRUK).

About one in every eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.

  • What are the survival odds of someone diagnosed with breast cancer?

More than three-quarters of people (76%) survive breast cancer for a decade or more after their diagnosis, CRUK figures show.

But there are still around 11,400 breast cancer deaths in the UK every year.

  • What are the symptoms?

The first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue.

Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it is always best to have them checked by a doctor.

Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer, but there are a number of other symptoms.

The NHS website advises people to see a GP if they notice any of these symptoms:

  • A change in the size or shape of one or both breasts;

  • Discharge from either nipple, which may be streaked with blood;

  • A lump or swelling in either armpit;

  • Dimpling on the skin of the breasts;

  • A rash on or around the nipple;

  • A change in the appearance of the nipple, such as becoming sunken into the breast.

  • What are the causes of breast cancer?

The exact causes of breast cancer are not fully understood.

However, certain factors are known to increase the risk of breast cancer.

These include age, a family history of breast cancer, a previous diagnosis of breast cancer, a previous non-cancerous breast lump, being tall, overweight or obese, and drinking alcohol.

  • What are the treatments?

There are a range of different treatment options for breast cancer including surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy, or targeted cancer drugs.

Doctors work out the best treatment plan for each patient and sometimes this can involve a combination of different treatments.