According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one out of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime, and it’s the most common form of the disease in women. In fact, it’s the second leading cause of death among the female population, and every year there are an estimated 220,000 women diagnosed in the U.S.

If a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, there are a variety of treatment options she can undergo to achieve remission from the disease. Chemotherapy and radiation are common, but there’s also surgery. Women can undergo a surgery to remove the infected tissues from the breast(s) and surrounding area, or they can choose to have a single or double mastectomy, which is the removal of one or both breasts. If a woman elects to have this sort of surgery, she can either follow it up with reconstructive surgery and implants or prostheses, which are used in a prosthetic bra.

What is a prosthetic bra?
A prosthetic bra is a undergarment for women designed with pockets to hold breast prostheses following mastectomy surgery. There are many types of prostheses and bras available. For the prostheses themselves, they can be made in a variety of shapes, sizes, materials and weights. The bras comes in different colors, so you can have your pick. It’s important to feel comfortable in your prosthetic bra, so choosing one that suits your style and personality will be best.

Does Medicare cover prosthetic bras and what’s the cost?
Yes, Medicare does provide coverage for prosthesis bras. Medicare Part B covers external breast prostheses including a post-surgical bra following a mastectomy.

You will be responsible for 20 percent of the total Medicare-approved cost and the remaining 80 percent will be paid for by Medicare.

How do I qualify for a  prosthetic bra?
To qualify, you must receive Medicare benefits and have a doctor’s prescription for breast prostheses and a prosthesis bra.

Where do I get  prosthetic bras?
After healing from the surgery, which takes between four and eight weeks, you can be fitted for your prostheses. Prosthesis bras can be purchased at specialty shops and mastectomy boutiques as well as through online vendors. In many shops, a trained mastectomy fitter will help you select the best option for you.