Sheffield Hallam University

Specially-designed bra to improve breast cancer treatment

Professor Heidi Probst was instrumental in the development of a specially designed bra to make radiotherapy for breast cancer patients more dignified. In the absence of this bra, women undergoing radiotherapy have to strip down to the waist to allow the radiographer to position the breasts manually for treatment. The garment keeps the breasts in the same position for each treatment, improving the accuracy of the procedure whilst at the same time preserving the dignity of the patients.

In 2018, the professional and personal life of Professor Heidi Probst collided when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite undergoing four operations and an intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment programme, she continued to work on the research project when she was well enough. During her treatment she used a self-monitoring tool she helped to design and has made modifications based on her experience. She added a pre-treatment diagram so patients can document lumps or skin problems that already exist and any changes that occur during radiotherapy which can be highlighted to staff to monitor as treatment progresses. Through her research and personal experience Heidi realised more than ever the importance of patient experience and is determined to continue her research to deliver treatment for breast cancer patients that is accurate, dignified and comfortable.

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