Marks & Spencer
Fashion You Intimate|November 2017

Brings welcome relief for cancer patients.

Marks & Spencer started selling its post-breast surgery bras in India earlier this month, close on the heels of home-grown online lingerie retailer Zivame, which introduced the product last year. Launched in the UK by Marks & Spencer in 2006, they are meant for women who have undergone mastectomies.

The number of breast cancer cases in India is expected to increase to around 180,000 by 2020 from 134,000 in 2015, according to the government’s National Cancer Registry Programme. India ranks after China, US and the African region in the incidence of breast cancer, according to the latest Call for Action report by EY and FICCI FLO (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Ladies Organisation). The country accounts for 13% of the global breast cancerrelated mortality, according to the report. Clearly, there’s a need that hasn’t been meaningfully addressed.

“There are only five-six companies in Delhi that make custom-made prostheses,” said Rekha Gulabani, director of resources at the Indian Cancer Society in Delhi. A Delhi-based housewife, who underwent a mastectomy 10 years ago, said she has had to rely on a store in Janpath for such bras with delivery taking as much as six weeks. She’s relieved there’s greater choice now.

“This will be such a welcome relief for breast cancer patients as it is hard to adjust to your new body postsurgery,” she said, asking that her name be withheld. “Very few retailers cater to the needs of breast cancer patients and it is a timeconsuming, taxing affair. It is a welcome step. A brand like M&S should hopefully also have better fits.”

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