Sudbury

Sudbury woman creates 'Knitted Knockers' as breast prosthesis

A Sudbury knitter is trying to make life a little easier for breast cancer survivors looking for prosthesis.

Pam Young knits breast prosthesis for breast cancer survivors

Sudbury's Pam Young creates Knitted Knockers Canada, hand knit breast prosthesis for women who have undergone a mastectomy. (Submitted by Nancy Thomson)

A Sudbury knitter is trying to make life a little easier for breast cancer survivors looking for prosthesis. 

Pam Young creates knitted breast prosthesis, cheekily known as "Knitted Knockers."

She saw them online a few years ago and started knitting. After speaking with the local cancer foundation, she decided her goal was to get the product to women who needed them for free.

"For those girls who can't afford a mastectomy bra or a prosthesis, which can be a total of up to $800 for both, these you can probably make for $2," she said.

"They can be worn in a regular bra or a mastectomy bra. They're much lighter than wearing silicone."

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, about 26,300 Canadian women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

"Of those, about 6,000 women have mastectomies every year," the society states.

"Yet surprisingly, fewer than 1 in 5 of women undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy."

The society also says "traditional prosthesis often cannot be worn for weeks after surgery."

"Knitted Knockers on the other hand are soft, comfortable and when placed in a regular bra they take the shape and feel of a real breast," the society says.

Pam Young is a Sudbury-based knitter. 'Knitted knockers' prosthesis can be made in cup sizes from A to F. (Submitted by Pam Young)

To make sure the product is soft and comfortable, Young says a specific type of yarn is used, called mercerized cotton yarn.

"It's nice and soft," she said. "And it's been tested by cancer survivors."

Young has been knitting the products for about a year and a half. So far, she says the feedback has been positive.

A few weeks ago, Young met up with a woman who had recently had a mastectomy and was wearing silicone.

The woman commented on how uncomfortable they were for her. Young offered to get her set of knitted knockers.

"She was just over the world with them," she said. "She said, 'Where were you three years ago?' when she had this done."

The Canadian Cancer Society says fewer than one in five women undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy. We chat with a Sudbury woman who is helping to knit together an alternative for those looking for breast prosthesis. 6:31

With files from Wendy Bird

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