Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko 

When you undergo cancer treatments, you may feel like you don’t have the energy to think about your appearance. However, dressing in a way that makes you feel good can help you feel more confident and capable as you undergo treatment. Dressing considerations may also help people with cancer manage their symptoms. Consequently, how cancer patients dress plays a less-known but significant role in improving their quality of life. 

But like other symptom management techniques, how patients dress can vary depending on their cancer condition. Suppose you or your patient have mesothelioma, a rare respiratory condition caused by asbestos exposure.  

In that case, you should know that the various stages of mesothelioma differ in symptoms and severity. This information can help you decide which clothing provides greater comfort and practicality during treatment. 

Specific ways of dressing may affect cancer patients differently. Still, how patients dress can help improve how they address symptoms. For instance, some clothing can help reduce pain and improve breathing. 

Are you looking for dressing tips to follow while undergoing cancer treatment procedures? This article suggests tips on how cancer patients can dress optimally for their treatments. 

Compression Garments for Cancer Treatments

Here are some helpful dressing tips and reminders that can assist you during cancer treatment: 

  • Comfort is crucial: Your body may feel tender and foreign to you during cancer treatment. Understandably, this situation can make it extra challenging for you to be positive and feel comfortable in your skin.  

But when undergoing cancer treatments, comfort should be your top priority. For example, a study showed that a patient’s quality of life affects their survival. 

You can choose loose-fitting clothing made of natural cotton or linen for comfortable clothing. Also, avoid tight or constricting clothing, as it can cause breathing difficulty. 

Although people react to treatment differently, wearing loose clothes makes the cancer experience more bearable. For instance, you can make port access more convenient by wearing a shirt with handy pockets or discreet armbands. 

Cancer patients may also observe that staying snug is a physical asset and a mindset that can improve recovery. Get cozy in luxe pajamas or the more flexible types called loungewear. 

You can buy high thread count sheets, memory foam pillows, and cushioned mattress covers to ensure you feel at ease when it’s time for rest.  

Create a healing space in your bedroom with essential accessories like an aromatherapy diffuser and a soothing music playlist. 

  • Ask for advice: Talk to your oncologist about what type of cancer you have and what to expect regarding treatment. This step will help you understand better what clothing will be comfortable and practical for you to wear during treatment. 

For example, disease-specific wearables can help patients better manage their condition.  

Suppose you have breast cancer and you underwent a mastectomy. In that case, you’ll need comfortable undergarments that accommodate your new breast size, shape, feel, and skin sensitivity. 

Even without breast cancer, women have trouble choosing a bra that fits appropriately due to bra sizing issues. In fact, up to 85% of women reported wearing the wrong bra size, which can get worse as breast size increases. 

If ready-to-wear bras don’t even meet many women’s needs, how much more inadequate are these bras for women with breast cancer? 

If you’re a breast cancer patient, you might find medical-grade wearables like a post-surgical support bra more conducive to recovery. 

  • Reflect and adapt: Your reconstruction or complete recovery can take a year or two from start to finish, so adaptability is crucial.  

Consequently, you might have to adjust your style regularly. You can adapt more quickly to changes if you have photos to reflect on from each phase of the reconstruction process. 

While you might not undergo any surgery moving forward, having tools like surgery recovery and chemo-weight outfits is a good idea. 

Please note that there’s no right way to dress – dressing is about understanding your body and finding what works for you.  

Adapting your wardrobe and styles during cancer treatment will result in a more flattering wardrobe. But more importantly, it can help boost your confidence. 

Being well-dressed as you battle cancer may help boost your resilience and emotional health. You could be sick and still look beautiful or feel vulnerable and brave all at the same time. 

People with cancer can feel and look better with patient-inspired clothing, allowing them to be more prepared, confident, and ready to battle cancer. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of “how should I dress during cancer treatment?” The best way to dress during cancer treatment will vary depending on the individual’s treatment plan and personal preferences.  

However, tips on dressing during cancer treatment include wearing loose-fitting clothes that are flexible and wearing an undergarment that fits well and offers disease-specific benefits. 

When choosing clothes during treatment, your priority should be comfort, practicality, and clothes that inspire confidence. 


  1. PRESS RELEASE: Study shows the importance of Quality of Life scores as prognostic factors in cancer patients 

  1. Undergarment Needs After Breast Cancer Surgery: A Key Survivorship Consideration 




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