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Knitted Knockers Provide Comfort for Healing Breast Cancer Patients

At age 27, Kristin was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer.

At age 27, Kristin was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer.

She is a recent beneficiary of the NOLA Knitted Knockers. "The diagnosis takes a lot away from you. To have something to boost your confidence and replace what you've lost - and these ladies taking the time to do it - makes it that much more special."

Sandra L. is a recent beneficiary of the NOLA Knitted Knockers.

Sandra L. is a recent beneficiary of the NOLA Knitted Knockers.

A patient of Ochsner's Lieselotte Tansey Breast Center, Sandra L. is also a recent beneficiary of the NOLA Knitted Knockers. "When I was here for a doctor’s appointment, my daughter Anne asked if we could put a sock in my bra. Ochsner nurse Judy came over and told me, 'We have something better for you than a sock!'"

Have you heard of knitted knockers for breast cancer patients? In case you may not be familiar with this simple, innovative solution for patients, a knitted knocker is a handmade knitted breast prosthesis for women who have undergone a mastectomy, or removal of the breast.

While there are various types of post-mastectomy prostheses, all with the goal to look feminine, traditional breast prosthetics can be expensive, heavy, sweaty and uncomfortable. They typically require special bras or camisoles with pockets and can’t be worn for weeks after a mastectomy.

This was the genesis for the creation of knitted knockers. Knitted knockers are soft and comfortable breast prostheses and when placed in a regular bra, they take the shape and feel of a real breast. They can easily be adjusted to provide a comfortable and natural fit.

Knitted Knockers groups have formed all across the country, including a new group recently started in the New Orleans area with volunteers and patients from Ochsner. Founded by Ochsner nurses, the New Orleans-based chapter of the national organization provides free hand-knit breast prosthetics for women who have undergone a mastectomy.  NOLA Knitted Knockers provides the patterns to knit or crochet the knockers and gathers to spend quality time together to make the knitted knockers.

To learn more, visit: http://www.knittedknockers.org/. The Knitted Knockers website helps to connect volunteer knitters with breast cancer survivors to offer free knitted knockers.

Knitters or crocheters interested in participating may contact Deanna Nettles, with the Lieselotte Tansey Breast Center at Ochsner, at 504-842-3473 or dnettles@ochsner.org, or Judy Pennison at 504-842-6518 or jpennison@ochsner.org.

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