By Libby Hopkins

Developing Breast Cancer is a life- changing experience. Some women feel that they have to give up their active lifestyles because they have cancer. That was not the case for Andrea Adair of Brandon; she refused to let breast cancer change her active lifestyle.

Adair had her first bout with cancer in 2004. She had a lumpectomy and did radiation. Her cancer came back early this year and she ended up having a mastectomy.

She opted not to have reconstructive surgery because she didn’t want to have to sacrifice the thing she loved to do the most which was fishing. Since Adair is right handed and her mastectomy was on the right breast, surgical reconstruction meant at least five surgeries and would be very time consuming. “Cancer makes you think about how much time you have left and what you want to do with it,” Adair said,

Her doctors at Moffit recommended that she go for a consultation with Westcoast Brace and Limb in Tampa to see about having a prosthetic breast made, so she could still do the activities she loved. She was also inspired by the company’s motto, which is “Restoring bodies and rebuilding lives.” This gave Adair a whole new outlook on having breast cancer.

She had three appointments with the company. The first was to have a plaster cast made of her surviving breast. The second visit was to work on the prosthetic fitting into her under garments and finally the last appointment was to make the prosthetic adhere to her body properly and match her skin tones. Adair’s health insurance paid most of the $5100 it cost to have the prosthesis made. Her out of pocket cost was $400. Having a prosthetic breast made was much cheaper than a reconstructive surgery and she got her life back. “This is a great option and it’s available in our community,” Adair said, “It feels like such a part of me that I forget it’s there.” She also has a message for other women in the community who may feel like they have to give up the things they love in life because they have breast cancer, “Don’t dream it’s over, don’t you dare,” Adair said.

For more information on Westcoast Brace and Limb, you can visit then on the web at The Brandon office is located at 620 Oakfield Dr.


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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.