MD Breast Cancer Survivor Launches “Cancer Shop USA”

June 2, 2011

Melanie Bone, MD, was not yet 40 years old and had four young children when she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. “Even though I am a doctor and surgeon, I learned firsthand about the side effects of cancer treatment,” said Dr. Bone, a nutritional gynecologist. “I was too sick to work, so I spent time thinking about how to make the cancer experience easier for future cancer patients.”

Melanie Bone, MD, was not yet 40 years old and had four young children when she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. “Even though I am a doctor and surgeon, I learned firsthand about the side effects of cancer treatment,” said Dr. Bone, a nutritional gynecologist. “I was too sick to work, so I spent time thinking about how to make the cancer experience easier for future cancer patients.”

Dr. Bone’s careful consideration of this question, drawing on her experiences as a cancer patient, has culminated in Cancer Shop USA , a unique online store offering patient-requested and physician-approved products to alleviate side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and to address physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical issues related to cancer and its treatment.

Cancer Shop USA offers more than 300 specialty items, with many products inspired and developed by cancer patients and survivors. Products are vetted by a physician to make sure that they are safe for all patients. One such product, explained Dr. Bone, is the antimicrobial, water-resistant “Shower Shirt,” a Class 1 Medical Device developed by a patient to protect mastectomy patients while showering, and before the surgical drains are removed. “It’s important that mastectomy drain sites don't get wet post-surgery,” said Dr. Bone, “… as water is laden with bacteria, which in turn can cause infection…The Shower Shirt is a great product to protect breast cancer patients from water intrusion to the surgical sites.”

Products offerings include loose “recovery clothing”; mouth care products and radiation burn creams; nutritional supplements; products for nausea relief, hair and nail care, and scar reduction; sleep and comfort aids such as special pillows, cooling pads, and aromatherapy; and books/journals, guided-imagery and educational CDs, and greeting cards. “The Cancer Shop USA product line is very practical and appropriate,” says Dr. Bone. “For example, chemo-infusion rooms are often cold. I was freezing when I went in for treatments and had trouble staying warm, especially when I had to expose a part of my chest where I had an IV port.” A shirt that Dr. Bone invented to solve this problem is available through Cancer Shop USA.

A portion of the sales from Cancer Shop USA is donated to The Cancer Sensibility Foundation, founded by Dr. Bone. The Foundation’s mission is to develop programs that destigmatize cancer and support cancer patients and their families and friends.