South Florida Hospital News
Saturday July 22, 2017
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December 2010 - Volume 7 - Issue 6

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Arm Candy a Sweet Fashion Accessory for Breast Cancer Survivors

(l-r) Lauren Aron, Jolene Paul and Carolyn Newman

When Carolyn Newman was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2006, she became a self-described “cancer warrior.” Now cancer free, she’s still a warrior on a mission to educate survivors about lymphedema, an incurable side effect of surgery and radiation that causes the lymph nodes, limbs and extremities to swell. She’s also helping them feel good about themselves.

After a diagnosis of lymphedema in her right arm, she and two friends, Jolene Paul and Lauren Aron, founded Warrior Wear, Inc., a company that creates and manufactures fashion accessories that add flair to medical devices such as compression sleeves or prosthetics. In 2008, they created Arm Candy™, a fashion sleeve designed to cover unsightly medical compression sleeves that must be worn daily.
 
“We called it Arm Candy because it’s something beautiful and delicious,” said Newman. “Compression sleeves are necessary, but they are ugly. Arm Candy helps women feel good about themselves, while also making a fashion statement.”
 
Nearly 30 percent of breast cancer survivors - just about 400,000 women nationwide - experience lymphedema. While the disorder is most often associated with breast cancer, it can result from treatment of other cancers, such as prostate cancer, gynecological cancers, lymphoma and melanoma.
 
Arm Candy is manufactured in North Carolina and finished in Florida. Warrior Wear, Inc. sells the product nationwide through wholesale providers such as durable medical equipment companies and suppliers, hospital boutiques and pharmacies, and large Internet companies specializing in compression garments. It is also sold directly to consumers through the company’s website.
 
Now in its sixth production, Arm Candy comes in nine yummy ‘flavors’ including Key Lime Pie, Black Jellybean, Very Berry, Blue Raspberry, Chocolate, Marshmallow, Graylicious, Licorice and Lace, and Reversible Graylicious/Black Jellybean. The newest production line will include patterned and multi-color options. Fabrics are latex-free, washable and offer 360-degree stretch as the arm bends and flexes.
 
Newman reaches out to oncologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, physical therapists, lymphatic specialists and other healthcare providers to make them aware of Arm Candy and the benefits it offers their patients. “We’re letting them know that Arm Candy makes their patients more apt to wear their compression garments because they feel and look better and are therefore more compliant,” she said.
 
Newman and her partners, Aron and Paul, are also committed to educating cancer survivors about lymphedema and providing them with information for prevention and risk reduction.
 
“It’s one of the most misunderstood side effects of breast cancer treatment, and many patients are never told about it,” she said. “We want to change that. Lymphedema is chronic and may occur right after surgery or even weeks or years later. Women can lower their risk by wearing compression sleeves when flying or exercising, and also by using an antibacterial ointment for a cut or even a mosquito bite.”
 
A Hollywood, Florida breast cancer oncologist says she advises women to purchase compression sleeves for when they fly or exercise, even if they don’t have lymphedema. “Those women that do have it have to wear a compression sleeve all the time,” she said. “Warrior Wear, Inc., and their product Arm Candy, have made it easier for women everywhere to be fashionable, yet practical.”
 
For breast cancer survivors, Arm Candy has been a life changer. “Arm Candy changed my view on lymphedema,” said one patient. “I no longer look like I have lymphedema. Instead, I look like a fashion statement.”
For more information about Arm Candy, visit www.warriorwear4u.com or e-mail info@warriorwear4u.com.
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