In the past six years, Christine Guarino has seen more than 5,000 breast cancer survivors walk past her door.
She is the president and chief mastectomy of A World Of Pink, a medical device company that serves women with breast cancer sequelae. The company produces breast forms, called prostheses, custom bras and lymphedema sleeves that help control the swelling that can occur as part of a cancer surgery after lymph node dissection.
Guarino has seen women in all stages of rehabilitation, including those who don’t know how to serve them. They wear bras or socks into the bra to make them more symmetrical.
As her business grows, her vision is growing, and she plans to integrate her Hicksville and East Setauket locations into Melville’s one-stop follow-up care center in the fall.
“We saw a sharp increase in patients,” said 50-year-old Guarino. “Women are telling other women.”
In June alone, she saw 95 new patients and 116 patients.
“This is far beyond my imagination,” she said.
According to the latest statistics from the New York State Department of Health, more than 32,000 female breast cancer survivors lived in Long Island in 2015: 15,690 in Nassau and 16,670 in Suffolk.
To be sure, Lino is not the only commercial sale of bras and prostheses, survivors in Long Island, but one of her strengths is that she manufactures both custom breast prostheses, designed many, she carries bras, two of which The project has recently started selling Amazon – warriors and ambition bras.
“What she always wants is the best,” said Jack Lewis, a covectomy product in Cooper City, Florida, who custom-made, made the prosthesis and bras manufactured by Lino and the owner of Classique.
She says she produces more than 500 breast prostheses a year and sells about 30 different bra styles. The bra is pocketed and can hold prostheses for $29 to $39.
Guarino was originally a dental hygienist and still works for the Smithtown dentist every day. About six years ago, she visited a prosthetic company, and her husband Vincent eventually bought the company and saw all the prostheses – but no breast shape – that made her feel necessary.
After becoming a certified mastectomy, she worked as an orthopaedic surgeon and saw the sequelae of breast cancer surgery. Her business began at the desk of Suffolk Plastic Surgeon in East Setauket and eventually expanded to its own factories in East Setauket and Hicksville.
Now, she plans to merge into a larger location on Highway 110 in Melville, where there will be multiple fitting rooms and prostheses, lymphedema sleeves and bras. The store will also sell skin care products for cancer patients and provide educational seminars.