About Necessities Bag

How does the Necessities Bag help?

In the days leading up to surgery, women are apprehensive and vulnerable. Simple tasks cause anxious moments. Homecoming can be overwhelming. If they knew the right questions to ask, they would feel more in control.

Surgeons and nurses understand how important it is to help their patients manage emotional distress and practical difficulties associated with recovery from major surgery. The information and supplies offered in the Necessities Bag prompts conversation, questions and answers.

Mastectomy patients have to rely on a variety of sources as they prepare for surgery, which may include their breast surgeon, plastic surgeon, nurse, or hospital pre-ap administrator. The Necessities Bag helps women make sense of it all.

The human challenges of mastectomy, with or without reconstruction, involve wound care, hygiene issues and personal comfort. Women who have to deal with the trauma of losing their breast to cancer should have what they need to get through the first few days of homecoming. The Necessities Bag addresses that and more. The bags are assembled by dedicated volunteers. This woman to woman connection is powerful.

Maureen Lutz, Necessities Founder, (l) with Nancy Baccaro, APRN, from the Carol and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCONN.

Maureen with her sister, Patricia Bittner (right) who helped her come up with the Necessities Bag idea. Patricia cared for Maureen during her recovery and they talked a lot about how they could have been been better prepared. She encouraged Maureen to keep notes and those notes became the Woman to Woman Guide to Prepare for Mastectomy.


Read The Necessities Story


Necessities Bags are intended for mastectomy patients only and are distributed exclusively through surgeons, nurses and hospital affiliated breast cancer support centers.


Necessities Bags funded by individuals, foundations, and businesses. Necessities, Inc. is a 50lc(3) charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible.Donate and make a difference right away.

If Necessities Bags are not available in your community, click on FAQ to learn how to obtain a Necessities Bag for yourself or a loved one.

Good books & websites for patients/survivors can be found by CLICKING HERE for our Resources page.