Casting a much-needed spotlight on post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, October 17, 2012 has been named the first Annual National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, appropriately called National BRA Day.
Launched by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and The Plastic Surgery Foundation, the purpose of National BRA Day is to educate people about breast reconstruction, raise research funds, and improve access to breast reconstruction for women who have undergone a mastectomy. Award-winning singer-songwriter Jewel, a dedicated breast cancer advocate, has agreed to serve as the national spokesperson for breast reconstruction and will be touring the country in the coming months to raise awareness of breast reconstruction.
Research indicates that 70% of women who are eligible for breast reconstruction surgery are never informed of their options. Through National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day and related educational opportunities, caring American plastic surgeons like Dr. Poblete hope to ensure that all breast cancer victims are informed that breast reconstruction surgery may be one of their recovery options.
A mastectomy allows many women to win the fight against breast cancer; but it is a victory tinged with loss. The loss of one or both breasts through mastectomy often leaves women feeling unfeminine and, in the words of many breast cancer survivors, “incomplete.” Even for women who have not battled breast cancer, embarrassment or dissatisfaction with breast size or shape can have a negative impact on self-esteem and quality of life. Plastic surgery to reconstruct the breast can make women who have undergone a mastectomy feel “whole” again and more confident about moving forward with their lives.
Photo by Fred Greissing.