Breast Reconstruction Awareness: No Lace Required

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BRA Day or Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day is an effort to reach out to women who have had or will have mastectomies. This outreach program was created by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Plastic Surgery Foundation, and others that want to allow women to understand their breast reconstruction options after mastectomies. 2013 marks the second annual BRA Day on October 16.

bra day Breast Reconstruction

BRA Day Theme:

Each BRA Day has a theme. 2013′s theme is Team Approach. The theme is meant to show patients of breast cancer the need for a team approach to breast cancer care and mastectomy after care with the patient and doctor. As with any medical care, working as team with a doctor is important. Patients need to understand that they are part of their care management, not an outsider waiting to be treated. Each BRA Day theme will empathize different facets of breast reconstruction, breast cancer, and the need for breast care.

BRA Day Song:

The artist Jewel wrote and performed the song ‘Flower’ for breast cancer survivors. She has said that she had many survivors in mind while writing Flower. All of the proceeds from purchases and downloads of this song are donated to the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Fund of The Plastic Surgery Foundation. All funds are applied to research and also to the care of breast reconstruction patients.

Breast Augmentation and Breast Reconstruction

For many years the only option to breast cancer survivors were forms placed into special bras. These forms could be hot and cumbersome. Many women felt as if they had lost a part of their femininity, even though they had gone through one of the toughest things a woman can face and come out alive. Breast augmentation opened new doors to women that could not easily accept their changed body. Implants that are used for breast augmentation are softer and more natural than ever, today woman that choose breast reconstruction can look and feel as if they’ve never lost a breast.

When patients undergo reconstruction they have different options available. BRA Day seeks to help inform women of this. The events offer information on how reconstruction works. The surgeries have three focus procedures: creating a breast mound, touch-ups, and an optional addition of nipple/areola. Each patient may not be able to choose from every type of reconstruction. Women must also discuss with their surgeon whether or not they will need more radiation treatments. The cost of reconstruction will vary. Some health insurances may cover a portion of the cost. The surgeon may also have financing available.

It has been estimated by the collaborators behind BRA Day (www.bradayusa.org/events) that less than 23% of women that have undergone mastectomies know what their choices are concerning breast reconstruction. Women are not always aware that they can choose among different types of implants or that there are natural shaped implants available. Today’s breast cancer survivor has many options available and does not need to go through the rest of life with a scar unless she chooses to do so.

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