BRA Day USA: Closing the Loop on Breast Cancer

Samantha Johnson

by Samantha Johnson | October 11, 2012 @ 10:00AM

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BRA Day USAFor many women, the battle with breast cancer doesn't end when the cancer has been successfully treated. As if cancer wasn't a traumatic enough experience, a woman who must undergo a mastectomy has to wake up each day with the reminder that something is missing. 

And she might prefer it this way.  

Like a tattoo, her missing breasts can serve as a reminder of a victory won; an obstacle overcome.  But the truth is, something that was once such an important part of this woman's femininity is gone, and she never knew that breast reconstruction could be an option.  

In fact, 70 percent of women eligible for breast reconstruction surgery are not being informed of their options. Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, or BRA Day, is an initiative designed to change that statistic. BRA Day USA will be celebrated annually on the third Wednesday of every October. This year, BRA Day lands on Oct. 17, but awareness events are being held throughout the US and in 20 other countries throughout the entire month. 

"70 percent of women eligible for breast reconstruction are not being informed of their options."

Organizations such as The Plastic Surgery Foundation and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, as well as nurses, medical device industry representatives and breast cancer support groups are orchestrating media events, question and answer sessions, flash mobs, fundraising parties and community events to promote awareness and access to post-cancer breast reconstruction surgery.  

Unlike other events surrounding Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which aim to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer detection and prevention, the objective of BRA Day is to "Close the Loop on Breast Cancer" by proving women with information about breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy -- before they are even treated for breast cancer.

Currently, less than one-fifth of American women who undergo mastectomy choose to undergo breast reconstruction surgery. This is not only because women are unaware of their options, but because breast reconstruction is often viewed as unnecessary or cosmetic. Some women feel guilt if they opt to restore their bodies to the way they once were. BRA Day will help women realize that breast reconstruction after mastectomy can be part of the victory, and that the battle with breast cancer doesn't have to end with something missing. 

To learn how to become a BRA Day affiliate, or to see what BRA Day events are happening in your area, visit www.BRAdayUSA.org.

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