Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day

-by board-certified plastic surgeon Ashley N. Amalfi, MD

IT’S BRA DAY!

What is BRA Day?

Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, or “BRA Day” was started in Toronto, Canada in 2011 to raise awareness about reconstructive options.  The United States quickly adapted this celebratory day and since 2012 the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and The Plastic Surgery Foundation have worked to raise awareness about breast reconstruction on this celebratory day.

Did you know women have a right to breast reconstruction after their mastectomy? 

Many times women just don’t know their options.  When having a mastectomy, a woman is entitled to breast reconstruction under the Women’s Health and Cancer Right’s Act.  And not only does that mean reconstructing the breast containing the cancer, that also means she is entitled to a balancing surgery on her native breast to give her the shape and symmetry that makes her comfortable.

What’s the mission?

BRA Day is focused on education, so that when faced with this scary reality, women know they have options.  Historically, we have also seen disproportionate access to care in this country, with women of color being less likely to pursue breast reconstruction for a variety of reasons.  At the Quatela Center, we are committed to ensuring that all patients have the knowledge they need to make educated decisions about their health and their body.

  • Less than 1 in 4 women know the variety of reconstructive options available to them.
  • Only 19% of women know that the timing of their treatment for breast cancer and their decision to pursue reconstruction immediately affects the options available to them.
  • 40% of women do not know that their decision to pursue reconstruction DOES NOT affect their cancer detection in future breast screenings.

How can I help?

We have dedicated the entire month of October to Breast Cancer Awareness at the Quatela Center, and we have a variety of ways you can help our local community.  Throughout the month, we are selling pink ribbons at our reception desks to benefit the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester.  The pink ribbons displayed throughout the building remind us just how much the staff and all of our patients support this important resource for women with gynecological cancer here in our own backyard.  This past Sunday, the staff and families participated in our own small Breast Cancer Walk, wearing pink t-shirts that said “Look Your Breast.”  We raised awareness and money which will be donated back to the local breast cancer community.  If you would like to donate a ribbon, please call the office at 585.244.1000.  You can also donate nationally to the Plastic Surgery Foundation by visiting https://www.thepsf.org/programs/breast-reconstruction-awareness-campaign.

Have you seen our pink bras decorating the Lindsay House?

To further raise awareness of BRA Day, our staff has donated new pink bras to support the cause.  They will decorate the building on BRA Day, Wednesday, October 21st.  We will be donating these bras to a local women’s shelter later this week.  Please contact the office at 585.244.1000 if you would like to contribute.  And lastly, we are honoring our breast reconstruction patients with a special sweet treat on BRA Day, to let them know how much we support and value them.

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