BRA Day events across Canada aim to empower women to make more informed choices about post-mastectomy reconstruction options
TORONTO, Oct. 19, 2015 /CNW/ - With 22 events taking place nationwide, the fifth-annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day (October 21st) is poised to educate and inform more women than ever before about their post-mastectomy reconstruction options.
This year in Canada alone, approximately 25,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. While many of these women will undergo a potentially life-saving mastectomy (the surgical removal of one or both breasts), a minority will opt for breast reconstruction, despite it being a fully-insured medical procedure in Canada.
Although most women who have a mastectomy are candidates for breast reconstruction— a surgery that uses an implant, the patient's own body tissue or a combination of both to reconstruct a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size— only nine per cent of Canadian women currently opt for the procedure (compared to 40 per cent of American women).
"We know that education is a major factor in a woman's decision-making process," says Dr. Mitchell Brown, plastic surgeon and BRA Day Founder. "Our goal with BRA Day is to provide women with the accurate, unbiased information they need, along with the opportunity to interact directly with medical specialists and breast reconstruction patients so they can make an informed decision."
Research shows that breast reconstruction can help women enjoy a better body image, improved self-esteem and increased feelings of sexual attractiveness. There are many personal reasons that impact a woman's choice, but lack of awareness and timely access to information are the largest obstacles.
To promote education, awareness and access for women who may wish to consider post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support, became the National Coordinator of BRA Day in 2013. Growing in size every year, the BRA Day initiative aims to help educate more than 2,500 women in 2015 through informative events in communities across Canada.
An important component of each of the 22 BRA Day events is Willow's innovative 'Show & Tell Lounge', where courageous volunteers in each city will give women the opportunity to observe, touch and ask questions about their breast reconstruction in a private setting.
"A defining part of the BRA Day experience, the Show & Tell Lounge can have a positive and even transformative impact on many of our attendees," explains Natalie Witkin, Director, Partnerships & Programs at Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support. "We're very thankful for all our brave volunteers who bare all in order to help reduce the anxiety and fear many women feel during the decision-making process."
For more information about events in your area, please visit www.bra-day.com.
ABOUT WILLOW BREAST & HEREDITARY CANCER SUPPORT
As the National Coordinator of BRA Day in Canada, Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support is committed to promoting breast reconstruction awareness, education and support. Willow is a national not-for-profit organization that provides free support, insight and information to anyone affected by breast and hereditary cancer, including those at high risk. We endeavor to ensure that no one, from the individual diagnosed to their family and caregivers, needs to face it alone. For more information please visit www.willow.org.
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ABOUT BREAST RECONSTRUCTION AWARENESS (BRA) DAY
Founded in 2011 by Dr. Mitchell Brown, Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day promotes education, awareness and access for women who may wish to consider post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. It is a collaborative effort that includes plastic surgeons, nurse specialists, the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support, corporate sponsors and other breast cancer organizations. BRA Day is now recognized and celebrated in over 30 countries worldwide.
SOURCE Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support
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