The 12th Annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day USA Returns October 18 to Increase Recognition of Patient Options with Education, Events and Fundraisers
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), in collaboration with The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF), is pleased to announce the 12th annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day USA (BRA Day) on Wednesday, October 18.
Many patients who undergo a mastectomy or lumpectomy because of breast cancer or other health-related conditions are not always aware of all the reconstruction options available to them. The path ahead can be daunting after this type of procedure. Some patients are left wondering what is next after treatment ends. Understanding their options for breast reconstruction is critical to making informed decisions about their care and fully healing. Many reconstruction procedures use breast implants, but there is an array of options available, including but not limited to "going flat," wearing a bra prosthesis or using a patient's own tissue to build new breasts.
Breast reconstruction is shown to improve patients' psychological, social and sexual wellbeing, along with improving their quality of life following a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Patients deserve full and accurate information, empowering them to make the best decisions for their bodies. BRA Day promotes educating patients on the full range of options available to them so they can reclaim their bodies in a way that best supports their goals.
"The objective is to get patients who are adjusting to a new body comfortable again in their clothes and skin in a way that best serves them," said PSF President Howard Levinson, MD. "The significance of BRA Day is to make sure patients have both awareness and access to all their options to make the most well-informed choice that serves their unique needs."
BRA Day is a movement that seeks to reduce obstacles in public education, patient care and research. BRA Day events worldwide bring attention to the varied options and procedures available and provide information to patients and their supporters so they can make informed decisions about their care. BRA Day efforts involve informing patients, family, caregivers and media that the breast cancer loop remains open until a woman is informed of breast reconstruction options. BRA Day events are happening throughout the United States on October 18 to raise money to support research and grants. ASPS and The PSF launched the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Campaign and the annual BRA Day USA in 2012. The inaugural BRA Day started in Canada in 2011.
The BRA Campaign has raised approximately $115,552 this year through the support of Diamond sponsor Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company, campaign sponsors CareCredit and Integra Foundation and the many regional and local events. These contributions to the National BRA Fund support vital research, charitable giving and awareness grants.
The movement doesn't end there. Other fundraising efforts include the CareCredit donation program. CareCredit will donate $1 to the Breast Reconstruction Awareness campaign every time a CareCredit cardholder purchases $200 or more on their card with an ASPS-member surgeon in the CareCredit network during October.
Capping off the month of awareness and support, the Breast Reconstruction Awareness 5K will take place on Saturday, October 28, at 7:00 a.m. in Brush Square Park in Austin, TX, during Plastic Surgery The Meeting 2023. Participants can choose to run in person, virtually or show their support with literally no sweat by fundraising. Learn more and sign up at PlasticSurgery.org/BRA5K.
About Breast Reconstruction
Studies show that women who undergo breast reconstruction experience significant improvements in psychological, social and sexual well-being. Every patient deserves to learn about the full complement of breast reconstruction options at the time of diagnosis. In fact, the two main reasons women do not undergo breast reconstruction are because they are not referred to plastic surgeons and are not informed of their reconstructive options. Breast reconstruction is part of a comprehensive approach and treatment for breast cancer patients.
Integral to this cohesive team approach are frequent meetings that occur to discuss each patient and her individualized treatment plan. Members of this group of specialists are oncologists, radiologists, plastic surgeons, breast surgeons, plastic pathologists, radiation oncologists, geneticists, nurses, patient care coordinators and more. Their collective insights guarantee that patients are not only aware of but also have access to a full range of reconstructive procedures, with decisions based on consensus among the team and, ultimately, the patient.
"Women need choices – they should be presented with the complete range of breast reconstruction options," said ASPS Board Vice President of Health Policy & Advocacy Lynn Damitz, MD. "Shared decision-making is the optimal goal where we are all part of the decision."
For more information on breast reconstruction, visit BreastReconUSA.org. Become educated and help educate others about the availability of and access to breast reconstruction and why all women deserve a team approach to breast cancer treatment.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Representing more than 11,000 physician members worldwide, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 92 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
About The PSF
The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF), founded in 1948, supports research, international volunteer programs and visiting professor programs. The foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life of patients through research and development. The PSF accomplishes its mission by providing invaluable support to the research of plastic surgery sciences through a variety of grant programs. The PSF works in concert with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).