What is BRA Day?
Today is Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day, a movement designed to educate people about breast reconstruction and women’s health.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women, according to the American Cancer Society. About one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, and there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors nationwide.
So what is BRA Day?
BRA Day is designed to promote education, awareness and access for women who may wish to consider post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.
Dr. Heidi Memmel, a breast surgeon at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., says that women today have so many more reconstructive options than years ago.
“Women diagnosed with a breast cancer often have the opportunity to select breast conservation,” Dr. Memmel says. “But, if they choose or need a mastectomy, most often they can have immediate reconstruction.”
According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, mastectomies are now often performed as either a skin sparing mastectomy (removing the nipple and areola, sparing the rest of the skin) or a nipple sparing mastectomy (no skin is removed.) Sparing the skin allows the plastic surgeon to perform the first step of the reconstruction at the time of the mastectomy so that a woman does not have to wake up with a flat chest.
“Reconstruction can be performed with either an implant or using one’s own tissue, usually from the abdomen or back,” Dr. Memmel says.
To learn more about breast health, visit Stories of the Girls.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.