iStock_000007425501XSmallOctober 1 marked the official beginning of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the deadly disease and educate women about diagnosis and treatment options.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) encourages women to create an “Early Detection Plan,” to hopefully catch any signs of the disease in its early stages. This may include reminders for self-exams, scheduled clinical breast exams and mammograms, depending on a woman’s age and health history.

What else can you expect during Breast Cancer Awareness Month? A flurry of fundraisers to raise money for breast-cancer related charities, including those that provide mammograms for women in need. Supporters sell pink-themed goods throughout the country to raise money, and popular clothing and beauty retailers have started to participate during recent years. For example, brands like Estée Lauder, Wacoal and essie® release special pink-themed clothing and beauty products, with a portion of the proceeds going toward breast cancer charities.

If you’d like to find a breast cancer awareness fundraising event in your area, please click here.

In less than two weeks, a particularly important event will take place: National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (BRA Day), an initiative to promote awareness and access to post-cancer reconstructive surgery.

More about BRA Day

BRA Day, which falls on October 15, started in Toronto three years ago. Although nearly 233,000 women will be diagnosed with a form of breast cancer this year, studies show a shocking lack of awareness of post-cancer reconstruction options. In fact, only 23 percent of women understand the wide range of breast reconstruction options that are available to them after cancer treatment, including breast implants and flap procedures.

The hope is that all women facing breast cancer treatment are offered information and access to their reconstruction options in a safe and timely manner.

BRA Day is a collaboration between the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Plastic Surgery Foundation, plastic surgeons offering breast surgery, nurses, corporate partners (including breast implant manufacturers Allergan and Sientra) and breast cancer support groups. Affiliates organize events all over the country, like Q&A sessions with breast cancer care teams/breast reconstruction patients, lectures, fundraisers, walk/run/bike events, advertising campaigns and other community gatherings of breast cancer patients and their friends and families.

This year’s theme is BRAve Face to “recognize the many faces of breast cancer and the unique journey of every patient facing a breast cancer diagnosis,” according to the BRA Day USA website.

For more information about a BRA Day event in your area, click here.

Contact Dr. Michaels

If you or someone you love is facing a breast cancer diagnosis, and would like to explore breast reconstruction options with a board certified plastic surgeon, please contact Dr. Joseph Michaels by calling (301) 468-5991 or via email.

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