Closing the loop: Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day takes place on Oct. 16, the third Wednesday in October. It seeks to raise awareness of a woman’s right to reconstructive surgery following a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
It is a worldwide collaborative effort designed to “close the loop” on breast cancer.
“For women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer, reconstruction can be a physically and emotionally rewarding procedure. It can be empowering and help patients move past their diagnosis,” says Dr. Elizabeth A. O’Connor, plastic surgeon with Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic. “Our team is supportive of efforts to raise awareness about the rights women have regarding breast reconstruction following a breast cancer diagnosis.”
The federal Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act, which was passed into law in 1998, mandates coverage of breast reconstruction for breast cancer patients, even if the reconstruction is delayed until after cancer treatment is completed.
“Closing the loop” is about educating patients about their rights at the beginning of the breast cancer diagnosis, collaborating with a team of doctors to provide the best possible comprehensive care, and empowering patients to make decisions that are right for them personally.
For some that may mean reconstruction surgery, but for others it won’t and that’s OK, O’Connor says.
“For many, reconstruction surgery is the final step of the breast cancer journey,” she says.
Hence, closing the loop.
“They were diagnosed, they were successfully treated, and they are given the power to choose reconstruction if they want it,” O’Connor adds. “Our goal is to help make sure every patient diagnosed with breast cancer knows about their options.”
In honor of Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic will host its fifth annual B.R.A.s of the Bay event on Thursday, October 17. It will be at 6 p.m. at Badger State Brewing Company, 990 Tony Canadeo Run, Green Bay.
Proceeds from B.R.A.s of the Bay benefit the Ribbon of Hope Foundation, which serves people with breast cancer in northeastern Wisconsin. Additional support comes from the Plastic Surgery Foundation, the BayCare Clinic Foundation and Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic.
Dr. Elizabeth A. O’Connor sees patients in Green Bay and Oshkosh. To request an appointment, call 920-288-8240 or 866-726-8200 in Green Bay or 920-569-1506 in Oshkosh, or do so online.