(PRWEB) October 09, 2012
October is designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and October 17th specifically is designated as BRA (breast reconstruction awareness) Day USA by ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons). BRA Day USA is a new initiative based on the astonishing figure that 7 out of 10 women who’ve had a mastectomy do not undergo reconstruction surgery even though is federally mandated that insurers cover the procedure.
BRA Day started in Canada in 2011 and will now be held on the third Thursday of October annually. This year it will be on October 17th. Highlighting the celebration is singer, songwriter Jewel who’ll be performing a benefit concert in New Orleans on October 29th at the annual ASPS meeting. Dr Parker and his wife will be attending the meeting and the concert with Jewel. Jewel will also be donating the proceeds from downloads of her song, “Flower.”
“The number of women who do not undergo breast reconstruction surgery is surprising. I believe there are a number of factors involved. At first, women are usually overwhelmed at their diagnosis of breast cancer and completely focused on sorting out the various options of its treatment. Many women are not aware of, and/ or cannot process the reconstructive options available to them,” explained New Jersey plastic surgeon, Dr. Parker. The ASPS is sponsoring BRA Day USA to help build awareness of the reconstruction options open to women nationwide.
On a local level, Dr. Parker is one of the co founders of a breast cancer support group known as “Image Reborn.” The group was started 15 year ago as an informational resource for women contemplating breast reconstruction. The group is comprised of women who have previously undergone breast reconstruction as well as women, recently diagnosed with breast cancer, who are considering reconstruction. They have met monthly at the Parker Center for Plastic Surgery over the past 15 years and continue to do so. They have become a wonderful resource for women in Northern New Jersey as well as Rockland and Orange Counties in neighboring New York.
Over time, Image Reborn has grown and developed into a true support group. It not only serves as a resource for women contemplating breast reconstruction, but also an emotional support group and resource of information for all aspects of breast cancer treatment.
Carole, a breast cancer survivor herself, is a former breast reconstruction patient of Dr Parker’s and the current leader of the group. Carole often communicates with the Image Reborn women and newly diagnosed patients via telephone and email. In addition, Carole runs the monthly Image Reborn meetings.
“I was shocked that 70% of women don’t undergo reconstruction surgery. While I respect everyone’s right to do what’s best for themselves, I think it’s very important that women have access to all the information that’s out there and the choices available to them,” said Carole.
Carole went on to explain that her personal experience and the experience of others in the group has shown that breast reconstruction surgery can be important in putting the cancer behind them and moving on with their lives.
BRA Day USA has an important message that women can live full and complete lives after breast cancer. They can feel like a whole, complete and feminine again. Breast reconstruction surgery can be done at the time of a mastectomy; this is known as “immediate reconstruction”. It can also be done at a later date if a woman, known as “delayed reconstruction”, if the woman is initially hesitant. It’s never too late if a woman is feeling overwhelmed by the options available to her after an initial diagnosis of breast cancer is made.
“Breast Cancer is still such a significant disease in our county and 85% of our patients are women. Therefore, we’ve always looked at the month of October to show our support of breast cancer awareness and reconstruction. We have always tried to play a significant role in educating women about it,” Dr. Parker stated.
Women are celebrated every day at the Parker Center for Plastic Surgery. If you are interested in learning more about BRA Day USA, Image Reborn, reconstructive procedure, New Jersey cosmetic surgery procedures, please call us at 201-967-1212 or visit our website at http://www.parkercenter.net. There you will read patient’s stories, see before and after photos, and even see animated videos of actual procedures.
Dr. Paul M. Parker is the medical director of both the Parker Center for Plastic Surgery and Beaura Spa. Dr. Parker has over 20 years’ experience as a plastic surgeon and has won numerous awards including most recently the “Patient’s Choice” award. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Surgeons and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and the New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons among others.