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Shirley Alarie

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October 16th is BRA Day - Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day. Learn about Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy
Studies have shown that women facing surgery for breast cancer are not always made aware of their reconstruction options. BRA Day was created to fill this gap. Learning about cutting-edge nipple-sparing mastectomy may help someone you love., 10/10/2013 - October is deemed Breast Cancer Awareness month and there are so many organizations supporting breast cancer itself. However, up to this point, there has been little focus on the breast reconstruction process. On Wednesday October 16th, the second annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (BRA Day) will be taking place.

As much as women are becoming more educated about breast cancer detection, studies have shown that women facing surgery for breast cancer are not always made aware of their options.

As crazy as that may seem, that was my situation when I underwent surgery in 2010 and more recently with one of my childhood friends, whose surgery was in 2012. I was lucky enough to discover nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) by accident, by searching on the internet. My friend had heard the term prior to her surgery, but when she asked her surgeon about it and he said they didn’t offer it, she just went forward with the standard surgery, not realizing NSM was offered at another hospital within 30 minutes of her home.

When women are panicking from a breast cancer diagnosis, most won’t spend time researching. I wrote my story, Losing the Girls: My Journey Through Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy And Beyond, to promote awareness of nipple-sparing mastectomy and published a website of some of the hospitals that offer it. My belief is that if women hear the term and spend a minute looking at the pictures accessed through my website, they will be much better prepared in the event that they or someone they love ever has a choice to make.

NSM wouldn’t be a choice every woman would make, nor is everyone a candidate for it. But if women don’t know it exists, they aren’t given the chance to make a fully informed decision. Women deserve to know all their options.

Take a minute to look at the pictures accessed through the site, and you will agree that one single glance will leave a lasting impression. Check out “What is NSM?” and Click on photos to enlarge. "Where is NSM?" is a growing list of hospitals that offer it.

Thank you for your part in spreading awareness on BRA Day!

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