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Why is a whole month dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness?

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Breast cancer can affect us all.  I bet everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer – old or young, married or single, a mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, aunt, coworker or acquaintance.  Both women and MEN can be affected, although less than 1% of patients with breast cancer are male.

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The statistic for women who do not have a first-degree relative with early-onset breast cancer (before menopause) is that their average lifetime risk is 1 in 8.  For women who carry the BRCA gene (like Angelina Jolie), their personal risk of developing breast cancer approximates 60-80%.  

download1What is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?  

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), also referred to in the United States as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of breast cancer and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

Breast cancer awareness campaigns such as BRA Day offer information and support to those affected by breast cancer.  Started in Toronto, Canada (my hometown!) 4 years ago, the U.S. adopted this national day the following year, and I have been involved since its American inception.  For more information about this year’s Bay Area BRA Day event, hosted in our office, visit our BRA Day website.

pamphletBtn-3_03Our office offers women facing breast cancer the latest and greatest advanced breast reconstruction techniques such as those that preserve nipples (nipple-sparing mastectomy), those that use an implant in a single stage, and those that involve Microsurgery and preserve major muscles of the body such as the DIEP flap and the TUG (inner thigh) flap.

Breast Cancer Awareness has been around for almost 30 years!  When the entire month of October was designated ‘National Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and a pharmaceutical company that produces several anti-breast cancer drugs, the initial aim was to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.

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Today, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is everywhere, and it’s viral.  this national breast cancer awareness month features local and national television campaigns, fundraisers, pink ribbons EVERYWHERE, Sunday football featuring fields full of NFL football players, coaches and fans wearing bright pink head to toe!

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At first, I was a little perplexed at the entire media and our popular culture jumping on the bandwagon for the pink crusade.  However, I now recognize it is trendy and somewhat political, but that it is all for a GREAT cause.  Breast cancer is curable if detected early, and it is the second leading cause of cancer related death in women.

bra-day-240x300So, I embrace the pink!

So do all our office staff members!  We are excited to host our third annual BRA Day event, the ONLY BRA Day event in the Bay Area that increases awareness about breast cancer reconstruction.

To learn more, view a slide show of our 2012 and 2013 BRA Day events and to learn more about breast reconstruction options for women facing breast cancer.

images (31)To learn more about breast cancer reconstruction, visit the breast reconstruction section of our website or call 415-923-3067.  Complete our online consultation request form to be contacted by email.

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Dr. Karen M. Horton, M.D. - Plastic Surgery, Physicians & Surgeons - Medical-M.D., San Francisco, CA