B.R.A. Day event educates community on breast reconstruction


Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center hosted a free educational event to share information about post-mastectomy breast reconstruction options as part of National Breast Reconstruction Awareness (B.R.A) Day in October.

The evening included informative sessions from Dr. Irene Ma and Dr. Michel Saint-Cyr, both reconstructive surgeons at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, as well as Kelli Cooper, a certified lymphedema therapist. The three shared detailed information on the importance of breast reconstruction, the different types of breast reconstruction options and tips to best manage lymphedema. There were also numerous vendors on site to help guests understand the various reconstruction products available.

“This is great opportunity for patients and their families to learn more information about breast reconstruction options because unfortunately, not all patients are aware of them,” says Dr. Ma. “We also wanted to reach out to the community to make sure they’re aware that we offer these services and that we’re happy to help support them in their breast cancer journey.”

Three patients shared their breast reconstruction journeys with the audience, including Linda Vuolo. “When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was lost. And when I found Banner MD Anderson, I felt like my prayers were answered,” she said. “They saved my life by providing the reconstruction I really needed in a really dark time.”

The national B.R.A. campaign, sponsored by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and The Plastic Surgery Foundation, involves informing women, family members and caregivers that the breast cancer loop remains open until a woman is informed of her multiple reconstruction options. The event was made possible by generous funding from the Plastic Surgery Foundation.