Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (BRA Day) Date in the current year: October 16, 2024

Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (BRA Day) Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, often shortened to BRA Day, is observed annually on the third Wednesday in October. It was created to honor and empower women diagnosed with breast cancer and to raise awareness about available breast reconstruction options.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide. More often than not, breast cancer treatment involves surgery that can range from the removal of a small part of breast tissue (lumpectomy) to the removal of the entire breast or both breasts (mastectomy). While mastectomy is a life-saving procedure, it can cause body image issues in breast cancer patients.

Breast reconstruction surgery can help overcome these body image issues. This surgical procedure allows to rebuild the shape and look of a natural breast using either implants or autologous tissue (tissue from other parts of the patient’s body). It can be performed during the same procedure as the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or as a separate procedure (delayed reconstruction). In most cases, complete breast reconstruction requires multiple surgeries.

Breast reconstruction has multiple benefits, but it is not without its drawbacks, so it is important that breast cancer patients have all the information about the procedure they need to make the best decision. The choice whether to go through with breast reconstruction after a mastectomy or not is a deeply personal decision that no one should be pressured into making. Women who chose to have their breast or breasts reconstructed and women who decide against the procedure deserve equal respect.

Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day was founded in 2011 by Dr. Mitchell Brown, a Canadian plastic surgeon who specializes in aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery, facial aesthetic surgery, and body contouring. He created it to educate breast cancer patients about breast reconstruction and improve their access to the procedure.

In 2012, Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day was observed in the United States for the first time under the name BRA Day USA. Since then, it has expanded to other parts of the world and become an international awareness day observed in more than two dozen countries.

How can you participate in BRA Day? If you have had any experience with breast cancer and breast reconstruction, share your story with others (of course, only if you’re comfortable with doing it) to give newly diagnosed breast cancer patients hope and strength to fight the disease. You also can get involved by donating to an organization that helps breast cancer patients or funds breast cancer research, supporting someone with breast cancer, and spreading the word on social media using the hashtag #BRADay.

BRA Day should not be confused with No Bra Day, which is observed annually on October 13. Both observances aim to raise awareness of breast cancer and both are held during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but BRA Day focuses on breast reconstruction awareness, while No Bra Day empowers women to embrace their bodily autonomy and highlights the importance of early breast cancer detection.

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Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, BRA Day, international observances, awareness days, breast cancer