October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Often, donated skin and tissue is used for breast reconstruction following a mastectomy, and we are taking this opportunity to spread the word about Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day on Wednesday, October 17.
U.S. breast cancer statistics show that roughly one in eight women in our nation will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, some requiring a mastectomy or lumpectomy. BRA Day is an awareness campaign that helps more women become aware of their reconstruction options after these procedures through the promotion of education, patient care, and research.
This month, LifeCenter Northwest is partnering with MTF Biologics to show how tissue donors can help with the recovery process for women following a mastectomy and lumpectomy. Breast reconstruction is not for every woman, but all candidates should be made aware of their available options and offered treatment.
Breast reconstruction and skin donation facts*:
- The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 requires health plans that offer breast cancer coverage to also provide for breast reconstruction and prostheses.
- Breast reconstruction using skin grafts provide great outcomes for women.
- Last year, nearly 60,000 successful breast reconstruction procedures were conducted using donated dermal skin grafts.
- One skin donor can help up to five women undergoing breast reconstruction surgery.
How can you help? Register your wishes to be an organ and tissue donor and let your family know! For more information on how donated tissue can benefit others, visit our website www.lcnw.org.
Check out how these women have been impacted by tissue donation/skin grafts:
*Facts from MTFBiologics.