Richmond community invited to BRA Day, a celebration of breast cancer survivorship and improvements in reconstructive surgery
As part of breast cancer awareness month, VCU Massey Cancer Center and the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at VCU Health invite the community to Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day on October 17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Free refreshments will be available to guests as they celebrate breast cancer survivorship and improvements in breast reconstruction through education, comradery and one-on-one support.
Designed to empower women and celebrate survivors, BRA Day began in 2011 with the belief that all women who are candidates for breast reconstruction should be made aware of the options available to them.
“Sometimes we don’t talk about it enough,” said Valentina Lucas, Ph.D., A.N.P.-B.C., C.P.S.N, nurse practitioner in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at VCU Health and Massey Cancer Center. “Reconstructive plastic surgery can provide quality of life improvements like better fitting clothing. It can even help some people feel more like themselves.”
Andrea Pozez, M.D., chair of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at VCU Health, and reconstructive surgeon Santosh Kale, M.D., will be speaking at the event, alongside several other experts who will be available to answer any questions that may arise.
Barbara Queen, an attorney with the Legal Information Network for Cancer (LINC), will also be speaking at the event, informing attendees about legal services available through LINC as well as important information about cancer-related job rights and protections.
Following the presentations, there will be an opportunity for women with questions about specific reconstructive techniques to meet in a safe, private setting with women who have undergone various types of breast reconstruction. Nurses will be present to facilitate discussion and answer specific questions.
“There are so many new options that weren’t available even ten years ago,” said Lucas.
There will also be an art display by students in the VCU School of Arts Craft and Material Studies program, in which a variety of bras will be transformed into artwork celebrating breast cancer survivorship.
In addition, twelve vendors will be present providing information about various services and products. Nordstrom will be sharing makeup application tips for post-chemo treatments; Planet Hair will offer information about wigs and accessories; implant providers Allergan and Mentor will be available to answer questions about different types of breast implants; Project Yoga Richmond will host workshops specifically for women with breast cancer; and therapists with Proactive Massage and Body Work will provide education about the benefits of post-operative massages.
The event is free, but registration is requested for planning purposes. To register, visit vcuhealth.org/events or call (804) 628-0041 for more information.