On the evening of Tuesday, October 17th, over 170 people gathered at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts in Kingston, ON for a special event to learn about their treatment options with breast cancer. Known as BRA (Breast Reconstruction Awareness) Day, this event was held to help educate and inform women on the options around breast cancer treatment.
“We wanted to close the loop on breast cancer and make reconstruction an integral part of the conversation,” says Dr. Glykeria Martou, a physician with the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario and organizer of the evening’s event. “We want patients to feel empowered to make an informed choice on what treatment option is best for them.”
For patients this event was a meaningful way to share their story and connect with others who can understand their journey with breast cancer.
“When I walked into the room I felt like I was part of a community and can see myself and my experience in each of the women here,” says Lisa, a survivor of breast cancer and past patient who shared her story with the audience. “This event is such an important opportunity for women to connect with other breast cancer patients, to share knowledge and gain information on treatment options which empowers women to make an informed decision that is best for them.”
The evening began with presentations from experts in the breast cancer field who shared information on breast cancer care, options in surgical oncology treatment, genetic testing information and what is possible with breast reconstruction. After the presentation, women were invited to visit the Show & Tell lounge, an innovative space where volunteers show attendees the real-life results of their breast reconstruction.
“A breast cancer diagnosis is a life changing experience for a woman, for her family, for society,” says Dr. Martou. “In this space women, their families and the community can learn about the services we have to offer them as options along their breast cancer journey. Breast reconstruction may not be the right or best option for every woman, but by attending this event and listening to others who have gone through the experience they can be fully informed in their decision-making process.”
BRA Day is an annual event that is made possible with support from the Canadian Cancer Society. Planning is already underway for next year so stayed tuned for next year’s event details!