Terri Coutee, patient advocate for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction has organized the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (BRA Day) event at the University of Arizona Cancer Center on Wednesday evening, 5-7 pm, October 21, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona. She was interviewed on KVOA news, a local station.
Terri has been outspoken and supportive of informing women about the options for breast reconstruction that they often don’t hear about. Unfortunately referral to a plastic surgeon does not always take place with the confusion and emotional vulnerability of the patient at the time of diagnosis of breast cancer.
Oncologists and surgeons must discuss and coordinate procedures that will work in the patients’ best interest and long term health and quality of life, and that includes educating the patient on a variety of options with mastectomy, including many using the patient’s own tissue. For example, timing radiation therapy with surgeries is important to obtain the best surgical outcome with fewer complications and better cosmetic results.
Every patient needs to advocate for her or himself, or needs a knowledgeable advocate, when decisions must be made. No one should feel rushed into a decision if they are not ready. Make an effort to become as informed as possible about your options, and research plastic surgeons and ask questions about their expertise.
Alene will be speaking on “Reconstructing Well-Being” at BRA Day in Tucson on Wednesday.