Among the difficult treatment choices I made was the decision to have a bilateral mastectomy. I also knew that I could elect to have reconstruction. I wanted not only to look normal, but to feel normal as well. Currently, in Ontario, less than 10% of women who undergo mastectomy are reconstructed. Because of our health care system, access to breast reconstruction is not influenced by ability to pay. In Canada, waiting times to see reconstructive surgeons are horrendous, as the demand far exceeds availability. Many women are unaware that the option for reconstruction even exists. It is clear that physicians and patients need to be aware of the surgical options…And we have to attack the shocking lack of resources and trained physicians.
I’d like to invite you to help me establish a Chair in Breast Reconstruction Surgery. Establishing a chair and a reconstructive center of excellence will lead to the development of patient education programs and clinical research to improve outcomes for women seeking reconstruction. It will lead to the training of dedicated breast reconstruction surgeons so that more surgeons will become experts, foster an interest and carry out the surgery across the country.
Breast cancer…the fight goes on for early detection and improved treatment options. Please join me in making a difference.