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BRA Day at UC Davis Outlines Breast Cancer Survivors’ Reconstruction Options

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SACRAMENTO –

In pink ribbon and silicone, Breast Cancer Awareness Day made its first appearance at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. "All I heard was the word cancer, I was in disbelief, I was scared,” Yvonne Armendariz, a breast cancer survivor told attendees Wednesday. BRA Day aims to educate the public on not only breast cancer but the reconstruction options women have.

"It`s hard some days I went to bed, I was just like I can`t do it today, I just have to go bed,” Becky Shrader, a survivor who has been in remission for seven years said. For Shrader cancer was a disease she was determined to beat.  "I called it ‘can-cure’, we`re going to get through it, it`s going to be fine."

Shrader underwent a lumpectomy years ago but found herself feeling not quite the same. "One was bigger than the other, had a divot, my clothes didn`t fit right and it was just kind of inconvenient,” Shrader recounted.

According to UC Davis doctors, more than 80-percent of American women who have breast cancer surgery do not have breast reconstruction surgery, despite a federal law requiring insurance companies to provide coverage.  Shrader's plastic surgeon, Dr. Michael Wong told her about the options she could take: implants or autologous techniques. "It requires a surgery to get that tissue to move it to another place. So, now you`re recovering from two different surgeries,” Dr. Wong, Professor of Surgery at UC Davis explained.

Dr. Wong removed tissue from Shrader's back and moved it to where her breasts were. "And the nice thing about that is they look very natural. Over time they tend to take on the same characteristics of natural breast tissue,” Shrader told FOX40.

With breast cancer now behind her,  Shrader is now sharing her story for years to come. "When I`m 80 maybe they`ll look like 60-year-old boobs,” Shrader laughed.

Kay Recede filed this report.