I have always considered it to be one of the highest callings of a plastic surgeon to help guide women through the ordeal of breast cancer and to help restore to those women a sense of wholeness at the end of that process through breast reconstruction surgery. As a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in both reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery procedures of the breast ,body, and face for more than twenty years, I have had the privilege to work with a large number of breast cancer survivors, and I was always moved when these courageous women spoke about how isolated and alone their diagnosis made them feel. Studies conducted by the National Breast Cancer Foundation have determined that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and I thought that if there were some way for these women to connect with one another and share their experiences that there would never be any reason for a survivor of breast cancer to feel alone again.
This is why I founded the Pink Ribbon Story Foundation (PRSF), a charitable organization that gives women with breast cancer and their families a chance to connect and share their stories. Women who have already gone through the diagnosis, treatment, and aftermath of breast cancer are an invaluable source of information about what surviving breast cancer is really like. So, through the use of video storytelling, PRSF provides a medium through which breast cancer survivors can share what they have experienced. Eventually, these testimonials formed the basis of America’s Breast Cancer Memoir, the country’s leading source of video narratives documenting the stories of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer along with their families. This resource has become one of the primary sources of credible, first-hand information about breast cancer, allowing women to take control over their cancer and engage in the process of becoming well.
In order to emphasize the idea that no woman should have to go through this experience alone, the PRSF has gradually expanded its scope to include the experiences of spouses, partners, and children as well. Those closest to women undergoing breast cancer treatment can often be faced with unfamiliar situations for which they may not be emotionally equipped, and hearing how others were able to adapt and still be present and supportive for their loved ones can be both informative and inspirational. PRSF also sponsors frequent events, like their annual Founder’s Gala, and maintains a regular blog to help further inform women and their families and make them feel as though they are part of a larger community.
Every woman’s breast cancer journey is unique, but there is no reason that anyone should have to go through it alone. If you or someone you love would like to learn more about breast cancer treatment or if you have additional questions about your own breast reconstruction procedure, please contact me, Dr. James Namnoum, to schedule a consultation today or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the most up to date plastic surgery news and updates.