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BRAs of the Bay event brings awareness to breast reconstruction options for breast cancer survivors

Posted at 9:42 AM, Oct 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-14 10:41:05-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — On October 21st of 1998, it became a federal law for breast reconstruction surgery to be covered by insurance companies. 24 years later and breast cancer survivors are still surprised to hear about these options.

Dr. Elizabeth O’Connor a plastic surgeon with BayCare Clinic says that she sees shocked patients quite often.

“We want to bring awareness to the fact that breast reconstruction surgery is in fact covered by insurance, it's not just cosmetic procedures,” Dr. O'Connor said.

According to the CDC, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with either invasive or non-invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. In 2022, an estimated 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 51,400 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

Among those survivors is Green Bay resident Kathy Orlowski. Orlowski was diagnosed in 2020. After undergoing a double mastectomy Orlowski opted for full breast reconstruction and is now an advocate for other survivors.

Orlowski was one of those who wasn't aware that her surgery could and would be covered.

“I am so grateful and thankful for those who came before me who fought for this right. Because everyone deserves to have an option.”

Orlowski will be sharing her full journey at The BRAs by the Bay at the Resch Expo Thursday the 13th at 6 p.m.

Tickets for the BRAs of the Bay