Breast cancer survivors to BARE all for current patients

Posted at 9:19 AM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 19:51:55-04

Nebraska Medicine is partnering with Project Pink'd for a personal event for breast cancer patients and survivors.

The groups will host its second Breast Awareness Reconstruction Event.

Surgeons will be there to discuss surgical options such as lumpectomy, mastectomy and reconstruction.

Cancer survivors will serve as live models to share their own surgical results and share their experience fighting breast cancer.

Cassie Jensen is a survivor who was diagnosed last year.

"I was 33-years-old, I'm young, [and] I have a lot of life left to live," Jensen said.

Jensen says she felt a lump last March. She waited 6 weeks, then saw her doctor. She had 3 tumors.

"I was prepared for the worst but still it's a shock.," Jensen said.

She had a double mastectomy after several rounds of chemo.

But before her surgery, Jensen had the chance to see what the physical changes would look like, thanks to survivors who bared it all at last year's event.

"It's pretty amazing seeing people going through what you're going through," Jensen said. I mean they survived and they're living every day, and they're happy ... and they can tell you that."

That's why she's modeling at this year's BARE event.

"We're all in the same boat so there's no judging," she said. This is what it is and why not try to help somebody else and say, I mean you have options."

Breast Surgical Oncologist Dr. Jessica Maxwell says she brought Bare to Omaha after seeing its benefits to former patients in Canada.

"As a physician I can say this is what you can expect, and this is what you might expect, but until patients really meet someone else who's been through it, who looks like them, who's been in their shoes ... it gives them a whole different perspective," Dr. Maxwell said.

Women will be face to face with survivors and Cassie says that type of connection is priceless.

"I want to help people now, so many people helped me in so many different ways," Jensen said.

"It's so important that women have a full understanding of the wide variety of options," Dr. Maxwell said. I think that there's no kind of one size fits all approach to treating breast cancer or treating women who are high risk for developing breast cancer."

Cassie now makes it her mission to make sure women know the importance of early detection.

"If you even think you know or feel anything, get it checked out because you don't get a mammogram until you're 40 years old," she said.

Monday is the last day to RSVP for the event. It's being held at the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center on April 17th from 6-9 p.m., for women with breast cancer and those who are high risk for developing breast cancer.