Monmouth Medical Center Doctor, Breast Cancer Survivor
to Speak at N.J. State House during October 23 event
for Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day
When Karen Rogers had a breast removed to beat cancer, it saved her life. But when she had the missing breast rebuilt, the Neptune woman felt like she got her life back.
"I feel like a person; I feel whole," says Rogers, 50, who had breast reconstruction last year at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, where she was treated for her cancer.
On October 23, Rogers and her plastic surgeon, Gregory Greco, D.O., chief of plastic surgery and director of the general surgery clerkship at Monmouth Medical Center, will help educate state legislators and aides about this important issue by participating in a Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day event at the State House in Trenton from 9 a.m. to noon. BRA Day is a collaborative effort between the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Plastic Surgery Foundation, and the New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Rogers and Dr. Greco will join other patients and leading physicians in speaking with legislators about the importance of breast reconstruction for breast cancer patients. The event is especially timely, as October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast reconstruction aims to restore a breast to near-normal appearance after mastectomy, explains Dr. Greco. Most women who've had a complete or partial mastectomy are candidates for the procedure. However, many don't get the life-changing surgery, largely due to lack of awareness.
"Breast reconstruction is covered by insurance, but a woman needs to talk to her surgeon about it before the mastectomy," Dr. Greco emphasizes. "Advance planning provides both the best results and the best insurance coverage."
Breast reconstruction brings both emotional and practical benefits, the doctor notes. It helps women feel better about themselves, and eliminates the need to wear cumbersome prosthetic breasts.
"I feel confident. I can put a shirt on and it's not lopsided," says Rogers, who is single. "If I met someone, I'd feel comfortable."
Since her surgery, Rogers has dedicated herself to helping others receive these vital procedures. She and her family have raised more than $9,000 for the Jacqueline M. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center at Monmouth Medical Center, where Rogers was treated. The family hosts an annual fundraising event, and Rogers' three adult sons make and sell assorted bracelets, donating all proceeds to the cause.
"I sincerely appreciate everything Monmouth Medical Center and Dr. Greco did for me, and that's why I like to give back," says Rogers.
The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center is a recognized leader in providing the most advanced array of breast health services for women concerned about breast health. The Wilentz Center and its satellite locations across Monmouth and Ocean counties provide convenient mammography screenings with no appointment required.
For more information on the Jacqueline M. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center, call 732.923.7700.
PHOTO: Breast cancer survivor Karen Rogers (center) with sons Josh Rogers and Andrew Rogers
About Monmouth Medical Center
Located in Long Branch, N.J., Monmouth Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility, along with The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, is one of New Jersey's largest teaching hospitals and has been an affiliate of Philadelphia's Drexel University College of Medicine for more than 40 years. From its earliest days, Monmouth Medical Center has been a leader in surgical advancement and has introduced many technological firsts to the region, including robotic surgery and other minimally invasive techniques. The hospital is routinely recognized by HealthGrades, the nation's largest premier independent health care quality company, for excellence in both emergency medicine and maternity care. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Monmouth as a regional leader in cancer, geriatrics, gynecology, neurology and neurosurgery. For more information on Monmouth Medical Center, visit