An industry known for selling sex is doing its part to save women’s breasts – as well as their lives. Porn star Bree Olson, who is also the ex-girlfriend of Charlie Sheen, used her assets to raise awareness for breast cancer by hosting a breast exam bus tour around New York City on Tuesday.
The “Save Our Boobs Bus,” decked out in pink and leather, also featured the Boob Bus Nurse Brigade and free breast cancer screening exams by a board-certified plastic surgeon. The bus was sponsored by Pornhub, an adult entertainment website. “Porhhub came to me with this idea to do breast cancer awareness,” Olson said. “They figured, you know, breasts are a large part of our industry, and the two would kind of coincide.” Olson described herself as a “cheerleader” for the event, during which interested volunteers could climb onto the bus and get screened for breast cancer, as well as learn self-exam techniques to use at home.
The event took place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and included five scheduled stops at New York City landmarks such as Grand Central Terminal, Times Square and Central Park. Dr. David Shafer, a double-board certified plastic surgeon and diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, was on hand to give the exams and teach women how to do self-exams. According to Shafer, not only is there an association between breast implants and plastic surgeons, but plastic surgeons also play an important role with patients after they have been diagnosed with breast cancer. “Patients have self-esteem issues and body image issues, and we’re able to step in and say, ‘Listen, we can do the reconstructive procedures,’” Shafer explained. “We can use that skill to help build up the self-esteem of the patient and help them feel better after the surgery. We can also work hand-in-hand with them during their diagnosis.”
Plastic surgeons can even play a role in detecting breast cancer, according to Shafer. “One thing when we see patients for breast implants, we do a good screening beforehand to make sure they don’t have breast cancer,” Shafer said. “We do mammograms, breast exams, and so that’s why we wanted to get involved with this. With a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime, it’s an important issue for all women.” Olson said she was affected by breast cancer when the mother of a close friend died from the disease. “She was in her 30s, and so she didn’t get to see her grandchildren grow up or anything,” Olson said. “And it was very devastating to one of my best friends. To see something like that hit so close to home – you always think it’s not going to happen to you; and it just goes to show that something that seems so far away, and it seems like something you see on TV or hear people talk about can actually happen.
It’s very important to get examinations regularly.” Olson said the bus tour was definitely something she’d like to do again. “Nothing like this had been done before, and I think it’s really great of Pornhub to come together and say, ‘Let’s do this, let’s take this bus to women and raise awareness.’” Shafer added: “It’s not just focusing on Breast Awareness Month or Day, but it’s an everyday kind of thing so that women know that every month it’s an important thing to do.”