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ASPS supports the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act

The Breast Cancer Education Act was initially brought to congress in May 2013. The legislation was introduced by House Representative Rep. Leonard Lance and Dem. Donna Christensen. The senate supporters of this legislation were Dem. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Roy Blunt. On May 7, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons delivered a letter to congress in support of this potential act. It was signed by 23 organizations.

This act makes amends to the Public Health Service Act. The new act would implement more information campaigns for breast cancer patients regarding availability and coverage of breast reconstruction, prostheses and other options.

Many women undergoing breast cancer treatment aren’t aware that they can receive breast reconstruction immediately after the initial breast surgery. Patients can also delay it until after other treatments. If a woman chooses to delay her breast reconstruction surgery, she should be informed of prostheses or breast forms. These new educational materials should inform breast cancer patients of the costs. Many don’t know that federal law mandates coverage of breast reconstruction. Regardless of when a woman receives her breast reconstruction, it will always be covered.

Before the federal act was proposed, several states had similar laws that required proper information about cancer treatment and reconstruction options be given to every patient. The Breast Reconstruction Education Act was proposed so women could make health care decisions based on the proper information. Women should be empowered to make decisions based on their personal needs.

Dr. Robert X. Murphy, Jr., M.D., ASPS president stated, “The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act will get the best information in the hands of women and their families to empower them in making the best choice for their care.”

No woman should be denied the right to choose. A woman with breast cancer already has a lot to deal with concerning her body. She needs to be fully aware of her choices. Many breast cancer patient don’t know that breast reconstruction is covered. Many haven’t undergone the procedure simply because they aren’t aware of what they are entitled to.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 232,670 women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. African American have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. This is especially true for African American women under the age of 40. However, breast cancer tends to be most commonly found in Latina women.

The federal law mandated coverage of breast reconstruction since 1998. Reports have indicated that many women are not properly informed of their options. This most true among ethic and minority groups.

If you are suffering from breast cancer and have undergone a mastectomy, you have to option to receive breast reconstruction. There is no need to suffer more than you have to. Every woman needs to be aware of her options. Dr. Franks is a board certified Des Moines plastic surgeon that can perform your breast reconstruction. Schedule a consultation to learn all your options. Every woman is entitled to the same quality of care. For more information about breast reconstruction, contact 515.421.4299.

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