There are currently some insurance companies trying to make mastectomies (the removal of one or both breasts in the treatment of breast cancer) an outpatient procedure. Knowing that every patient is different and that some breast cancer patients require more care than others, Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro has reintroduced the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act bill into congress.

If passed, this bill will effectively give the patient and her doctor the right to determine whether she should recover from a mastectomy in a hospital for at least 48 hours following surgery – instead of leaving this important decision in the hands of insurance companies. Currently 20 states mandate this minimum inpatient coverage after a mastectomy, but with the passage of this bill, this policy will become nationwide.

Please click the read more link to learn more about this important bill.

These days you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t been affected or knows someone who has been affected by Breast Cancer. According to the American Cancer Society:
• Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer, behind skin cancer, in women.
• An estimated 40,480 women and 450 men died from breast cancer in 2008.
• In 2008, an estimated 182,460 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in women, and an estimated 1,990 invasive breast cancer cases were diagnosed in men.

Because of its effectiveness, most breast cancer patients will opt to undergo some sort of surgical treatment, which may involve mastectomy. Patients who have had an early discharge from the hospital following surgery often report negative outcomes, including infection, and inadequately controlled pain. That’s why this bill is so important; every person’s battle with breast cancer is different and the experience is life-changing. Patients deserve the right to have the care they feel they need to heal.

As many of you know, this issue is very close to Dr. David Whiteman’s heart. He is an active board member of the research and breast cancer prevention group called the Sport of Giving and has set up a “buddy system” within his own practice, where his reconstruction patients can talk to one another and know that they are not alone.

If you support the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act, please contact your local congressman/congresswoman. Check out full text of the bill or sign the online petition in support of this act.