Health & Medical Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery

New York Law to Require Hospitals to Disclose Breast Reconstruction Information to All Breast Cancer

Once diagnosed with breast cancer, most women are so overwhelmed and immediately inundated with information that they cannot even fathom thinking about breast reconstruction a this point. Of course, eradicating the cancer is the most important concern, however, it's quickly becoming apparent that a large majority of breast cancer patients are not being briefed on their breast reconstruction options at all. Studies show alarming results, reporting that of every ten women diagnosed with breast cancer, only three are informed about breast reconstruction. These women are given so much information on treatment options for their breast cancer, yet important information on what to do after treatment is simply overlooked. This is very unfortunate as breast reconstruction is an integral part of the healing process. Reconstructing the breast after cancer treatment has shown to dramatically improve self-image, self-confidence and overall quality of life.

As to why a startling 70% of breast cancer patients are not informed of their breast reconstruction options is not all that certain. Speculation points to doctors who may fail to mention or discourage procedures in which they do not have the training to perform. This concern over women not being properly informed of their options has prompted the passage of a new law in New York that requires hospitals to inform all breast cancer patients of breast reconstruction options. After suffering through breast cancer and surgery, women have a right to know all their options. The fact of the matter is that it shouldn't have to be a mandated law, this should just be common sense. Some may still not opt to have reconstructive surgery, but many more may choose to do so if they know it is covered by their insurance.

Reports show that a disproportionate number of women who are at a socioeconomic disadvantage do not have breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy, this includes women who make less money, are less educated or are of a minority group. Some are simply unaware of the procedures because their doctors do not tell them, while others do not have the procedure because they are unaware that it is covered by Medicaid and Medicare.

This newly passed law aims to ensure that these women are not left in the dark anymore and are given the information they deserve to know. Prior to performing cancer surgery, New York hospitals and doctors will now be required to discuss the options for breast reconstruction with their patients, along with insurance coverage and where they can go for the procedure.

Breast reconstruction gives women the opportunity to feel whole again, to not have to struggle with clothing styles, and more importantly, it restores a sense of confidence and well-being. The benefits it has for women after breast cancer are tremendous and every single breast cancer survivor deserves to know about it.

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