More Women Treated For Breast Cancer Choose Reconstruction of Their Breasts

A new study by researchers from private practices and academic medical centers shows that more women are receiving breast reconstruction after mastectomies, according to this report in USA Today.

The study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, identified 20,506 women who had a mastectomy for breast cancer between the time the 1998 law passed and 2007:

By looking at data from a nationwide employment-based database of medical claims, researchers found that 46% of women who underwent a mastectomy received breast reconstruction in 1998. The number rose to 63% by 2007.

Breast cancer expert and surgeon Dr. Jay Harness says the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 – which requires group health insurance plans that cover mastectomies to also cover breast reconstruction surgeries – together with increased patient awareness of their rights to coverage for breast reconstruction is likely driving the increase:

We often perform an immediate breast reconstruction at the time of a lumpectomy or mastectomy. But for others there is no “statute of limitations” on when you may get a breast reconstruction. You can get a reconstruction any time after a mastectomy or lumpectomy as long as your specialist considers you okay to proceed.

Read the study abstract at this link, and the full story in USA Today.

[Image source: USA Today]

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