Monday, October 08, 2007

The 2007 Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Promise of a Cure

It's October again, and the color pink returns to store shelves. The color reminds women to make a mammogram appointment if they haven't this year. It's time for breast cancer awareness activism. This year, it's brought to you by Lifetime TV. Here's the details as posted on their website:

The Breast Cancer Protection Act of 2007 (S.459/H.R.758)

Lead sponsors: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

Cosponsors: This bipartisan bill has 18 cosponsors in the Senate and 168 cosponsors in the House.

The bill's protections for those facing breast cancer include:
  1. Inpatient coverage: Provides that a health-care provider cannot limit hospital stays for mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery to less than 48 hours, and also assures a 24-hour stay for lymph node dissection. While some patients may choose a shorter stay, this choice should be one in which both the doctor and patient concur. No woman should be forced to undergo invasive treatment on an outpatient basis. This bill does not mandate a hospital stay if both doctor and patient feel it is unnecessary.

  2. A second opinion: Assures a patient of a second opinion for any cancer diagnosis. A cancer diagnosis must be reliable.

  3. Support for lumpectomy treatment: Requires coverage for radiation therapy for patients undergoing a lumpectomy. Together with the assurance of inpatient care, the economic incentive is removed for a woman to select mastectomy simply to reduce the immediate cost of treatment.

The bill was first introduced to the House in 1997 by Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT). The bill never passed the Senate. Lifetime TV has started a petition in support of the bill:

Last fall, as part of Lifetime's "Stop Breast Cancer for Life" campaign, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jewel, joined by Lifetime executives, delivered more than 12 million signatures to Congress calling for an end to the cruel practice of sending women home without a sufficient recovery period, sometimes just hours after their mastectomy.

This month the petition just reached the 20 million mark!

Sign the petition.

On Saturday, U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Davis, R-Virginia, lost her battle with breast cancer [Via Carol Gee]. My condolences to her family, friends and co-workers.

Show your support for your mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend or co-worker by signing the petition in support of The Breast Cancer Protection Act of 2007.

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