New Bill Would Mandate Breast Reconstruction Discussion Before Breast Cancer Surgery
Currently only 30% of breast cancer patients are informed of their breast reconstruction options before mastectomy or lumpectomy.
New legislation is being proposed in Texas that aims to significantly improve that abysmal statistic for breast cancer patients. Texas House Bill 669 would mandate that doctors inform all breast cancer patients about their breast reconstruction options BEFORE having surgery for breast cancer. The bill was drafted based on similar legislation in the state of New York.
PRMA Plastic Surgery is proud to announce that a former patient, Tammy Carrington, is the team leader behind this Bill. She proactively sought out her state representative, James White, to begin drafting proposals. The Bill was drafted and submitted January 14, 2011. If approved, this statute will take effect the following year.
Tammy Carrington knows firsthand what it’s like to be diagnosed with breast cancer and receive limited treatment options. After being diagnosed in June of 2009, Tammy was given two options: a lumpectomy with radiation or a unilateral mastectomy. Tammy didn’t want either.
Tammy wanted to decrease the risk of breast cancer in the future in the other breast too. After intensely researching her options on her own she learned she could have bilateral mastectomies and immediate reconstruction. Ultimately she traveled to PRMA in San Antonio and underwent bilateral mastectomies with immediate DIEP flap breast reconstruction using her own abdominal tissue. All the procedures were covered by her health insurance.
Not surprisingly, Tammy feels very strongly about this Bill since she so easily could have chosen something she feels would have been the wrong option for her.
“My nature is to research things completely so that I can make informed decisions. I am the mom to a severely brain injured little boy. I’ve spent lots of time over the years looking for information on how to help him get better. After getting over the shock of hearing the ‘C’ word,… I went into research mode”, Tammy recalls.
“HB 669 isn’t mandating any particular treatment. It’s not mandating any surgery. It’s just mandating education. Women have the right to be told about their options so they can make truly informed decisions about their own health. Unfortunately, right now only 30% are even told breast reconstruction is an option”, she says.
PRMA Plastic Surgery is proud to support HB 669 and is calling on breast cancer patients, physicians, and all those touched by breast cancer throughout the state of Texas to offer their support by calling their representatives.
Please call your State Legislator and urge them to co-author HB 669. Your state representative’s contact information can be found HERE.