October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Hymson Goldstein & Pantiliat employees show their support to find a cure with a team of 22 participants in the local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Raising money for research is an important way to help end the affliction of breast cancer. The Susan G. Komen foundation also provides funding for mammograms for many people that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford the screening exam.
The American Cancer Society website provides the following recommended screening schedule:
- Women age 40 and older should have a mammogram and a clinical breast exam every year.
- Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam as part of a periodic health exam by a health professional preferably every 3 years.
- Breast self-examination is an option for women starting in their 20s.
What seems like the most important point – reiterated many times on the ACS website – is to inform your physician if you notice any change in the feel or appearance of your breasts. (Men too!)
Breast Cancer and the Law
On October 1, 1998 the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) was signed into law. While many women who had breast cancer were able to have a mastectomy covered by their insurance, many health insurance providers opted out of allowing for coverage of reconstructive or corrective surgery that would be considered cosmetic in nature following a mastectomy. The WHCRA applies to most group health plans that cover medical and surgical costs of a mastectomy and require that they also provide coverage for:
- Reconstruction of the breast that was removed by mastectomy
- Surgery and reconstruction of the other breast to make the breasts look symmetrical or balanced after mastectomy
- Any external breast prostheses that are needed before or during the reconstruction
For more information about the WHCRA and breast health speak to your physician or visit the American Cancer Society website by clicking here.