2006-11-10 / Community

Addabbo Urges Passage Of Breast Cancer Bill

City Council Member Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. announced that he has cosponsored a Resolution in the Council calling on the United States Congress to pass the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2005.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and ACS statistics also indicate that the chance of a women developing invasive breast cancer at some point in her life is about one in eight.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, after lung cancer, for women in the United States.

According to the National Research Center for Women (NRC) for Women and Families, in 2006 more than 200,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

The most common methods of treatment for breast cancer in the United States are surgery and such surgeries should allow for a hospital stay sufficient to ensure that the patient is not experiencing any adverse effects.

The Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2005, a bill currently before Congress, would ensure that hospital stays could not be limited to less than 48 hours for a mastectomy or breast conserving surgery, or to less than 24 hours for surgeries involving lymph node dissection and would also ensure coverage of a second opinion for any breast cancer diagnosis, as well as coverage for radiation therapy for patients undergoing a lumpectomy.

The Act would also place control of important medical decisions in the hands of the patient and doctor, rather than the insurance company.

"Patients should not be forced as a result of insurance limitations to leave a hospital too quickly following surgery, against their wishes or advice of their doctor, nor should they be denied potentially life saving radiation therapy if they choose to have a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy," said Addabbo in urging Congress to move quickly to pass this important piece of legislation.

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