This month saw the introduction of a bill to require all breast cancer patients be given information about their reconstructive choices. This bill is enthusiastically backed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a group that has also launched…I kid you not…National Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day to bring awareness. Personally, I think the crux of the issue is stated quite clearly in the opening paragraph of their press release: “However, only 33 percent of eligible women with breast cancer undergo breast reconstruction…” Ca-ching.
I will be sending the letter that follows to members of Congress…both those who represent me and those I have come to know, urging them to THINK sensibly. I will also be contacting BRA Day spokeswoman Jewel, urging her to RETHINK this insulting, pejorative effort. For more in the blogosphere check out Nancy’s fantastic post at Nancy’s Point.
Dear Member of Congress,
As I am sure you are aware, HR 5937: The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act of 2012, is making its way through the House of Representatives.
I am asking you to vote NO on this bill, and I would like to share my concerns about HR 5937 with you.
- While at first blush it seems like this bill can do no harm, at its core it focuses on women as objects, who, without filled bras, are incomplete. It assumes that women cannot seek out their own information, and that their doctors are not doing their jobs.
- Poverty is already a known risk factor in cancer. Are we truly asking doctors of low-income/unemployed patients to sit and explain all the options they can’t possibly afford? Or are we planning to ensure that every woman, and man, will be given access to the panoply of options (perhaps ASPS will set up a fund?)
- This bill is backed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Are they truly strong enough to leverage Congress in order to line their pockets? If, in fact, women are not being informed of their reconstructive options, then ASPS should be working with the professional organizations of their colleagues to adapt the standard of care.
This is an easy bandwagon to jump on. I appreciate that it will play well back in the district in an election year, as long as no one pays attention to the bill itself. However, I trust you to have greater respect for the women you represent than to allow this objectifying, money-grabbing bill to harness the power of the United States Congress! We need REAL change in breast cancer and this is a waste of our efforts, time being our only true non-renewable commodity!
Thank you for your consideration,
Your VOTING Constituent