The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) proudly leads in the effort to pass the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act, which requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to plan and implement an education campaign to inform breast cancer patients of the availability and coverage of breast reconstruction and other available alternatives post-mastectomy.

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 requires health plans that offer breast cancer coverage to also provide for breast reconstruction and prostheses. Breast reconstruction can be an important part of the recovery process, as it can impact the patient’s psychological and sexual well-being. Yet many women, particularly those of racial and ethnic minority groups, are not informed about their options.

ASPS is committed to educating women about the availability of post-mastectomy procedures that can support their breast cancer recovery. The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act will inform women of their right to breast reconstruction under federal law and provide women with information about when breast reconstruction or prostheses may be appropriate within their recovery plan.

Did You Know ...

  • In 2015, an estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.
  • Unfortunately, eligible women with breast cancer undergo breast reconstruction and many women, particularly those of racial and ethnic minority groups, are often not informed about their care options.
  • African-American women under the age of 40 have a greater incidence of breast cancer than Caucasian women of the same age.
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Hispanic women.