A recent report which looked at the effect of legislation on breast reconstruction has recently been published. There is a dramatic increase in those people who have not only been informed of their option for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, but also in the number of people who underwent the procedure. This does show the effect of legislation such as the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998.
Between 2000 and 2009, >168,000 women in the database of this study underwent mastectomy and 35,000 of them had breast reconstruction immediately following their cancer treatment. Roughly 13% in 2000 had breast reconstruction as opposed to 36% in 2009. While these with health insurance still had high numbers, the greatest increase in reconstruction rates over this decade was among women covered by MediCare and MedicAid. In 2000, just ~5% of women on MedicAid had breast reconstruction performed, whereas 20% had it done in 2009 – approximately a 4-fold increase! Along similar lines, those on MediCare also tripled from 4.3 to 12.3% during the same time span. Women with private insurance more than doubled their rate of reconstructions from 22.1-57.1%.
The option and knowledge of breast reconstruction is certainly rising as shown. Strives still need to be made to educate the physician and patient alike, about this option and the effect that it has on women both mentally and psychologically, along with the physical aspects.
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