As the nation marks National Women's Health Week, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) introduced the "Breast Cancer Patient Education Act" (S.931) to ensure patients undergoing treatment are aware of all their options.
The bill, which is also co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), and Senator Jon Tester (Mont.), directs the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to plan and implement a campaign to educate women about their options surrounding breast cancer surgery.
"This deadly disease impacts millions of American families, as 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime," Blunt said. "I will continue to fight to support breast cancer awareness and research so we can improve treatment options and ultimately find a way to end this terrible disease."
"We need to do more to fight breast cancer and better inform women, in Ohio, about their reconstructive care options. We empower them when we inform them of all options -- including reconstructive surgery -- at the outset of their treatment. The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act will help ensure that women know of their options." Brown said. "An overwhelming majority of women are not informed of their breast cancer reconstructive options, even though by law any insurance plan that covers breast cancer treatment must also cover reconstruction or prosthetic care. The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act would ensure all women are informed of their care options prior to breast cancer surgery, so that they can benefit from a systematic plan of care from the start of treatment."
"Raising breast cancer awareness will make sure more women are treating the disease early on and know the medical options available to them," said Tester. "This bill makes sure that women know what choices they have after surgery to improve their quality of life."
Blunt also co-sponsored the "Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act," which was introduced by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) to establish a presidentially-appointed Commission tasked with ending breast cancer by January 1, 2020. Last week, Blunt met with members of the St. Louis Breast Cancer Coalition to discuss ways they can work together to support research and accelerate the fight to end breast cancer.