Preparing for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Published in Women's Health on September 12, 2022

It’s mid-September, and that means it’s time to start preparing your shop for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) in October. Whether it be sponsoring or participating in events and fundraisers in your local community or making yourself the go-to source for information in your community by posting Breast Cancer Awareness Month-related posts, take advantage of this opportunity to ask for support of the legislation that affects your patients and your business, including the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act.

Over 3.8 million women in the United States have a history of breast cancer, many of whom suffer from unreconstructed breast loss. Currently, Medicare covers off-the-shelf breast prosthetics and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer patients, but not custom breast prosthetics. 

The Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act would provide Medicare coverage for custom breast prosthesis. The breast is one of the few body parts not covered by Medicare as a custom replacement – we should be able to do better.  Many private insurance companies follow Medicare guidelines, and that’s why this legislation is so important; women of all ages and insurance coverages will be impacted. This legislation would allow women who have undergone a mastectomy to be able to choose which breast replacement option is best for them, whether that be surgical reconstruction, off-the-shelf prosthesis, or custom breast prosthesis. Surgical reconstruction and off-the-shelf are covered by Medicare; custom is not. Not all women are candidates for surgery or would choose surgery if they had an option that would better fit than what off-the-shelf prosthetics can provide. 

The Let Her Decide campaign is focused on sharing the importance of the passage of the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act and has many tools available for you to help advocate! Here’s what you can do: 

  • Go to letherdecide.org and click "Take Action" to send a pre-written letter to your members of Congress asking them to support the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act. 
  • View the updated policy guide, counter cards, and Let Her Decide toolkit to use in your community.
  • Share one of the graphics below on your personal and business social media platforms to encourage others to take action as well.

Here are a few more things you can do to reach out to your elected officials to let them know this is important to you – as their constituent: 

  • Call your elected officials to request that they sign on to the legislation. Let them know how breast cancer and access to custom breast prosthesis has affected your life. You can find your representatives’ contact information here
  • Contact Essentially Women and ask if we can help setup a meeting with your representatives. 
  • Like and Follow the Let Her Decide campaign on Facebook and Twitter, and invite your friends too! 
  • Tell all of your customers about this important bill and how they can help by taking action. (Hint: Use these counter cards to give to all of your customers.) 
  • Contact local breast cancer support groups and ask if you can come to speak about the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act and Let Her Decide Campaign.

Need help or have questions? Call Essentially Women at 800-988-4484 or email us at essentiallywomen@vgm.com. 

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