Friday, October 9, 2009

Needle Biopsy Is Gold Standard For Breast Cancer Diagnosis

ScienceDaily (2009-10-08) -- A new report indicates that an alarming 35 percent of initial diagnostic breast biopsies in the United States are still being done using unnecessary open surgical techniques. This in spite of the fact that it costs as much as three times more than the much less invasive and equally accurate needle biopsy technique. ... > read full article
Note to women: If your physician is recommending a surgical biopsy instead of offering you a needle biopsy, get a second opinion from another doctor.  Surgical biopsies are not only expensive and invasive, requiring you to undergo surgery with anesthesia, they also leave scars and sometimes disfigure your breast unnecessarily.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Side-by-Side Comparison of Major Health Care Reform Proposals - Kaiser Family Foundation#

Health care reform is a critical issue in helping end breast cancer.

Kaiser Family Foundation, one of our favorite resources in tracking health care reform public policy, has updated their resource for comparing the health care reform plans under consideration in Washington DC.

Follow the link below to view the latest updates comparing plans from the House and Senate committees.

Side-by-Side Comparison of Major Health Care Reform Proposals - Kaiser Family Foundation#

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NBCC - Myths About Breast Cancer

National Breast Cancer Coalition has launched a great new web site.  For the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they are revealing a new myth about breast cancer every day.  Its critical, important information helpful in dispelling rumors and hype about breast cancer risk and treatment.

Check it out, sign up for their Twitter feed and read something new every day in October about breast cancer.

You can also read the myths by clicking on the widget we've posted at right.

Today's Myth #7

We don’t know how to prevent breast cancer.

TRUE. There are factors associated with increasing risk of breast cancer and certain factors that decrease the risk of breast cancer, but we do not know how to prevent breast cancer. Don’t eat red meat. Eat a low fat diet. Don’t wear deodorant. Don’t sleep in a bra. Women are bombarded constantly on what they can do to prevent breast cancer. Unfortunately, at this time, there is no known way to prevent the disease

Current factors known to contribute to overall breast cancer risk are mostly uncontrollable, including: age, personal and family breast cancer history, certain genetic factors, first menstrual period before age 12, menopause after 55, breast density and race. A few factors that can be controlled that have shown increased risk include: obesity, alcohol consumption and lack of physical activity. More

Insured or Uninsured,Women Forgo Necessary Health Care Due to Cost

The Commonwealth Fund recently released a new study showing more than 52% of US women have problems getting necessary health care because of cost. In addition, 45% of women had medical debt or reported problems with medical bills.

These problems apply to women across all income levels and were significantly greater than the percentage of men experiencing problems:

Problems paying medical bills & medical debt/ women vs. men:

45% vs. 36%  - all income levels
57% vs 48% - low income
61% vs 50% - moderate income
46% vs 32% - middle income
29% vs 21% - high income

Nearly half (45%) of all women delayed cancer screening and dental services.

Why are women experiencing problems getting necessary health care?  A major reason is the fact that women are charged as much as 50% more than men for health insurance coverage, while their incomes are lower.

Among the new health care reform proposals, HR 3200 will prohibit health insurance companies from charging women higher premiums than men.  It will also reduce out of pocket expenses by requiring no cost coverage for preventive care like cancer screening and prohibit them from denying coverage by treating pregnancy, c-sections, breast cancer and genetic testing as pre-existing conditions.

Get on board.  Join our e-newsletter list and receive legislative alerts to contact your member of Congress for health care reform and funding for breast cancer research.

Link here