CAGNO’s BREASTORATION PROGRAM RECEIVES GRANT FOR BREAST RECONSTRUCTION PATIENTS Breastoration Helps pass Strongest Breast Reconstruction Law in the nation Click here for our spot on WWL News Louisiana has passed new laws to make breast reconstruction more accessible to women after breast cancer and a mastectomy. Breastoration founder Kim Sport and Louisiana representative Helena Moreno share more information on the new laws. New Orleans,...
You’ve been through a lot. You had to deal with the shock of your diagnosis and the fact that your life was forever changed. You endured the barrage of doctors’ appointments, tests, scans, surgeries, and various other assaults on your body. You were so busy, so focused, that at times it helped distract you from the deeper fear that this thing in your body wanted to kill you. You were a warrior. People said they could never be as brave as you. And even...
What are the Different Types of Breast Reconstruction? There is not one type of breast reconstruction that is best for all women. Each technique has its pros and cons that a woman must weigh, depending upon her unique circumstances. Poor outcomes can result from the most advanced techniques, when performed by a surgeon inexperienced in that form of breast reconstruction. On the other hand, any type of breast reconstruction, in the right hands and under...
A staggering 70% of women who undergo breast cancer treatment are not fully informed about their options for reconstructive surgery, according to a recent report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. A woman being given a cancer diagnosis is indisputably at one of the most vulnerable times in her life, and is forced to make quick decisions. Most are not encouraged to educate themselves. The internet has provided us with the world at our...
Some women prefer not to undergo any additional surgical procedures beyond mastectomy. Others feel strongly that they do not want to wake up from surgery without new breasts to replace the originals. Many may not be sure how they feel and prefer putting off the decision until after they have undergone mastectomy and additional treatments. We’re fortunate to live in a time when any of these positions can be accommodated by a variety of surgical...
The Breastoration Fund was created by breast cancer survivors Sandy Keller, Eve Wallinga and Kim Sport to help breast cancer patients access the treatment no one talks about – breast reconstruction following surgical mastectomies. The survivor-founders decided not to create a separate 501(c)(3) for the Breastoration Fund, and instead to place the fund under the auspices of CAGNO – the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans, which serves 13 parishes in SE Louisiana and has been in existence since 1958. Breastoration Application
To get an in-depth perspective click here to see Kim Sport and learn how Breastoration was started.
Reconstruction following breast cancer surgery is not cosmetic surgery. It is medically necessary. Federal and state laws require health insurers (including Medicaid and Medicare) to cover breast reconstruction procedures. The problem is that fewer than 35% of eligible women undergo breast reconstruction because a staggering 70% of women, particularly poor, minority women, are simply not informed of their reconstructive options, do not know they have insurance coverage, or do not know where to gain access to the procedures. This lack of information may greatly affect a woman’s decision to have breast conservation surgery as opposed to a mastectomy. It may lead to delayed and more complicated reconstructions or, even worse, unnecessary life-long disfigurement.
Survivors have written Breastoration’s educational brochure, which CAGNO has begun to distribute to physicians’ offices so that all women have the information they need regarding the availability of health insurance coverage for breast reconstruction and their options before any cancer surgery. While CAGNO hopes to eventually distribute this information nationwide, the biggest push for dissemination of the Breastoration brochures will be in Louisiana, which has the highest mortality rate in the nation for breast cancer and provides a perfect example of where good intentions to help women make informed choices about their breast cancer treatment options have failed to have an impact on the target population.
In 1999, the Louisiana Legislature passed a statute (La. R.S. 40:1300.151-4) that requires a treating physician or surgeon to inform a patient diagnosed with any form of breast cancer of the alternative efficacious methods of treatment and to provide each patient a standard written summary of the advantages, disadvantages, risks, and descriptions of the procedures, including breast cancer reconstruction surgery. The statute further requires the Department of Health and Hospitals to create and review the summary every three years and the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to create a distribution system of the summary brochure that is linked to a physician’s licensing renewal.
Research conducted by the representatives of the Breastoration Fund for the United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area’s Women’s Leadership Council found that the summary brochure was created once in 2000 and never reviewed, and that the LSBME distributed the summary brochure once to licensed doctors and never created an annual distribution system. Representatives of the Breastoration Fund, the Women’s Leadership Council and other cancer non-profit organizations are working together to take necessary steps to assure that the DHH, the LSBME and Louisiana physicians comply with the existing law.
In addition to its education and advocacy efforts, the Breastoration Fund provides financial assistance to cover ancillary expenses of women seeking breast reconstruction in CAGNO’s service area. CAGNO’s service area includes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, St. Charles, Washington, Assumption, Lafourche, St. Mary, Terrebonne, and St. John the Baptist Parishes. CAGNO created the eligibility criteria, applications process and application form.
Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer is one of the toughest moments a woman is ever faced with. There is much organizational support for breast cancer research and community education, screening and treatment, but there is little or no funding for the critical final step in the physical and emotional healing of a breast cancer survivor. The Breastoration Fund is hopefully the first of many to come.
To make a secure on-line donation please click on the pink ribbon. Select “Breastoration” under “Donation Type”.
If you would like to make a donation in memory of or in honor of a friend or loved one, you can do so online or by mail:
824 Elmwood Park Blvd
New Orleans, La 70123