Monday, October 4, 2010

Cures and treatment

The other day, I wrote about the argument that my neighbors were having about prevention vs. cure. Quite frankly, I think we need to have both at present because we aren't moving ahead on either front in very swift time. At least that's how it feels to me.

For a long time, I have supported the Susan G. Komen Foundation. When I lived in Connecticut, I ran or walked in every race except for the first year they held it. I raised as much money as I could because I believed in the work that they did.

One of the things that the Komen Foundation does is keeps a significant portion of the money raised in the community, in the community. Much of it goes to provide free mammograms for those who can't afford it. The organization also works hard to educate and serve women in groups who are largely missed, or have higher mortality rates. Breast cancer, for a variety of reasons, is often diagnosed late in the game among African Americans and Latinas and the Komen Foundation is recruiting women from these groups to speak to their "sisters" and help them understand that cancer, if detected early, can be cured, or at least isn't a death sentence.

Currently, the Komen Foundation is working on a petition for elected officials to sign a Breast Cancer Bill of Rights. It is as follows:

Breast Cancer Bill of Rights

Every woman deserves access to timely and affordable high-quality breast health care but not every woman has it. As a breast cancer advocate, I pledge to support the Breast Cancer Bill of Rights and its ten tenets:

  1. EARLY DETECTION: Every woman has a right to access breast cancer screening tools that may save her life.
  2. FINANCIAL STABILITY: Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have a right to fight the disease without fear of bankruptcy.
  3. ACCESS: Breast cancer patients and survivors have a right to health coverage.
  4. TIMELY CARE: Every woman who has an abnormal mammogram has a right to a diagnosis and treatment, if needed, without delay.
  5. HIGH QUALITY: Every woman has a right to high quality care, no matter where she seeks medical services.
  6. STRONG SAFETY NET: Uninsured women have a right to a strong breast health care safety net.
  7. RECONSTRUCTION: Breast cancer survivors have a right to insurance coverage for full mastectomy care, including reconstruction.
  8. CLINICAL TRIALS: Breast cancer patients who participate in a clinical trial have a right to coverage for routine health care costs.
  9. PATIENT EDUCATION: Every woman has a right to make informed choices and take control of her own health.
  10. INNOVATION: All Americans have a right to a government that invests adequately in innovative cancer research.

I promise to protect our newly acquired rights in the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act and keep fighting until the entire Breast Cancer Bill of Rights is enshrined in law and extended to all women.

You can sign up for the petition here. Find out more about the Susan G. Komen Foundation here.

Two branches of attack are better than one, and one is better than none.

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