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New Coalition Created to Help Breast Cancer Survivors Gain Access to Products Designed to Improve Their Quality of Life
Date:1/29/2009

ATLANTA, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- A national coalition of patient advocates, physicians, business groups, non-profit organizations and other stakeholders, has been created to help breast cancer survivors gain better access to high quality prostheses and related post-surgical items. Known as Because We CARE (Breast Cancer Survivor Coalition for the Advancement, Reform and Equity), the coalition, a non-profit organization (www.becausewecarecoalition.com) launched this week with the support of U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey, MD (R-GA). Gingrey spent more than 25 years in a successful OB-GYN practice in Georgia and is an advocate of women's health issues.

"It is time for members of congress to recognize that current Medicare formulas have created a system that deprives many breast cancer survivors and others in need of products and services that can help them move on with their lives. The coalition is a great way to draw attention to this issue," said Gingrey.

Organizations supporting the coalition include Amoena USA Corporation and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. In addition to national support, other organizations include Willie's Specialty Shop in Orange, CA, Late Bloomers in San Mateo, CA, New Day's Dawn in Santee, CA, The Profile Shop in PA, Special Lady Boutique in KY, A Place For Her in FL, Touching You in AL, Enhance by Linda Reib in CA, Barbara Graves Intimate Fashion in AR, and The Pink Petal in South Hadley, MA.

"We joined forces to create this Coalition because we all are extremely dedicated to providing breast cancer survivors with better access to products that will give them the quality of life they deserve," said Bonnie Marshall, patient advocate and breast cancer survivor. "We also understand the issues affecting women's healthcare coverage and the importance of gaining access to breast prostheses, symmetry shapers and other post surgical items. We want to raise awareness of the issues facing women affected by breast cancer and work toward removing barriers that inhibit them from maintaining their dignity and improving their quality of life."

After having surgery to treat breast cancer, many survivors struggle to regain the quality of life they experienced before their diagnosis. Health care research has found that the sooner women can feel whole again, and regain their sense of femininity, the sooner they will be able to move on with their lives.

High quality, doctor-prescribed external breast prostheses can assist a high percentage of the 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States in achieving this goal. However, due to the formula created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), coverage of breast prostheses differs from state to state. Regardless of health care coverage -- commercial or Medicare -- these disparities effectively limit choice and may deprive women of the best available breast forms and related supplies.

For additional information on Because We Care members and legislative outreach, visit www.becausewecarecoalition.com.


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SOURCE Because We CARE Coalition
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