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Op-Ed: Free Treatment for Breast Cancer Patients Who Are Uninsured
Date:10/4/2007

mit insurance fraud to obtain insurance, or she could run up medical bills that she knew she would never pay.

No one at her insurance company or at her hospital told her she was eligible for the free prevention and treatment program, fought for by the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition and sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Healthy Woman Program.

With three weeks of medical coverage left, Gina was in despair. She had already sold the home she and her husband had built and moved into a South Philadelphia row home. Her bank accounts were nearly exhausted and even if she cashed out her retirement account, it would not have covered her $10,000 per month chemo bill for long.

She learned about the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program when her desperation led her to make tearful calls to the Pennsylvania Health Law Project and the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.

How many other women, she often wonders, learn of the program's free cancer treatment after it is too late?

Advocacy has changed the battleground for breast cancer patients in Pennsylvania. Groups like ours -- of which there are many -- have given breast cancer patients a voice that has resulted in:

-- Mandatory insurance coverage for breast reconstruction

-- Free mammograms for uninsured and underinsured women starting at age

40

-- A state income tax check-off that has raised $2 million for breast

cancer research

-- 67 Women - 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania: a

traveling exhibition that celebrates the life, courage, hope and

dignity of women and families who have battled breast cancer

-- Friends Like Me, our survivor support program

-- Conferences, newsletters and other support and education efforts

-- Pink ribbon license plates that spread cancer awareness

-- Paint Pennsylvania Pink, a web-based campaign that allows donors to

use their contribut
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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