What breast cancer patients need to know

March 25, 2011 3:28:05 PM PDT
It's a procedure that can dramatically affect a breast cancer patient's quality of life.

"I felt so angry, I called my priest and he said do something with that anger do something good," said Pace, a cancer survivor, mother and grandmother.

Pace became an activist. Now, she's sharing information she wants every breast cancer patient to know - that breast reconstruction is covered by insurance.

Not every patient has been getting that information, but all breast cancer patients must get that information because it's state law.

"A lot of the doctors say, just be happy your cancer's being take out," said plastic surgeon Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh.

Doctors say studies show 54 percent of patients covered by private insurance get breast reconstruction surgery as opposed to only 11 percent of patients covered by government sponsored insurance which told them the information wasn't getting to everyone who needed it.

"There's a fault line across socioeconomic status of the patient in terms of how much information they get," said Dr. Alizadeh.

"Breast reconstruction surgery helped me feel whole, and helps my self esteem," said Pace.

Pace wants all patients to know that they're entitled to that feeling.

"I've got 6 granddaughters, I'll never stop fighting," said Pace.