A New Jersey Congressman has reintroduced legislation that would help educate women about breast reconstruction and care options following cancer treatments.

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During an event at The Steeplechcase Cancer Center at Somerset Medical Center, Congressman Leonard Lance discussed the importance of the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act, and was joined by New Jersey breast cancer survivors and patients, officials with Somerset Medical Center and representatives from Susan G. Komen, North Jersey affiliate.

The Breast Cancer Patient Education Act seeks to help women cope with breast cancer and become fully aware of their options and gain more control over their health care decisions at a time when a sense of control is lost,” said Congressman Lance.

Maureen Schneider, senior vice president of clinical program development and chief nursing officer at Somerset Medical Center, said “we applaud Congressman Lance for continuing to serve as a strong advocate in Washington for the advancement of cancer care, education is an important part of a patient’s cancer journey. Breast cancer patients need to be aware of all of their options, including reconstructive surgery, so that they can make informed decisions about their care.”

Lance’s noted that his bipartisan ‘Breast Cancer Patient Education Act would come at no cost to taxpayers.  Lance’s bill would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to plan and implement an education campaign to inform breast cancer patients about their options prior to surgery.

Surprisingly, studies have found up to 70% of women eligible for breast reconstruction following cancer treatment are not fully informed of their reconstruction and care options by their general surgeon.