An Alabama law that becomes effective Aug. 1 requires the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) to develop standardized information for breast cancer patients about treatment options available to them. Physicians are then required to disseminate the summary to breast cancer patients.
Under the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act of 2013, patient information about breast cancer treatment and reconstruction has been developed and is now available on the ADPH website. This includes an explanation of the various methods of treating breast cancer, breast reconstruction alternatives, and insurance coverage availability for these treatments.
The standardized written summary for alternative breast cancer treatments is to be provided by a physician to each person under his or her care who has been diagnosed with breast cancer upon diagnosis, or as soon thereafter as practicable. Hospitals that provide mastectomy surgery, lymph node dissection, or a lumpectomy are also to provide the information developed by the department.
Substantial improvements have been made in breast cancer treatment in recent years, and the law is intended to ensure every patient is aware of treatments that are now available.
Information is not intended to replace the advice or recommendations of a patient's physician. Rather, it is a resource to help patients learn about breast cancer treatment so that they can make the best choices regarding their own treatment plan.
The summary is available at www.adph.org. You may either click on the pink breast cancer banner on the front page or go under A-Z Index and click the Breast Cancer Treatment Brochure in the menu. Both the brochure and the Breast Cancer Treatment Education Act of 2013 can be viewed and printed from the site.
INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Dept. of Public Health