October 08, 2019

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Duckworth Highlights Importance of Recovery Products


[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today visited Second Act Boutique, a provider of breast cancer recovery products such as breast prostheses, wigs, hats and more. While there, Duckworth highlighted her Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act, which would help ensure breast cancer patients and survivors who have experienced a mastectomy are able to access custom breast prosthetics under Medicare. Photos from today’s event are available here.

“Cancer doesn’t discriminate based on income or healthcare coverage,” Duckworth said. “It’s hard to imagine the kind of resilience it takes to go through the hell that is cancer and come out on the other side, but one thing we can do is ensure that legislative loopholes don’t stop these women from getting the healthcare coverage they need and deserve when they’re going through the unimaginable. It’s on us to make sure that every fighter, every survivor, has the healthcare options they need when they need it the most.”

Duckworth was joined today by Ret. Lt. Col. Jennifer Pritzker, Essentially Women Vice President Nikki Jensen, Tom Powers of VGM, Second Act Boutique owner Pattie Cagney and breast cancer survivors.

Duckworth’s bipartisan, bicameral Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act would provide coverage for custom fabricated breast prostheses, the only human body part not currently covered by Medicare, to the more than 144,000 women who undergo mastectomies annually. Her legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in the Senate and U.S. Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA-27) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN-2) in the House.

Over 3.1 million women in the United States have a history of breast cancer, many of whom suffer from unreconstructed breast loss. In 2018, more than 260,000 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, which can require surgical breast removal. Currently, Medicare covers reconstructive surgery for breast cancer patients, but not custom breast prosthetics for patients.