As a teenager during the 1970s, I remember hearing about health insurers refusing to cover reconstructive surgery for women who had undergone mastectomies. It was a selfish big business practice which denied an option to women who were fortunate to survive breast cancer. Prosthetics were common, but medical procedures to restore women’s pre-surgery appearance were reserved for the wealthy.
At the time, I heard nothing about breast cancer survivors who had no interest in reconstructive surgery. They probably existed then, but they’re more vocal now. They have good reasons to be outspoken, too.
On October 31, The New York Times posted an enlightening article by Roni Caryn Rabin, who interviewed women describing how they reached their decisions against cosmetic surgery. These women share observations which haven’t occurred to many of us, and a few have posed shirtless to demonstrate that we don’t lose our dignity after cancer surgery.
Here’s a link to the Times article: