I am a breast cancer patient who has had mastectomy and is in the process of reconstruction.

I believe the availability of reconstruction influences a woman's decision to seek routine breast checks and mammograms. This, therefore, promotes early diagnosis.

I have heard countless stories in my support group of how important the normal body image is in accepting this diagnosis. As a surgical nurse, this is continuously confirmed by my patients. This is not a cosmetic procedure to me or them. Women want to look and feel as normal as possible. Also, normal balance is restored to the chest, relieving back and shoulder stress with even weight distribution.

Women do not want the "empty chest syndrome." It is a constant reminder of the anger, fear and suffering of having cancer. Reconstruction is a small cost to promote early detection and normalcy of body image and balance.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Mary from California