Our mission is to ensure breast cancer patients and providers understand
that “going flat” is a valid, beautiful, healthy surgical option after mastectomy.
How do we plan to accomplish this? Step by step.
1. clear language
Breast cancer patients need clear language to communicate their desire to go flat to a medical team. FCN commits to providing and promoting clear language on flat closure and revision surgery.
2. information & community
Breast cancer patients who are considering going flat need information and community. FCN commits to educating and supporting patients through its website, social media presence, and publications.
3. INCLUSION FOR FLAT CLOSURE
The onus should not be on breast cancer patients to educate their medical team about flat as a valid post-mastectomy surgical option. FCN believes the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers’ “Reconstructive Surgery Consult” requirements should include the option for flat closure alongside breast-mound reconstruction.
It’s time to broaden the public breast cancer conversation to include flat as a viable post-mastectomy option; therefore, FCN commits to establishing a presence at national breast surgery conferences to give voice to the option to go flat.
5. revision is not "elective"
An aesthetically pleasing (meaning neat and tidy) flat closure should NOT be considered cosmetic surgery. No breast cancer patient should be denied access to a flat closure because an insurance company deems going flat an elective surgery.
6. amend the whcra
The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act should include language that protects a patient's right to a flat closure after mastectomy. FCN believes the umbrella term “breast reconstruction,” which the Act mandates insurance companies cover, must be amended to include language for flat closure.
7. improve reimbursement
Surgeons deserve better compensation for performing flat closures. FCN commits to supporting efforts to improve reimbursement for surgeons who take the time to make a patient truly flat.
8. advisory board
All surgeons who work with breast cancer patients should be familiar with flat-closure techniques. FCN's advisory board includes surgeons who commit their time, insights, and expertise to training their colleagues how (and why) to perform flat closures.
9. flat research
Research on the quality of life and satisfaction of patients who've gone flat MUST happen to advance the community's understanding and lay the groundwork for shifts in legislation.
10. ACKNOWLEDGE & ADDRESS
Providers must acknowledge and address structural paternalism that is rampant in breast cancer care. Providers must be willing to reflect on how their conscious and unconscious assumptions impact patient care.