HHSC Recognizes Breast Reconstruction Advocacy and Education Day

March 20, 2023

HHSC recognizes March 21 as Breast Reconstruction Advocacy and Education (BRAVE) Day, designated by the Texas Legislature in 2017, to honor those affected by breast cancer and educate survivors about recovery options.

HHS offers screening and diagnostic services through its Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program. Women with low income and no insurance who have been diagnosed with breast cancer may be eligible for the Medicaid for Breast and Cervical Cancer (MBCC) program, which covers medical care, including cancer treatments. MBCC may cover breast reconstruction for eligible women.

Women can reduce their risk and improve early detection of breast cancer by following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention screening guidelines. Women can talk to their health care provider to learn more about their risk factors and screening recommendations.

Sharon Stone, policy and support manager for the HHSC Early Childhood Intervention program, knows the importance of regular breast cancer screening.

“In January 2018, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma,” Stone said. “The tumor was found on my annual mammogram. It was so small and so deep that I could not feel it through a self-exam. However, it was so aggressive that the cancer had already spread to six lymph nodes under my arm, even though there had been no sign of it on my mammogram just one year earlier.”

Stone underwent treatment for a little more than a year — chemotherapy, then surgery to remove the tumor and radiation. Stone was declared cancer-free in April 2019.

“I’ll continue to see my wonderful oncologist for one more year, and then, if everything still looks good, I’ll officially be in remission in April 2024,” Stone said. “I’m so glad I kept my appointment for that annual mammogram five years ago. I’m proof that mammograms save lives.”

For more information and to find a clinic near you, visit the Healthy Texas Women website. For additional resources, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services and the American Cancer Society Breast Reconstruction Surgery website.