Bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act Approved by U.S. House of Representatives...

Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:48pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act Approved by U.S. House of
Representatives After Lifetime Collects Nearly 23 Million Online Petition
Signatures

Act Will Abolish 'Drive-Through' Mastectomies

Lifetime and Viewers Urge U.S. Senate to Take Action Quickly

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- With the support of Lifetime Television
and at the urging of millions of people who signed a petition on
myLifetime.com, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the bipartisan
Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act, which would end the practice of
"drive-through" mastectomies, when women are forced to leave the hospital
within hours of undergoing major breast cancer surgery.   The vote was 421-2. 
The legislation was introduced by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and was
sponsored by 223 Representatives from both sides of the aisle.  The bill
guarantees that the patient and her doctor can make the decision of whether
she will go home or stay in the hospital for 48 hours after a mastectomy.   

(LOGO:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080804/NYM123LOGO )

The bill does not mandate a 48 hour hospital stay if a patient chooses to go
home sooner, nor does it set 48 hours as a maximum amount of time a woman can
stay in the hospital.  It simply ensures that any decision in favor of a
shorter or longer hospital stay will be made by the patient and her doctor,
not an insurance company.  

Lifetime has been working with members of Congress for 12 years in an effort
to pass the legislation.  The network has aired PSAs and launched an online
petition to urge Congress to pass the Act.  Twenty-three million online
signatures were collected for the petition. Working with Lifetime,
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Jewel and "Desperate Housewives" star
Marcia Cross also came to Washington to bring attention to the cause.   Both
Jewel and Marcia Cross joined other celebrities to appear in television spots
and vignettes to urge the ending of "drive-through" mastectomies.

"From the moment we began talking to viewers about the issue of
'drive-through' mastectomies -- 12 long years ago -- we've heard from millions
of women that this was indeed a huge problem and they wanted Congress to
address it," said Meredith Wagner, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs,
Lifetime Networks.  "We're so gratified this bill has passed through the House
of Representatives -- now we urge the Senate to act quickly so this
legislation can become law.  Our deepest gratitude to Representative Rosa
DeLauro for bringing this matter to our attention -- and to the many other
legislators who have supported this legislation."  

Organizations including the American Cancer Society, breastcancer.org, Breast
Cancer Network of Strength, Families USA, the Oncology Nursing Society,
Sisters Network Inc and Susan G. Komen Foundation also support the
legislation.  One in eight women will eventually develop breast cancer and,
according to the National Cancer Institute, more than 182,000 will be
diagnosed with the disease this year.  

Lifetime's commitment to ending "drive-through" mastectomies is part of the
network's annual Stop Breast Cancer for Life public advocacy campaign, now
entering its 14th year.  The programming centerpiece of this year's campaign
is a Lifetime Original Movie, Living Proof, the true story of Dr. Dennis
Slamon, the UCLA doctor who developed the life saving breast cancer drug,
Herceptin.  The movie was executive produced by Academy Award(R)   winning
actress Renee Zellweger and stars Emmy(R) and Grammy(R) Award winner Harry
Connick Jr.  Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, Executive Producers of the Oscar(R)
winning movie, Chicago, joined Zellweger for the Sony Pictures Television
project.  Living Proof airs on Lifetime on Saturday, October 18th.  

ABOUT LIFETIME
LIFETIME is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated basic
cable television networks. A diverse, multimedia company, LIFETIME is
committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information
programming, and advocating on a wide range of issues affecting women and
their families. LIFETIME Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real
Women and Lifetime Digital (including myLifetime.com) are part of LIFETIME
Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of The Hearst Corporation and
The Walt Disney Company.



SOURCE  LIFETIME

Kassie Canter, +1-212-484-7497, kcanter@lifetimetv.com
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