OB/GYNs and nurses are rushing to get surgery for breast cancer patients before a nationwide shortage of surgeons and facilities can make the surgery affordable.
Key points:Obstetrician-gynecologists and nurse practitioners are taking on the workload of dealing with the massive demandFor patients with chronic disease or other complications, such as breast cancer, the surgery can cost up to $10,000A shortage of breast surgeons and centers is the most pressing challenge in the fight against breast cancerThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first three breast surgery centers to open in a week, and a second two-year center is expected to open later this month.
But the problem has been mounting for years.
An estimated 1.3 million women in the U.s. are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, the most common form of cancer in women.
The numbers are rising rapidly as the nation is getting more breast cancers.
About one-third of all women in America have had breast cancer.
About 70 percent of the women who get breast cancer get it at age 40 or older.The U