The Tab 2

I still haven’t gotten itemized bills from NYU and Sloan Kettering, perhaps my requests got lost in the ether. But as part of my New Year’s paperwork purge I did scare up the quarterly statement from Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield. From the dates, I can figure out how the figures match the procedures. The “Tab 1” post detailed the cost of my lumpectomy, this one will go backward to the mammogram/biopsy stage:

Balance forward from Tab 1:


West Side Radiology, Manhattan, original mammogram

West Side Radiology, additional mammogram views

Dr. Elizabeth Gifford, primary care physician, manual breast exam

West Side Radiology, fee for copying mammogram films to be given to radiology group who will do the first biopsy (for some reason, the films, even from digital mammography, have to be hand-carried from one provider to another)

Running total: $41,518.95

[Cost of stereotactic core biopsy covered in “Tab 1“]

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Manhattan Dr. Alexandra Heerdt, second opinion
(It’s interesting that Sloan Kettering would charge less than NYU since MSKCC is arguably the “big dog” in New York City cancer care.)

NYU, MRI of both left and right breasts, to rule out any malignancies that might have been missed.

NYU, Genetic counseling and testing to determine if I carry the BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 genes that increase breast cancer risk

Extra genetic analysis not covered by insurance

Running total: $51,845.87

NYU, Sonogram-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy for nodule in upper inner right breast, seen in MRI done 7/27, Institutional charge for the procedure:
Non-itemized charges for medical supplies related to the procedure

NYU, MRI-guided stereotactic core biopsy of 1.2 centimeter region of the right, medial breast, institutional charge for the procedure:
Non-itemized charges for medical supplies related to the procedure

Subtotal for all diagnostic biopsies, scans, and pathology including the biopsy totaled in Tab 1:

That’s quite possibly the most expensive photo album ever assembled on my behalf.

Running total through the surgery in September:


About leftbreast

I have had breast cancer. I was diagnosed at 47, and am now 49. I have finished "active treatment," two surgeries, chemo, radiation, monoclonal antibodies. These days, I only take a drug to suppress my uptake of estrogen, since my tumor was highly reactive to that hormone. I have been married to my husband Pete for 21 years. I have a stepdaughter, Maureen, 30, and a daughter, Erin, 10. I've been a freelance magazine journalist for 20-plus years, covering everything from Chinese foreign policy to Catholic nuns to endangered species. I have had a great life. I have lived in Asia and all over the United States. I have spent nights with tree-sitters in Oregon and with astronomers at the Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii. I've been to a cocktail party on the poopdeck of a British destroyer docked in Shanghai. I've taken the bus to Tibet, and tramped through the cloud forests of Panama with biologists. A magazine sent me on a raft trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon; another sent me to cooking school for a week. I have spent time with celebrities, presidents and heroin dealers. I love my work. I have a loving, supportive family and more friends than I probably deserve. I have had the space and time to camp, ski, cycle, garden, cook and spoil my pets (an Australian shepherd, a German shepherd and a tabby cat). If it all ended tomorrow, I would have to say that it has been a really, really good ride. When I was in thick of treatment, I was simply fighting for more time. Now, I'm trying to connect the experience of cancer with the rest of my life, with the time that's been won. I hope the cancer never comes back, but if it does, I'll be ready. That's what this blog is about.
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1 Response to The Tab 2

  1. Catherine says:

    Crazy, isn’t it? Just wait until you see the bills for the chemo and Herceptin. (gasp)

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