April 14, 2017

A Yea and Nay for Breast Density Disclosures

Colorado and New Mexico state governments have taken decidedly different actions on legislative proposals for mandatory breast density disclosures.

In Colorado, Senate Bill 142 on breast density reporting was signed into law by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper April 6. The new law, which is effective Oct. 1, calls for the following specific notice to be included in the mammography report if the patient has been determined to have dense breast tissue. 

“Your mammogram shows that your breast tissue is dense. Dense breast tissue is common and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue can make it harder to evaluate the results of your mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This information about the results of your mammogram is given to you to raise your awareness and to inform your conversations with your doctor. Together, you can decide which screening options are right for you. A report of your results was sent to your physician.”

In New Mexico, House Bill 243 on breast density reporting was not signed by Gov. Susana Martinez before an April 7 deadline. The legislation is now considered to be “pocket vetoed.” The bill called for inclusion of patient’s individual breast density classification and a provision for a specific notice within mammography reports sent to patients.