January 30, 2019

More States Consider Mandatory Breast Density Notification

Legislation introduced in Oklahoma, New Mexico and South Dakota could add these states to the 37 that already require health care facilities to inform patients when their mammography finds the presence of dense breast tissue.

As state legislatures begin their sessions in January, the American College of Radiology is tracking the breast density disclosure bills in these states:

Oklahoma

Sen. Adam Pugh introduced SB 443, a bill that would require health care facilities to send summaries of mammography reports by electronic mail upon request.

If the facility determines that a patient has heterogeneously or extremely dense breast tissue, the summary of the mammography report shall include the following notice:

"Your mammogram indicates that you have dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue is common and is found in more than fifty percent (50%) of women and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue may make it more difficult to detect breast cancer and may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This information is being provided to raise your awareness and to encourage you and your health care provider to discuss this and other breast cancer risk factors. Together, you and your health care provider can decide if additional screening options may be right for you. A report of your results was sent to your health care provider.”

New Mexico

In New Mexico, Reps. Elizabeth Thomson, Natalie Figueroa and Melanie A. Stansbury introduced HB 66. It would require health facilities that perform mammograms to provide information relating to breast density to patients.

If the health facility determines that a patient has heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breast tissue, the summary of the mammography report should include the following notice:

“Your mammogram indicates that you have dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue is common and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue may make it harder to evaluate the results of your mammogram. It may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This information is being provided to raise your awareness and to inform your conversation with your health care provider. Together, you can decide if additional screening options may be right for you. A report of your results was sent to your health care provider."

South Dakota

In South Dakota, Rep. Taffy Howard introduced HB 1124. It would require health care facilities that perform mammography services to include information on breast density in the mammogram report that must be sent to each mammography patient under the Federal Mammography Quality Standards Act. If the interpreting physician determines that a patient has heterogeneously or extremely dense breasts, the mammogram report should include the following notice:

"Your mammogram indicates that you have dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue is common and is not abnormal. It is found in more than forty percent of women. However, dense breast tissue may make it harder to detect cancer on a mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This information is given to you and your health care provider to raise your awareness of breast density. We encourage you to talk with your health care provider about this and other breast cancer risk factors. Together, you can decide if additional breast imaging would be beneficial based on your mammogram results, risk factors, and physical examination."

Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin signed on to mandate notification in 2018. With their participation, the following 36 states have adopted mandatory disclosure or breast density notification since 2005: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.