May 27, 2016

South Carolina Adopts Breast Density Disclosure

South Carolina became the latest state to enact mandatory breast density disclosure on May 13 when Gov. Nikki Haley signed SB-339 into law.

Legislative support for the bill was overwhelming, with a 41-0 vote in the Senate and 90-1 approval in the House.

Mammography providers in South Carolina are now required to include information about breast density, based on the requirements of ACR BI-RADS, along with the mammography report to their breast imaging patients. After a dense breast finding from mammography, providers are also required to provide the following statement to the patient:

“Your mammogram shows that your breast tissue is dense. Dense tissue is common and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue can make it harder to evaluate the results of your mammogram and also may 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 doctor.”

The new law is unique in its mandate to include “consumer or patient information available from the American College of Radiology about breast density and mammogram reports.” The ACR has produced high-resolution and low-resolution versions of a brochure that informs health consumers about the relevance of breast density. They are among numerous resources that enumerate the College’s policies and recommendations for breast imaging.