News | October 10, 2011

Jerry Brown Vetoes California Breast Density Bill

October 10, 2011 — California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would require facilities to provide information about breast density to patients who have mammograms. The bill (SB 791), introduced by Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), passed the state Senate and Assembly in early September.

Existing federal law requires a written report of mammogram results and that a summary be sent to the patient within a specified time period.    SB 791 would have required that under specified circumstances, a health facility at which a mammography exam is performed would include a specified notice on breast density. This would have been in effect from April 1, 2012, until January 1, 2018. 

The proposed law stated, “A health facility at which a mammography examination is performed shall, if a patient is categorized by the facility as having heterogeneously dense breasts or extremely dense breasts, based on the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System established by the American College of Radiology, include in the summary of the written report that is sent to the patient, as required by federal law, the following notice: ‘Because your mammogram demonstrates that you have dense breast tissue, which could hide small abnormalities, you might benefit from supplementary screening tests, depending on your individual risk factors. A report of your mammography results, which contains information about your breast density, has been sent to your physician's office and you should contact your physician if you have any questions or concerns about this notice.’”

In his veto, Brown said, “While I wholeheartedly support everyone’s right to information about their own health, the notice in this bill gave me pause. I talked to many people, including doctors I respect, about the effects of the notice — both its risks and benefits — and struggled over the words. Were they a path to greater knowledge or unnecessary anxiety?California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would require facilities to provide information about breast density to patients who have mammograms. The bill (SB 791), introduced by Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), passed the state Senate and Assembly in early September.

“My conclusion was this: every patient needs health information they can use. For women, that likely includes information about breast density. But the notice contained in this bill goes beyond information about breast density. It advises that additional screening may be beneficial. If the state must mandate a notice about breast density — and I am not certain it should — such a notice must be more carefully crafted, with words that educate more than they prescribe.”

For more information:





Related Content

Digital Mammography Increases Breast Cancer Detection
News | Mammography | January 16, 2019
The shift from film to digital mammography increased the detection of breast cancer by 14 percent overall in the United...
Artificial Intelligence Used in Clinical Practice to Measure Breast Density
News | Artificial Intelligence | January 15, 2019
An artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm measures breast density at the level of an experienced mammographer,...
Sponsored Content | Videos | Breast Imaging | January 11, 2019
Supplemental screening with ABUS helps personalize breast care for women with dense breasts and offers advanced...
Electronic Brachytherapy Effective in Long-Term Study of 1,000 Early-Stage Breast Cancers
News | Brachytherapy Systems, Women's Healthcare | January 07, 2019
Breast cancer recurrence rates of patients treated with intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) using the Xoft Axxent...
Breast Cancer Patients Have Less Heart Damage With Heart Drug and Trastuzumab
News | Cardio-oncology | January 03, 2019
Breast cancer patients who take a heart drug at the same time as trastuzumab have less heart damage, according to a...
Opto-Acoustic Imaging Helps Differentiate Breast Cancer Molecular Subtypes
News | Ultrasound Women's Health | December 20, 2018
Seno Medical Instruments Inc. (Seno Medical) reported results of a study demonstrating that morphologic and functional...
Axillary Radiotherapy and Lymph Node Surgery Yield Comparable Outcomes for Breast Cancer
News | Radiation Therapy | December 18, 2018
Early-stage breast cancer patients with cancer detected in a sentinel lymph node biopsy had comparable 10-year...
RSNA Study Shows Real-Time Indicator Improves Mammographic Compression
News | Mammography | December 12, 2018
Sigmascreening recently announced that more than 100,000 women have had mammography exams with the Sensitive Sigma...
Massachusetts Superior Court Grants Hologic Preliminary Injunction in Trade Secrets Lawsuits
News | Mammography | December 12, 2018
December 12, 2018 — A Massachusetts Superior Court granted a preliminary injunction in lawsuits by Hologic against Ch
Videos | Mammography | December 10, 2018
Stamatia Destounis, M.D., FACR, associate professor, University of Rochester School of Medicine, and attending radiol