News | Breast Density | March 22, 2018 | Emily Clemons

Three More States Pass Breast Density Notification Bills

Thirty-two states now legally require a patient be notified of their breast density after a mammogram 

Three More States Pass Breast Density Notification Bills. Bi-RADS score for breast density Bi-rads 1 to 4

Mammography images showing, from left to right, BI-RADS breast tissue density scores from 1 to 4.

March 22, 2018 – Utah, Washington state and Florida have all recently mandated that patients be notified of their breast density after undergoing screening mammograms.

Utah’s bill, House Bill 258, amends a 2012 law that previously did not require patient notification, but encouraged it and offered suggested language to include in a patient’s mammogram results. The amendment not only requires breast density notification, but also clarifies the language to be used in notification. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed the amendment into law this month, and it takes effect May 8, 2018.

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee recently signed Senate Bill 5040 into law, and it will take effect Jan. 1, 2019. Unlike other state laws, every patient must be notified of their breast density after screening mammography, regardless of their classification. Patients with heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breast tissue will receive specific notification about its effects on their mammogram and cancer risk factors.

Florida’s Senate Bill 164, which was unanimously passed by the House and the Senate, requires facilities performing mammography to notify patients of their breast density if they are found to have heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breast tissue. Florida Gov. Rick Scott is soon expected to sign the bill into law, and it will take effect July 1, 2018.

"I am pleased that the reporting of dense breast tissue as part of a patient's mammography screening results will now be standardized across the state of Florida. This information will lead to informed conversations between patients and healthcare providers about a woman's cancer risk and screening options, " reported Florida State Sen. Denise Grimsley (R-D26), who championed the bill after her constituent, Debbie McCullough of Lake Placid, Fla., was diagnosed with breast cancer within months of her regular mammogram.

While all breasts are made of glands, fibrous tissue and fat, dense breast tissue has more glands and fibrous tissue than it does fat. Dense, fibroglandular tissue is normal and affects about 50 percent of women under age 50. Breast density is determined during a screening mammogram and is classified as either fatty, scattered, heterogeneously dense or extremely dense. Those with heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breast tissue have cause for concern, as dense tissue makes reading mammograms more difficult because both tumors and dense tissue appear white on the scans. Additionally, dense tissue increases a patient’s breast cancer risk by four to six times.

Many of these breast density reporting laws would not have passed without the work of Nancy Capello, Ph.D., who worked closely with Sen. Grimsley and Florida State Rep. Gayle Harrell (R-D83) to pass the bill. Connecticut’s 2009 bill — the first in the U.S. — was informed by Capello’s advocacy after her own diagnosis of stage 3c breast cancer, metastasized to 13 lymph nodes, that was discovered within weeks of her eleventh normal mammogram. Only at the time of her diagnosis was she informed of her breast density. This experience inspired her to found Are You Dense Inc. and Are You Dense Advocacy Inc.

For more information about breast density and notification: www.densebreast-info.org

Related Content:

VIDEO: Personalized Breast Screening and Breast Density

VIDEO: The Impact of Breast Density Technology and Legislation

 

Related Content

Cianna Medical featured its wire-free marker system on the exhibit floor of the breast imaging symposium in Hollywood, Fla.

Cianna Medical featured its wire-free marker system on the exhibit floor of the breast imaging symposium in Hollywood, Fla.

Feature | Breast Imaging | April 24, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr
Wires have traditionally been placed prior to lumpectomy to mark cancerous tissues in the breast.
GE Healthcare showcases Senographe Pristina with its add-on-biopsy kit at the breast imaging symposium

GE Healthcare showcases Senographe Pristina with its add-on-biopsy kit at the breast imaging symposium in Hollywood, Florida. Photo by Greg Freiherr

Feature | Breast Imaging | April 23, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr
Signs of what the future may look like in women’s health dotted the exhibit floor of the...
In a demonstration on the exhibit floor of the SBI symposium, Koios software identified suspicious lesions in ultrasound images

In a demonstration on the exhibit floor of the SBI symposium, Koios software identified suspicious lesions in ultrasound images. Photo by Greg Freiherr

Feature | Artificial Intelligence | April 19, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr
Commercial efforts to develop...
Videos | Breast Imaging | April 18, 2019
In a keynote lecture at the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI)/American College of Radiology (ACR) 2019 Symposium, ...
Fatty tissue and breast density may be considered in the context of many factors that affect the occurrence and detection of breast cancer

Fatty tissue and breast density may be considered in the context of many factors that affect the occurrence and detection of breast cancer. Permission to publish provided by DenseBreast-info.org

Feature | Breast Imaging | April 18, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr
When planning a screening program to detect the early signs of breast cancer, age is a major consideration.
iCAD Appoints Stacey Stevens as President
News | Radiology Business | April 16, 2019
iCAD Inc. recently announced that Stacey Stevens has been named president. As president, Stevens will have expanded...
compressed breast during mammography.
360 Photos | 360 View Photos | April 16, 2019
A 360 view of a simulated breast compression for a...
A smart algorithm has been trained on a neural network to recognize the appearance of breast cancer in MR images

A smart algorithm has been trained on a neural network to recognize the appearance of breast cancer in MR images. The algorithm, described at the SBI/ACR Breast Imaging Symposium, used “Deep Learning,“ a form of machine learning, which is a type of artificial intelligence. Graphic courtesy of Sarah Eskreis-Winkler, M.D.

Feature | Artificial Intelligence | April 12, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr
The use of smart algorithms has the potential to make healthcare more efficient.