Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Kelly Ayotte have introduced a bill to improve breast cancer detection following a companion bill introduced in the House by Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Steve Israel.
Dr. Nancy Cappello, Founder and Director of Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc. and the inspiration behind the first density reporting law in the country reports, “Through our legislative efforts in DC and across the states, our organization’s mission to protect women from missed, delayed and late stage cancer has catapulted the challenging issue of dense breast tissue and its impact on an Early Diagnosis from scientific journals to the patient. A national standard will ensure that every woman across this country is given critical breast health information as part of her mammography report.”
From Senator Feinstein's office: The Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act, which would improve breast cancer detection by requiring mammogram reports to include whether a woman has dense tissue, so she can discuss with her doctor if she should seek additional screening. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives.
The bill would set a minimum federal standard, as designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), for notification and recommend women discuss with their doctors whether additional screening is necessary. The bill also directs HHS to study improved screening options for women with dense tissue.
“Early detection of breast cancer is key to survival, and women must be given every available resource to make informed health care decisions,” said Senator Feinstein. “By requiring that patients be informed if they have dense tissue, this bill allows women to make potentially lifesaving choices about their care.”
“Preventative screenings are critically important to early detection of breast cancer, and they help save lives,” said Senator Ayotte. “It’s also important that women have the information they need to be able to make informed decisions about their health care, and our bipartisan bill would ensure that women are informed about their relative breast density after a mammogram – giving them the option to discuss additional screenings and tests with their doctor.”
The Breast Density Mammography and Reporting Act is supported by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Breast Cancer Fund, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Are You Dense Advocacy.