Governor M. Jodi today signed a bill that requires mammogram reports given to patients to include information on breast density based on the American College of Radiology mammography standards and a recommendation that women with dense breast tissue may benefit from further screening.
“This is a common-sense step that has the potential to save lives,” said Governor Rell, who is a breast cancer survivor. “Mammograms do not always tell whole story. Dense tissue may hide small abnormalities.”
Under the new law, Senate Bill 548, written reports given to patients on or after October 1, 2009, must include the following notice:
“If your mammogram demonstrates that you have dense breast tissue, which could hide small abnormalities, you might benefit from supplementary screening tests, which can include a breast ultrasound screening or a breast MRI examination, or both, 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 report.”
The notice is in accordance with the American College of Radiology’s Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BIRADS), which were developed in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association. Federal law requires that patients receive their mammogram results within 30 days of the exam.
“Long before my own experience with breast cancer, I was a strong advocate for early detection,” Governor Rell said during the bill-signing in her office. “Early detection saves lives. It’s that simple.”