Friday, January 21, 2011

Connecticut the only state that requires mammography reports to include breast density information

Former Connecticut Governor Jody Rell, a breast cancer survivor, signed in 2009 a bill that standardizes the communication of breast density.

Senator Crisco's breast density bill is signed into law by Governor Rell.
Featured left to right: Cheryl Cepelak and Anne Morris of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Representative Steve Fontana, Governor Rell, Nancy Cappello, Senator Crisco, and Joseph Cappello.
According to this bill...

"S.B. 458 requires all mammography reports given to a patient on and after October 1, 2009 to include information about breast density. When applicable, the report 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."

"Connecticut General Statute Sections 38a-503 and 38a-530 requires insurance companies to provide coverage for comprehensive ultrasound screening of an entire breast or breasts if a mammogram demonstrates heterogeneous or dense breast tissue based on the BIRADS (Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System) established by the American College of Radiology (ACR). "

To see a copy of the Connecticut Law that has been passed already; please see 

Connecticut lead the way and other states are starting to do their part. Florida introduced a bill this month on mammograms reports to include information about breast density of the patient. The effective date of this bill is October 2011. New York State's Breast Density Inform Law S 8488, is about to be introduced to the State Senate this month. Just to name a few of the states that are already working to fix this issue

However, we can also do our part letting the legislators know of the importance for every women to know her breast density. So, here is a petition to make it a Law in the rest of the states:

Breast Density Facts

2/3 of pre-menopausal and 1/4 of post menopausal women have dense breast tissue and many don't even know it.

Cancer is 5 times more likely in women with extremely dense breasts.

A mammogram will find ONLY 48% of tumors in women with dense breast tissue (and therefore elude early detection)

Breast Density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer.

Cancer recurrence is four times more likely with women with dense breasts.

The vast majority of women are utterly unaware of their own breast density. A May 2010 national survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that 95% of women ages 40+ do not know their breast density and nearly 90% did not know it increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Why? Their Doctor's have never had a discussion with them about it because there is no set protocol.

You can sign the petition HERE

...and always remember to do your monthly self- breast exams and have your physician conduct a thorough yearly breast exam. Have a mammogram.

The mammogram distinguishes the density of a woman’s breasts.

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