Starting tomorrow, January 19, New York law requires mammogram providers to tell patients when they have dense breast tissue and recommend that patients speak to their doctors about additional screening.
New York is the fourth state to legislate this obligation. Current estimate is that half the women who get mammograms will be affected by this law. This is a big step forward for women’s health. Dense tissue obscures tumors on mammograms since the tissue shows up white and so do tumors.
Many women are told their mammograms are normal but a hidden tumor may be growing undetected. Other screening modalities are more effective with dense tissue. Breast Ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure in which tumors are gray so they stand out against the white tissue.
In New Jersey, a breast density inform bill is bottled up in the Assembly. We hope it will be voted on soon. Please continue to contact Dr. Herb Conaway, chair of the Health and Senior Services Committee, and tell him New Jersey should follow New York’s lead.