New Jersey Breast Density Notification Letters Will Begin May 1, 2014
New Jersey’s Breast Density Notification law goes into effect on May 1, 2014. All women who have mammography exams will be getting letters from their providers telling them they may have dense breast tissue, which makes mammograms less accurate, and they should discuss their results with their doctors. . If you are my patient, you know your results; we tell you at the time of your exam. If you go to another radiologist, do not ignore this letter. Get your density results. You may be advised to get additional screening such as Ultrasound. Do it! When you have dense breasts, cancer can be obscured on a mammogram as tumors are white and dense tissue is white. Some studies have shown that Ultrasound can double the cancers found when used in conjunction with mammography. Early detection of breast cancer, preferably before it spreads to lymph nodes, gives you the best prognosis with the least invasive treatment. There is a chance additional testing will give you inconclusive results that might require a biopsy. It’s a small price to pay to know definitively that you are cancer-free or know as early as possible that you need treatment. New Jersey was the 13th state to enact a breast density notification law; there are now 15 in total. While laws in other states require mammogram providers to notify patients about their results, women in New Jersey have to do a little research to get theirs. Knowledge is power. Know your breast density. Know what you have to do about it. Take action.