Dense Breast Legislation: Vermont Just Passed a Law
Vermont has become the latest state to pass a breast density inform law. More than half of U.S. states now have such a law. The law provides Vermont women with information about their breast density after their mammogram.
Mammogram screening for breast cancer is important, and is proven to reduce breast cancer mortality for women who receive screening. But mammograms have difficulty detecting breast cancer in women with dense breasts because the tissue and tumor both appear white on the scan. Women with dense breasts should have a mammogram and also talk to their doctor about adding an ultrasound or other ancillary tests to their checkup, which can better distinguish tumor from tissue. Unfortunately many women do not know that they have dense breasts or know enough to ask for the ultrasound.
Courtesy of Dr. Wendie Berg/www.DenseBreast-info.org
State breast density reporting requirements vary widely. Some states require women receive only a general notice about breast density that may not apply to their breasts. Other states require that women receive notification that their “breasts are dense,” while in others women are provided their specific density category.
While there is not yet a federal law requiring women to be informed about their breast density, we have come a long way! According to the following map maintained by the DenseBreast-info.org Education Coalition, there are only 10 states that have not introduced a bill. Currently 27 states have laws enacted requiring women be provided some level of density notification after their mammograms. A special congratulations to Vermont whose density inform bill was signed into law this week!
I hope soon to see that all women in America have access to the information about their breast health they need to potentially save their life.
Please visit www.DenseBreast-info.org for updates to this map.