Breast Density Legislation sent to Governor’s Desk

Subject: Breast Tissue Density

Updated May 12, 2014
Posted by Dave Berry
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Gate Way Group Contact: Deanna Hemphill

Issue Summary:  As of October 2013, approximately 13 states have enacted legislation regarding breast density notification while Missouri and 17 other states are in the process.  The issue continues to gain traction as nearly 40% of women are diagnosed with dense breast tissue.  This translates into half the cancers in women with dense breast tissue going undiagnosed due to mammography limitations.  Proponents of such notification measures feel these women need to be aware of this increased risk, but without causing unnecessary alarm.

In an effort to address this concern, Senate Bill 639, was filed by Senator Dan Brown (R-Rolla) and House Bill 1510, filed by Representative Sue Allen (R-Town and Country).  Under the provisions of the bill, the United States Food and Drug Administration would require mammography facilities as of January 1, 2015 to provide women found to have dense breast tissue, along with other risk factors for breast cancer that have been identified, a notice indicating they may benefit from supplemental screening such as a MRI that may be suggested by the ordering physician.  The measure includes a disclosure that it is not provided to cause undue concern, but rather to raise awareness and promote discussion with a physician regarding the presence of other risk factors, in addition to dense breast tissue.  Together the patient and doctor can decide on what type of screening, if any, should be done.

Senate Bill 639: Sent to Governor’s Desk
House Bill 1510: Hearing Completed in Senate Veterans’ Affairs and Health Committee

News & Media:
State Legislation on Mammogram Reports Sent to Governor
Vast Study Casts Doubts on Value of Mammograms
Breast-Density Legislation Could Lead to Even Greater Breast Cancer Detection

House General Laws Committee:
Representative Caleb Jones (R-California), Chair
Representative Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff), Vice Chair
Representative Mike Colona (D-St. Louis)
Representative Gary Cross (R-Lees Summit)
Representative Courtney Curtis (D-St. Louis)
Representative Don Gosen (R-Ballwin)
Representative Ron Hicks (R-St. Peters)
Representative Jay Houghton (R-Martinsburg)
Representative Jeremy LaFaver (D-Kansas City)
Representative John McCaherty (R-High Ridge)
Representative Tom McDonald (D-Raytown)
Representative Rocky Miller (R-Tuscumbia)
Representative Mark Parkinson (R-St. Charles)
Representative Dwight Scharnhorst (R-St. Louis)
Representative Stephen Webber (D-Columbia)