Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed the state’s breast density reporting bill
, a law that requires mammography providers to notify women categorized as having dense breast tissue about their condition.
Sponsored by Sen. Dan Brown, Senate Bill 639 includes language designed to improve breast cancer detection and prevention by educating patients about dense breast tissue and how it could make it more difficult to detect cancer during mammographic procedures.
The new law becomes effective Jan. 1, 2015. The law requires health care facilities that perform mammography procedures to include the following language in letters sent to patients and their physicians:
“If your mammogram demonstrates that you have dense breast tissue, which could hide abnormalities, and you have other risk factors for breast cancer that have been identified, you might benefit from supplemental screening tests that may be suggested by your ordering physician. Dense breast tissue, in and of itself, is a relatively common condition. Therefore, this information is not provided to cause undue concern, but rather to raise your awareness and to promote discussion with your physician regarding the presence of other risk factors, in addition to dense breast tissue. A report of your mammography results will be sent to you and your physician. You should contact your physician if you have any questions or concerns regarding this report.”
Missouri is the 19th state to enact a breast density notification law.