Breast density legislation becomes law in Texas

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Mammogram reveals increased density (arrow) of the right breast.
Image source: Indian J Radiol Imaging 2010;20(2):98–104.

Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law HB 2102, which requires mammography facilities to provide women information about breast density, on June 17.

According to the legislation, upon completion of a mammogram, facilities must inform women about breast density risk, such as:

“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."

In terms of follow-up, the law also advised patients that a report of their mammogram results will be "sent to you and your physician. You should contact your physician if you have any questions or concerns regarding this report.”

The law takes effect Sept. 1 and facilities must comply no later than Jan. 1, 2012.

Connecticut enacted similar legislation in 2009 and a comparable breast density patient education bill, SB 173, is scheduled to be heard in the California Assembly this month.