N.Y. governor signs breast density legislation

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation requiring mammography providers to inform patients if dense breast tissue is found during an exam.  

"Early detection can save lives and this new law will give women who may be at a higher risk for breast cancer the information they need to consult with their physician about follow-up screening and other preventive measures," Gov. Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a release. 

The new law requires mammography providers to include the following notification in the summary of the mammography report provided to patients who are found to have dense tissue: "Your mammogram shows that your breast tissue is dense. Dense breast tissue is very common and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue can make it harder to find cancer on a mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This information about the result of your mammogram is given to you to raise your awareness. Use this information to talk to your doctor about your own risks for breast cancer. At that time, ask your doctor if more screening tests might be useful, based on your risk. A report of your results was sent to your physician."

The law takes effect in 180 days.

Other states that have enacted breast density notification legislation include Connecticut, Texas and Virginia.

To read a recent study detailing the impact of Connecticut’s law on screening breast ultrasound, click here.