Governor Jan Brewer has signed Arizona’s breast density notification bill, marking the 15th state to enact such a law.
According to the law, which goes into effect Oct. 1, healthcare providers that categorize patients as having heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breasts according to BI-RADS criteria must include the following notice in the patient’s mammography summary report:
Your mammogram indicates that you have dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue is common and is found in fifty percent of women. However, dense breast tissue can make it more difficult to detect cancers in the breast by mammography and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This information is being provided to raise your awareness and to encourage you to discuss with your healthcare providers your dense breast tissue and other breast cancer risk factors. Together, you and your physician can decide if additional screening options are right for you. A report of your results was sent to your physician.
In 2009, Connecticut became the first state to pass a breast density notification law. Several other states are currently considering similar laws, and a federal density reporting bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last fall.