South Carolina passes breast density disclosure law

South Carolina has become the latest state to enact mandatory breast density reporting with the May 13 passage of the Density Reporting Bill, S339.

The bill requires mammography providers to give patients a report about breast density, including a “conspicuous notice” when the mammogram shows the presence of dense breast tissue. The bill was introduced by S.C. Sen. Joel Lourie and signed by Governor Nikki Haley.

Abid Irshad, MD, with the Medical University of South Carolina, says about 40 percent of women have dense breasts, which can increase the risk of cancer and complicate detection.

"It seems like reasonable language and I think that it is going to make the patients more aware and empower relations with healthcare decisions," he said in a previous interview with Charleston’s WCIV.

Since first enacted in Connecticut in 2009, breast density reporting laws have spread across the country to 27 states. Despite the prevalence, the reports can be difficult to understand for many patients, according to a recent study in JAMA.