HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett on Friday signed into law a Senate bill, for which Rep. Karen Boback authored matching legislation in the House, that will help better safeguard women against breast cancer.
Senate Bill 358 requires U.S. Food and Drug Administration facilities to notify women of their breast density, which can impact the effectiveness of traditional mammograms.
The legislation was authored by Sen. Bob Mensch, R-Marlborough Township, and Boback introduced an identical bill in the House.
The legislation requires FDA facilities to provide patients with information regarding their breast density, including recommendations to contact the referring physician should the patient have questions or wish to discuss the report. The new law will take effect in 90 days.
Dense breast tissue is a relatively common condition, but it can hide abnormalities and complicate early detection of breast cancer. Mensch said notification will allow women to know their own breast density.
“With that information, they can talk to their doctor about what their breast density rating means and whether they are at a higher risk for breast cancer. That’s a discussion that should happen, and this bill ensures that women will have the information in hand to have that discussion,” Mensch said.
Boback said the bill is a potentially lifesaving piece of legislation.
“So many women have never heard the term ‘dense breast.’ This is now going to be a whole new level of diagnoses for those people who do have a dense breast. And statistics show that so many mammograms are missing the boat when it comes to the diagnosis of breast cancer for those women who have dense breasts,” Boback said.
“This new law provides another potential live-saving tool in the battle against breast cancer,” she said.
A companion bill, Senate Bill 359, would require insurance coverage of additional screenings needed for women with more dense breasts. That bill remains with the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.