Maryland Becomes 7th State With a Breast Density Notification Law

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Yesterday, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed SB 334, the “Mammograms – Dense Breast Tissue – Notification” into law. It requires all mammography providers in the state, with the exception of Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, to include information about breast density in the results letters they send to patients starting on October 1 of this year.

With the passage of SB 334, Maryland becomes the seventh state to require mammography providers to inform patients about their breast density status.The law passed unanimously each time it was voted on in the Maryland House and Senate and had 35 co-sponsors representing both parties.

The notice providers should include in the letter must follow the following text:

This notice contains the results of your recent mammogram, including information about breast density.

If your mammogram shows that your breast tissue is dense, you should know that dense breast tissue is a common finding and is not abnormal, with about half of women having dense or highly dense breasts. However, dense breast tissue can make it harder to find cancer on a mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of cancer.

This information about the results of your mammogram is given to you to raise your awareness and to inform your conversations with your physician. Together, you can decide which screening options are right for you based on your mammogram results, individual risk factors, or physical examination. A report of your results was sent to your physician.