North Carolina Passes Breast Density Law

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Governor Pat McCrory has HB 467, the Breast Density Notification & Awareness bill, into law making North Carolina the 12th state requiring mammography providers to inform patients about their breast density. It also makes a correction to a statute involving the cancer registry.

The bill was sponsored by North Carolina Representatives John Faircloth, Alma Adams, Pricey Harrison and Jim Fulghum, MD.

The law would become effective on January 1, 2014. It instructs providers that women found to have heterogeneously or extremely dense breasts as determined by the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System established by the American College of Radiology to be sent the following text along with their mammography results:

Your mammogram indicates that you may have dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue is relatively common and is found in more than forty percent (40%) of women. The presence of dense tissue may make it more difficult to detect abnormalities in the breast and may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. We are providing this information to raise your awareness of this important factor and to encourage you to talk with your physician about this and other breast cancer risk factors. Together, you can decide which screening options are right for you. A report of your results was sent to your physician.