Virginia Lawmakers Pass Breast Tissue Density Awareness Bill

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The Virginia legislature has passed and the Governor is expected to sign a bill requiring that radiologists test and report breast tissue density as part of a routine mammography exam.

The bill requires that radiologists report the measure to the referring physician. And if the report shows a woman has dense breast tissue, the patient must receive a formal letter, based on an article in the Roanoke Times.

The exact wording of the letter was approved by the legislature. It reads: "Your mammogram demonstrates that you may have dense breast tissue, which can hide cancer or other abnormalities. A report of your mammography results, which contains information about your breast density, has been sent to your referring physician's office, and you should contact your physician if you have any questions or concerns about this report.”

The Medical Society of Virginia and the Virginia chapter of the American College of Radiology disputed the original wording of the letter because it suggested patients receive additional screening, according to the article.

Virginia follows Connecticut and Texas that have passed similar laws. Another 13 states are considering related legislation.