MITA Applauds Inclusion of Breast Density Notification Requirement in Federal Spending Bill

02.25.19

WASHINGTON – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) today applauded the inclusion of a provision in a recent federal spending bill that would require mammography providers to include breast density information in reports to patients and providers. This information is crucial to ensuring appropriate screening for breast cancer, as traditional mammograms are often not enough to detect the presence of cancer in women with dense breast tissue.

“This legislation is an important step in ensuring patients are appropriately notified about their risk of breast cancer so they can make informed decisions about their care,” said Dennis Durmis, Chair of MITA’s Board of Directors. “MITA has long supported this initiative at the state and federal level and is proud to support the patient advocates who have been fighting to ensure women are properly screened for breast cancer.”

The provision was included in the most recent federal appropriations bill signed into law on February 15th. It specifies that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must develop standard reporting language to ensure that mammography reports include a qualitative assessment of a patient’s breast density, information about how dense tissue may make it more difficult for a traditional mammogram to detect cancer, and a reminder to patients that they should speak with their doctor if they have additional questions.

While more than 30 such states currently require this information be shared with patients after a mammogram, there had been no federal requirement before this point.

According to DenseBreastInfo.org, an advocacy group that aims to educate women about the cancer risks associated with dense breast tissue, approximately 40% of women over age 40 have dense breast tissue and women with extreme breast tissue density are between four and six times more likely to develop breast cancer than women with fatty breasts.

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The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA, is the collective voice of medical imaging equipment manufacturers, innovators, and product developers. It represents companies whose sales comprise more than 90 percent of the global market for advanced medical imaging technology. Visit medicalimaging.org. Follow MITA on Twitter @MITAToday.­­­­