Breast density legislation introduced in Congress with bipartisan support

Thirty-two states enacted breast density reporting legislation in the last eight years, but no such bills have been passed on a federal level. Could that soon change?

The Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act of 2017 (HR 4122, S 2006) has now been introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate with bipartisan support. The House bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Rose DeLauro, D-Connecticut, and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pennsylvania. The Senate bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada.

The bill would set a minimum standard for dense breast tissue notification after mammograms and recommend women discuss options with their physician to see if additional breast cancer screening is needed.

Nancy M. Cappello, PhD, founder of Are You Dense Advocacy and Are You Dense, visited House and Senate staff to discuss the legislation.

“After nearly 14 years of working with state legislators on the reporting of a woman’s breast tissue density as part of her mammography reporting results, I am encouraged that we are closer to standardizing breast density reporting nationwide,” Cappello said in a statement. “This bill enables women to learn about their dense breast tissue, an important risk factor for breast cancer which ultimately empowers women to make informed breast health screening decisions that can be life-saving.”

Similar legislation has been introduced in the past and gone nowhere. The Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act of 2015 (S 370), for instance, was introduced in the Senate in February 2015, but was never passed.

Prior coverage of breast density legislation can be found here and here.