Georgia’s breast density legislation signed into law

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has signed the state’s breast density legislation into law. The bill goes into effect on July 1.

HB 62 requires mammography providers to notify patients about their breast density. It is also known as “Margie’s Law,” named after patient advocate Margie Singleton, who had breast cancer missed by a mammogram due to her dense breast tissue.

According to the legislation, the text sent to patients should read as follows:

Your mammogram shows that your breast tissue is dense. Dense breast tissue is very common and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue can make it more difficult to detect cancer through a mammogram. Also, dense breast tissue may increase your risk for breast cancer. This information about the result of your mammogram is given to you to increase your awareness. Use this information to talk with your health care provider about whether other supplemental tests in addition to your mammogram may be appropriate for you, based on your individual risk. A report of your results was sent to your ordering physician. If you are self-referred, a report of your results was sent to you in addition to this summary.

“I applaud Margie Singleton and the many dedicated advocates and legislators who worked to turn this law into a reality,” JoAnn Pushkin, executive director of DenseBreast-info.org, said in a prepared statement. “With its passage, over 90% of American women now receive some form of communication about breast density after their mammograms. This information will result in more informed discussions with their health care providers about whether supplemental screening might be beneficial.”

Back in February, a federal law requiring mammography providers to send breast density notification to patients was signed into law. Radiology Business spoke with Joseph J. Cappello about the long fight for that legislation.