Louisiana breast density reporting bill signed into law

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed the state’s breast density reporting bill (HB 186) into law last week. The bill, known as the Monica Landry Helo Early Detection Act, becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2016.

Under the new law, patients in the state will always be sent their mammogram records along with detailed reports, even if no evidence that specifically points to breast cancer is present. Information about breast density will be included with each report.

Louisiana is now the 24th state to enact such a law, joining Delaware, North Dakota, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Arizona, New Jersey, Tennessee, Hawaii, Maryland, Alabama, Nevada, Oregon, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, New York, Texas and Connecticut. Michigan, North Dakota and Delaware are the other states to pass a breast density reporting bill in 2015.

The bill’s namesake, Monica Landry Helo, brought the bill to the attention of Rep. Jack Montoucet (D-La.) after being diagnosed with an advanced cancer diagnosis in 2013. She later learned that information about her breast health was contained in the results of a mammogram she had in 2009, but that information was not shared with her at the time.

"It is my sincere prayer that HB 186 helps individuals discover cancer earlier due to full disclosure,” Helo said in a statement from Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc.