South Dakota’s breast density legislation signed into law

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has signed the state’s breast density reporting legislation into law. The bill goes into effect on July 1.

HB 1124 was introduced by South Dakota Rep. Taffy Howard. It requires all imaging providers to send patients information about their personal breast density after undergoing a mammogram. If the patient has heterogeneously or extremely dense breasts, their information must include the following text:

“Your mammogram indicates that you have dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue is common and is not abnormal. It is found in more than forty percent of women. However, dense breast tissue may make it harder to detect cancer on a mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This information is given to you and your health care provider to raise your awareness of breast density. We encourage you to talk with your health care provider about this and other breast cancer risk factors. Together, you can decide if additional breast imaging would be beneficial based on your mammogram results, risk factors, and physical examination.”

A federal breast density reporting requirement went into effect when President Trump signed a federal funding bill on Feb. 15. Joseph J. Cappello, executive director of both Are You Dense, Inc. and Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc., noted in an interview with Radiology Business that states can still make their own legislation stronger than the federal requirement—but it can’t be made weaker.