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Breast Tissue Density Awareness

New Maryland Legislation Effective October 1, 2013

 

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As of October 1, 2013, Maryland law requires that mammography providers include information about breast tissue density in letters notifying women of the results of their screening mammogram. The notification recommends that women discuss the information with their health care provider.

Women undergoing screening mammogram will continue to receive a letter with their mammogram results within 30 days of the date of the exam, as mandated by the federal Mammography Quality Standard Act. Additionally, according to the new Maryland law, the result letter sent to women will now include a notice about breast tissue density at mammography.

The Maryland Radiological Society, a Chapter of the American College of Radiology, appointed a Task Force on Breast Density led by two breast imaging experts at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, Cristina Campassi, M.D. and Judy Grant, M.D.. The Task Force recommendations include guidelines for mammography providers, referring health care providers and the general public.

According to Dr. Campassi, Chief of Breast Imaging at University of Maryland Breast Center, "The new notification requirement is intended to raise women's awareness about breast density and encourage women to consult their referring health care providers to better understand their own breast density and their risk for breast cancer. In women with dense breast tissue and risk factors for breast cancer such as family history of breast cancer in a first-degree family member, genetic counseling or supplemental imaging exams may be indicated."

Dr. Campassi says, "Dense breast tissue may mask breast cancer and may increase risk for breast cancer. The good news is that breast tissue density has not been shown to influence survival among breast cancer patients."

Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Tissue Density

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This page was last updated on: November 1, 2013.