SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Fran Hurley, D-Chicago, recently introduced legislation that requires women to be notified when their breast tissue is found to be dense in a mammography report, and to be informed of the implications of breast density on cancer detection.
“Dense breast tissue is quite common, and is often not considered abnormal,” Hurley said. “However, dense breast tissue can make it harder to find cancer on a mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This legislation will raise patients’ awareness of risks associated with dense breast tissue.”
At least forty percent of women over forty-years old have dense breast tissue, and over seventy percent of breast cancers are diagnosed in dense breasts. In the U.S., thirty states currently have Breast Density Inform Laws already in place.
“The Breast Density Inform Law would give every woman in Illinois the opportunity for access to an early-stage diagnosis of breast cancer, if cancer is present,” said Hurley. “Women cannot be active participants in their own breast health unless they have been informed and notified through conversation with their doctor.”
While some radiological systems in Illinois already notify women of their breast density, others do not. House Bill 4392 would make notification of breast density uniform. Hurley is an advocate for women’s health and will continue to fight for policies that benefit women across Illinois.