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Dense breast tissue can complicate cancer screenings. Notification bill heads to governor's desk

A medical provider in a lab coat with a stethoscope.
Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
HB 1053 would require facilities that provide mammograms to assess breast tissue density and inform patients whether their breast tissue is “dense” or “not dense.”

Mammograms are a less effective diagnostic tool when a patient has dense breast tissue. Legislation headed to Gov. Eric Holcomb would require providers to notify patients of their breast tissue density.

HB 1053 would require facilities that provide mammograms to assess breast tissue density and inform patients whether their breast tissue is “dense” or “not dense.”

Mammograms of dense breast tissue are less effective, and the tissue itself raises the risk of developing cancer. The required written notice would inform patients that additional imaging testing can help find cancers.

READ MORE: New bill requires facilities notify patients of breast tissue density to inform cancer screening

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The bill does not require providers to request that additional imaging, but advocates say the information allows people to make informed decisions about their health.

The measure would put Indiana into compliance with the Food and Drug Administration’s breast tissue density regulations published last March.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

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Abigail Ruhman covers statewide health issues. Previously, they were a reporter for KBIA, the public radio station in Columbia, Missouri. Ruhman graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.