We are referring to the new law signed by Governor Cuomo which requires all providers of mammography to inform women of dense breasts. Several other states also have this “dense breast” law.
The letter must read:
“Your mammogram shows that your breast tissue is dense. Dense breast tissue is very common and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue can make it harder to find cancer on a mamogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.This information about the result of your mammogram is given to you to raise your awareness. Use this informaton to talk to your doctor about your own risks for breast cancer. At that time, ask your doctor if more screening tests might be useful, based on your risk. A report of your results was sent to your physician”
So, what would we do with that information?
First, we would like to comment that there is no evidence to prove that dense breasts increase the risk of breast cancer despite the above verbage.
However, you will probably receive a phone call from us telling you about your dense breasts.
Second, there are several breast cancer risks assessment models available to evaluate your lifetime risk of breast cancer. These assessments will take into consideration, your age at first period, your age at the birth of your first child, history of previous biopsies and other factors.Depending on whether your risk is average, slightly elevated or high compared to the “average” woman, we may order a breast ultrasound, and in some cases, a breast MRI may be recommended. Bear in mind that insurance companies may not pay for these tests.
Third, the radiology departments may also automatically call you back for a breast ultrasound if your breasts are dense.
If you have any further questions, please call our office to make an appointment. We will be more than happy to discuss this with you!