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North Carolina Passes Breast Density Law

Aug 01, 2013

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has signed a law that requires mammography providers to notify women categorized as having dense breast tissue about their condition.

Sponsored by John Faircloth, Alma Adams, Pricey Harrison and Jim Fulghum, M.D., H.B. 467 is designed to improve breast cancer detection and prevention by educating patients about dense breast tissue and how it could conceal possible abnormalities during mammographic procedures.

The new law becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2014, and instructs mammography providers to include the following language in letters sent to patients:

"Your mammogram indicates that you may have dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue is relatively common and is found in more than forty percent (40%) of women. The presence of dense tissue may make it more difficult to detect abnormalities in the breast and may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. We are providing this information to raise awareness of this important factor and to encourage you to talk with your physician about his and other breast cancer risk factors. Together, you can decide which screening options are right for you. A report of your results was sent to your physician."

North Carolina is the 12th state to enact a breast density notification law.

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