Madison, WI - On Wednesday
, State Representative Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah) and Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) held a press conference introducing dense breast tissue notification legislation. They were joined by Gail Zeamer, a constituent of Rep. Rohrkaste's and survivor of breast cancer, who has been an important advocate for breast density notification.
"October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it is very fitting that we were able to release this legislation today," said Rep. Rohrkaste. "Millions of women have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. This bill will help women with early detection, prevention, and awareness, and I am glad my constituent, Gail Zeamer, has brought this important legislation to light in Wisconsin."
LRB-3518 requires facilities that perform mammograms to provide a notice to women regarding dense breast tissue if they have heterogeneously or extremely dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue can make it harder to detect tumors in a mammogram and is itself a risk factor. The notification would be provided on a federally-mandated summary of mammography results which is already sent to women after their mammogram. The goal of the notification is to raise women's awareness regarding breast density and to ensure they have the information necessary to proactively discuss their breast health with health-care providers.
"Nearly 40% of women have dense breast tissue. This notification will better inform women of the results of their mammograms," Darling said, "Early detection is the key to treating and surviving breast cancer. This bill will ensure that women in Wisconsin understand their test results and can begin detecting breast cancer as early as possible."
The bill is now circulating in the Assembly and Senate for co-sponsorship.