Announcing a New Federal Law that Aims to Educate Women of the Importance of Dense Breast Tissue

In February 2019, Congress passed a national breast density notification law which will require the FDA to make updates to regulations that were issued under the Quality Standards Act of 1992 and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938. These important improvements will help ensure that every patient is given feedback concerning their personal results, as well as additional health information. The information must include, at a minimum:

  • The effect of high breast density in masking the presence of breast cancer on a mammogram
  • The qualitative assessment of the provider who interprets the mammogram
  • A reminder to patients that individuals with dense breast tissue should talk with their providers if they have any questions or concerns about their summary.
Photo credit: Dean Calma/IAEA

In 2012, New York State enacted a law requiring letters be sent to women with high breast density after their mammograms. When this federal law is fully implemented, all women living in the United States will receive information about breast density as part of their mammography report. This new step will promote awareness while giving patients access to information about their own breast health. There is no timeline for the full implementation of the national reporting standard.

Once these letters arrive in your mailbox-read them carefully, take time to learn about your breast health, and advocate for yourself with your medical providers. Early detection is the key for improving survival, so make sure you schedule an annual mammogram starting at the age of 40 and perform your self-check every month.

The full Federal Law is available here: