Bill would add density notification to breast cancer screenings

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Jun 21, 2013 3:59 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Proposed legislation would add notification of tissue density to routine breast cancer screenings in Pennsylvania.

Many women have dense breast tissue, but aren't aware of it. Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition President and Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy says dense tissue can mask tumors to the point they are not detected by mammograms.

She says it happened to her. "It turns out I was diagnosed at stage three, which is quite late," Murphy explains, "and had I known, and had the radiologist been aware of that, I may have been diagnosed earlier."

Earlier detection can lead to better outcomes, which is why Murphy is urging the state House to support a proposal to notify women with dense breast tissue, and educate them about additional screening options.

She calls it an easy, low-cost way to help women get diagnosed earlier.

The bill passed the Senate with a unanimous vote, and Murphy hopes to see it signed into law in time for the coalition's 20th anniversary conference this October.

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