Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick is the co-author of a bipartisan bill introduced to the House Thursday.
In the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the legislation titled Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act intends to raise awareness of breast cancer risks and make it mandatory for information from a mammogram to include a patient’s relative breast density.
Around 200,000 women are diagnosed with and more than 40,000 American women die from breast cancer each year. As its name suggests, the act will focus primarily on breast density.
About 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue, which makes them four times more likely to develop breast cancer. A woman with dense breasts is also at a greater risk to have an inaccurate mammogram reading.
Fitzpatrick and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, a Democrat, wrote the Act together.
DeLauro believes the legislation will provide uncomplicated information to women and their doctors to make better-informed decisions about the risk of breast cancer.
“This knowledge will help improve women’s chances for early detection and, ultimately, survival,” DeLauro shared.
“As a survivor of ovarian cancer who is only here today because my cancer was caught early, I know how important it is to be aware of your risks. Increased awareness means earlier detection, and that means more women will have a fighting chance against this terrible disease.”
In the Senate, Democratic Diane Feinstein of California and Republican Dean Heller of Nevada are introducing a companion bill.