New Jersey has just become the fourteenth state to require breast density status to be listed on some mammography reports. Under the new law, if a woman has abnormally dense breast tissue, she must be notified on the mammogram report, and can have a follow-up ultrasound that is covered by insurance. According to Dr. Lisa Weinstock, a bill supporter who owns Ridgewood breast imaging center Women’s Digital Imaging, a combination of mammograms and ultrasounds can detect cancer earlier. Cancer tissue can appear “as a blind spot on a mammogram,” she explained – similar in color to surrounding glandular tissue, but appearing in a different color on an ultrasound. The combined approach can help more women detect breast cancer earlier. Opponents had argued that the bill mandates what information a doctor must share with a patient, infringing on doctor-patient confidentiality.
The Governor signed the bill into law last week, making New Jersey the fourteenth state to mandate the additional information and screening options. A similar federal law is currently under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives.