One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer but the earlier a diagnosis is made, the better the end result.
In October 2017, Karen Leinweber was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer.
“Triple negative, which was rare aggressive breast cancer,” Leinweber said. “My yearly mammogram is very important to me because of being told I have a dense breast.”
In 2011, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 2102, informally known as Henda’s Law that required mammography providers to notify all women with dense breast tissue.
Local Oncologist Praveen Reddy explains why this information is useful to patients like Leinweber.
“Different people will have different densities in the breast, If it a very high dense breast mammograms are not that sensitive,” Reddy said. “For those people, we do recommend an ultrasound or even MRI of the breast also.”
Women’s Imaging Coordinator Susan Young from United Regional also encourages women to utilize another preventative method.
“The best means of addressing dense breast tissue is having a 3D mammogram because that’s essentially a mini CT of the breast,” Young said.
While Texas has been providing patients with this information for almost a decade, the FDA officials now propose all mammography providers to inform their patients in common language of their breast density as well as its significance.
This is the first time in more than 20 years that there have been changes made to the mammogram screening regulations.
“The earlier the diagnoses is made the better the outcome,” Reddy said.
“By having the 3D mammography it gave me the shoe in to be able to get caught early,” Leinweber said.
Leinweber said she believes that this new requirement will allow all women to be more proactive about the examination.
To read up on Henda’s Law, Follow this link.
To read up on the FDA’s regulation change, follow this link.