DRIVING POLICY CHANGE TO PROTECT
WOMEN’S BREAST HEALTH
Learn more about current legislation that impacts women's access to equitable breast healthcare and take action to drive change
Early detection of breast cancer saves lives. At the Brem Foundation, our priority is ensuring early detection is a priority for lawmakers. Click the infographic below to see how we advocate for quality, equitable breast healthcare at the federal level.
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help low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women access critical breast care
Since 1991, the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) has served more than 6 million women, detecting nearly 74,000 invasive breast cancers and over 23,000 premalignant breast lesions. However, if the Screening for Communities to Receive Early and Equitable Needed Services (SCREENS) for Cancer Act is not passed, this program will end, and millions of women from underserved communities will lose access to the preventive screening and treatments that save lives.
Federal Legislation: The Mammography Quality Standards Act
Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia require some notification to women who receive mammograms about breast density, but that is not enough. In March of 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed amendments and updates to the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA). This amendment was intended to “modernize breast cancer screening and help empower patients with information when they are considering important decisions regarding their breast health care.” Part of this proposal includes standardized notification of breast density levels in all mammography reports across the U.S.
*Note: Nothing in the rule prohibits states from enacting breast-density notification laws that are at least as stringent as those in the federal rule.
Brem calls upon the FDA to issue a final rule governing breast density notification across the United States as soon as possible. This will allow for all women who undergo breast cancer screening to have necessary information about breast density to have a more informed conversation with her provider about potential essential screening options.
DC Breast Density Notification Law
The Brem Foundation drafted and helped pass D.C.’s first-ever breast density law. The Dense Breast Screening and Notification Act of 2018 (D.C. Law 22-26) was unanimously passed at the end of 2018 and became effective on March 22, 2019. The law requires health care facilities to include mammography results, including patients' breast tissue classification. This law also requires insurance coverage for the essential screenings that women with dense breasts, and other risk factors, need beyond just mammograms. To view the text of the law click here.