May 25, 2016
For Immediate Release
Are You Dense Advocacy Inc.
Vermont's State’s Density Reporting Bill, is now Law: The 28th State to Report Density to Patients as part of the Mammography Reporting Results.
The Green Mountain State's Dense Breast Tissue Reporting Senate Bill 157 becomes law today under Governor Peter Shumlin, adding to the growing list of density reporting laws across the country. The bill was introduced in the Vermont Legislature by Senator Joe Benning, after his constituent, Leslie Mulcahy, an Innkeeper from Waterford, Vermont, contacted him with her story of invasive cancer, invisible by mammogram, and detected by her persistence of an ultrasound because of her dense breast tissue.
“I know that this law will have a huge beneficial impact on all Vermont women. It will raise awareness to the danger of breast density, encourage women to advocate for themselves, and above all, help many women get the life-saving early detection they deserve, “claims breast cancer survivor and patient advocate, Leslie Mulcahy.
Sally Herschorn, M.D., Secretary of the Vermont Radiological Society who testified in support of the legislation reports "Knowledge is power. Giving women their breast density and explaining its importance empowers them to take control of their breast health care and be in the driver's seat for their health care decisions." Dr. Herschorn is also Vice-Chair for the Patient and Provider Experience, Radiology Division Chief and Medical Director Breast Imaging & Associate Professor of Radiology, University of Vermont College of Medicine.
After reading information on AreYouDense.org about the masking of dense breast tissue by mammography, Leslie Mulcahy sought to have adjunct screening to her mammography, despite her health care recommendations for no further study since her mammography results were normal. Her persistence revealed an invasive cancer, invisible by mammogram, clearly seen on ultrasound. Her breast cancer discovery at an early stage because of multi-modal screening compelled Leslie to legislative action. At the Public Hearing, Leslie told the committee her undeniable story, representing numerous women in Vermont whose mammogram might be reported as 'normal,' but because of dense breast tissue, the cancer could be masked. Leslie also shared a video she produced to educate women about the impact of dense breast tissue on missed, delayed and advanced stage breast cancer. View her compelling story of the detection of invasive cancer because of her persistence for multi-modal screening.
The law applies to exams on & after January 15, 2017.
Connecticut was the first state to enact a density reporting law, inspired by Nancy M. Cappello, Ph.D., as health care providers ultimately disclosed the impact of her dense breast tissue after her advanced stage 3c breast cancer, metastasized to 13 lymph nodes, was discovered within weeks of her 11th normal mammogram. Dr. Cappello is the founder and director of two breast health non profit organizations, Are You Dense Inc. and Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc.
Twenty-Eight Density Reporting States:
Connecticut (2009), Texas (2011), Virginia, New York, California (2012), Tennessee, Hawaii, Maryland, Alabama, Nevada, Oregon, North Carolina, Pennsylvania (2013), Ohio, Missouri, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Arizona, New Jersey (2014) Louisiana, Delaware, North Dakota, Michigan (2015), Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont (2016)