News | Published January 30, 2014

Breast density classification now a requirement on mammography reports

Local women will soon begin seeing a change in their digital mammogram reports. Effective January 30, 2014, all FDA-regulated facilities will be required to identify the patient’s individual breast density classification in the mammography report.

The Breast Density Notification Act (PA Senate Bill 358) introduces a formalized protocol for informing patients about their breast density, which could be a risk factor for developing breast cancer.

“With high breast density mammograms can be harder to interpret, and that can complicate the early detection of breast cancer,” said Jacob Alexander, MD, radiologist, Mount Nittany Health Breast Care Center. “This new regulation will allow physicians to continue to monitor women’s breast density and to suggest additional screening mechanisms for those with dense breasts if necessary.”

Patients who have non-dense breasts (e.g., a classification of 1 or 2 on a 4-point scale) will receive a notice in their mammography report stating they do not have dense breasts and, therefore, no additional studies are recommended at this time and the patient may continue with routine annual screening mammography.

Patients who have a classification of 3 or 4 will receive a notification in their report stating they have dense breasts and that, while common, they are encouraged to speak with their physician about additional screening options, as appropriate.

At the Mount Nittany Health Breast Care Center, patients will also receive supplemental literature on the day of service, explaining more about breast tissue density.

For more information, please visit mountnittany.org or call the Mount Nittany Health Breast Care Center at 814.234.6106.

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