"If women know their lifetime risk ... and whether or not their breasts are dense, they will be better equipped to understand the recommendations their physicians make -- and make more informed screening decisions," the society said.
ASBD noted the following in its statement:
- Effective screening for breast cancer is not just a single test, but a multidisciplinary, inclusive process involving primary physicians, ob/gyns, and patients.
- Because breast screening is multidisciplinary, the various clinicians involved may have different opinions about it.
- Technical and scientific information related to dense breast tissue should be analyzed by medical professionals.
- Information about a woman's breast tissue density should be communicated to her in a way that she can understand.
- Medical professionals should make recommendations and establish quality performance standards based on science, experience, and judgment.
- Shared decision-making between patients and their physicians leads to better patient satisfaction, compliance, and treatment outcomes.
Five states -- California, New York, Virginia, Connecticut, and Texas -- now mandate that breast density results be communicated to patients by letter, and these states include 30% of the nation's women, ASBD said. Similar legislation is being discussed in more than a dozen other states, and Congress is considering a federal law.
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