Density notification laws are working -- but not equally

By Theresa Pablos, staff writer

January 12, 2021 -- Dense breast notification laws appear to be providing more women with density information, but the gains are not equal across all types of women, according to the findings of a study published on December 24 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) conducted a telephone survey with 2,306 women over the age of 40 who underwent mammography within the past two years and heard the term "breast density."

A total of 57% of the sample cohort recalled receiving personal breast density information after their mammogram, and 39% of women said they discussed breast density with their providers.

Women living in states with notification laws were 1.5 times more likely to say they received density information and 1.75 times more likely to say they discussed density with their providers than those living in states without notification laws.

However, the results were not uniform. Older Black and Asian women in lower income brackets and with lower health literacy rates were less likely to receive density information. Furthermore, older and Asian women were less likely to have spoken with their providers.

In contrast, women with a high health literacy rate as well as those with a previous biopsy were more likely to have spoken with their providers. The study did not include women diagnosed with breast cancer.

"These findings suggest that 'one size does not fit all' when breast density information is conveyed and suggests that the message or the mode of dissemination may need to be tailored for different populations to achieve knowledge equity," stated corresponding author Nancy Kressin, PhD, a researcher and professor of medicine at BUSM.

Notification laws may not lead to more breast screening
Breast density notification laws may not prompt mammography facilities to offer additional screening services. A North Carolina survey found that fewer...
Ga. adopts dense breast notification law
Georgia has become the 38th state in the U.S. to mandate that women be notified of their dense breast condition and the associated risks.
Density notification laws boost breast ultrasound use
State breast density notification laws that advise women of supplemental screening options increase breast ultrasound use and appear to lead to a modest...
SD passes dense breast notification law
South Dakota has become the 37th state to mandate that women be told of their dense breast condition and the associated risks.
Breast density advocate Cappello dies
Breast density advocate Nancy Cappello, PhD, died on November 15 due to complications related to a late-occurring side effect of breast cancer treatment....

Copyright © 2021