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Committee Substitute Favorable 4/9/13

Senate Health Care Committee Substitute Adopted 6/19/13


Short Title:        Breast Density Notification & Awareness.




Referred to:


April 1, 2013


AN ACT requiring health care facilities that perform mammography examinations to communicate mammographic breast density information to patients AND TO MAKE A CORRECTION TO A statute involving the cancer registry.

Whereas, mammographic examinations are typically used to characterize breast density into one of four groups; and

Whereas, women classified in the highest two levels have heterogeneously or extremely dense breast tissue and could have abnormalities that are not easily visible on a mammogram; and

Whereas, dense breast tissue may also increase the risk of developing cancer; and

Whereas, knowing her individual breast density level may aid in helping a woman better understand that supplemental screening may be beneficial if she is classified in the two highest levels of breast density; Now, therefore,

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  Article 7 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

" 130A-215.5.  Communication of mammographic breast density information to patients.

(a)        All health care facilities that perform mammography examinations shall include in the summary of the mammography report, required by federal law to be provided to a patient, information that identifies the patient's individual breast density classification based on the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System established by the American College of Radiology. If the facility determines that a patient has heterogeneously or extremely dense breasts, the summary of the mammography report shall include the following notice:

"Your mammogram indicates that you may have dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue is relatively common and is found in more than forty percent (40%) of women. The presence of dense tissue may make it more difficult to detect abnormalities in the breast and may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. We are providing this information to raise your awareness of this important factor and to encourage you to talk with your physician about this and other breast cancer risk factors. Together, you can decide which screening options are right for you. A report of your results was sent to your physician."(b)        Patients who receive diagnostic or screening mammograms may be directed to informative material about breast density. This informative material may include the American College of Radiology's most current brochure on the subject of breast density."

SECTION 2.  G.S. 130A-211 reads as rewritten:

" 130A-211.  Immunity of persons who report cancer.

A person who makes a report pursuant to G.S. 130A-209 or 130A-210 to the central cancer registry shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed."

SECTION 3.  This act becomes effective January 1, 2014.