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Looking at Next Steps to Reinforce National Breast Density Notification


In a recent video interview, Amy Patel, M.D., shared her perspective on forthcoming national beast density notification in mammography reporting, emphasized the importance of educating primary care providers on breast density risks, and discussed the ongoing need for coverage of supplemental options for breast cancer screening.

Amy Patel, MD has seen the disparities with state laws on breast density notification. In a recent video interview, Dr. Patel, who practices in Missouri, said the neighboring state of Kansas does not currently require breast density notification. While Missouri has had a state law on breast density notification since 2015, Dr. Patel said the state does have high breast cancer mortality rates and a lack of awareness of breast density can contribute to a diagnosis of advanced breast cancer.

“We see it from all geographic locations, urban, rural. They may say ‘I didn’t know that I had dense breasts. My mammogram was negative one year and now you’re telling me that I have metastatic disease.’ It’s really heartbreaking,” noted Dr. Patel, the medical director of the Liberty Hospital Breast Care Center in Kansas City and an Assistant Professor of Radiology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Dr. Patel said the advent of national breast density notification, which will be required as of September 10, 2024, “really levels the playing field in terms of education and making the patients aware of their breast density.” However, she maintained that ongoing education for patients as well as primary care providers will be key to improving outcomes.

“We cannot assume that primary care providers have all the knowledge on breast density,” emphasized Dr. Patel, the President of the American Association for Women in Radiology. “As breast imagers, I fervently feel … that we’re going to need to take more of an active approach to ensuring that our primary care providers we work in concert with to serve these patients have the tools and knowledge so they can educate their patients. If they’re not able to at times, we need to step in and take more of an active role to educate our patients.”

(Editor’s note: For related content, see “FDA Issues Final Rule on National Breast Density Notification for Mammography Reports,” “Current Insights on National Breast Density Notification for Mammography Reports” and “Mammography Study Shows 22 Percent Higher Incidence of Dense Breasts in Women with a Family History of Breast Cancer.”)

For more insights from Dr. Patel, watch the video below.

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