New York Radiologist and Distinguished Researcher supports Breast Density Legislation at NY Capitol Press Conference
Albany, NY - May 1, 2012: Dr. Tom Kolb joined advocates and legislators at a Press Conference at the Capitol in support of legislation that would require mammography reports to include language informing women of their dense breast tissue and require insurance companies to cover supplemental screenings, such as MRI or ultrasound, for women with dense breast tissue.
"Simply put, for most women, breast density is the single most important indicator of future risk of developing breast cancer as well the single most important reason that a mammogram, erroneously, fails to diagnose breast cancer." stated Dr. Kolb, whose seminal research in 2002 was awarded the distinguished scientific paper of the year by the American Medical Association. Dr. Kolb's complete remarks can be found here.
JoAnn Pushkin, of Dix Hills NY, told her story of later stage cancer not detected by years of mammograms because of her dense breast tissue. Her compelling story, featured in a recent post When a Normal/negative Mammogram is a Lie, prompted Senator John Flanagan and Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee to co-sponsor the legislation. Sadly, JoAnn's story is common as breast density predicts the accuracy of a mammogram at any age.
This year, approximately, 2000 NY women with recent "normal" mammography reports, have invasive cancer, hidden by mammogram, because of dense breast tissue. As Dr. Kolb stressed " Only with information about their own bodies will women have a meaningful understanding upon which to base their breast health care decisions. Therefore both inform and insurance legislation should be passed. It is both morally and medically necessary. The time has come.