Breast cancer affects every Iowan in different ways. According to the American Cancer Society, finding breast cancer early and getting state-of-the-art cancer treatment are the most important strategies to prevent deaths from breast cancer. Breast cancer that’s found early, when it’s small and has not spread, is easier to treat successfully.

One reason detection can be delayed is due the density of breast tissue. In addition, many individuals do not know they have dense breast tissue and the impact it may have on their mammogram results. As a result, a person may not be diagnosed with breast cancer until the cancer is much larger or spread to other parts of the body.

After many years of considering legislation, a new law was signed adding breast density information to mammogram reports sent to Iowans with dense breast tissue. Iowans with dense breast tissue will now be provided information including evidence-based information on dense breast tissue, the increased risk associated with dense breast tissue, and the effects of dense breast tissue on screening mammography.

The bill took effect April 13, 2017.