New law - Women will receive breast density risk in mammogram

New law - Women will receive breast density risk in mammogram

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Governor Rick Perry has signed into a bill into law that will have doctors include woman's breast density in her annual mammogram report.

Texas joins Connecticut as the only two states to pass the dense breast law, also known as "Henda's law".

95% of women are unaware of their own breast density, according to a Harris poll. But this law will change that later this year.

"The dense breast shows up as white material on a mammogram and tumors also shows up a white image on the mammogram, so it's like looking for a snowball in the middle of a snow blizzard, very hard to differentiate," U.T. Health Center oncologist Dr. Bill Hyman said. "Women will be informed on the report that's already required to come to them after their mammogram what their breast density is and what the risks of having dense breasts breathes on in terms of potentially missing small tumors."

ETMC doctor, Michael Klouda is more skeptical of the new law.

"We address one issue, and unfortunately the cure for the issue we're addressing causes a whole host of other problems," Dr. Klouda said.

Dr. Hyman believes knowledge is always a good thing, no matter how bad the news is.

"The patients can now question their physicians, and say, 'Look, it says I have dense breasts. Do I need, with my history, my family history, some other kind of breast imaging to make sure that we're not missing something?'"

But Dr. Klouda does not necessarily agree.

"We are going to find abnormalities, that we cannot say for sure are not breast cancer and this will generate more intervention procedures, more anxiety, more biopsies, we may find some more cancer, but that is yet to be seen," Dr. Klouda said.

In this case, only time will tell.

The breast density law in Texas will take effect September 1st.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.