The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to require mammogram providers to tell women if they have a common risk factor for breast cancer.

The proposal, released Wednesday, would be the FDA’s first update to mammography regulations in more than 20 years, according to a statement from the agency. Among other proposed changes, the policy would require mammography providers to inform patients who undergo the breast cancer screening test if they have dense breast tissue, which may both warp the results of a mammogram by obscuring signs of cancer, and increase the risk of developing breast cancer in the first place.

That information would be delivered in a post-screening summary letter, along with guidance for determining future medical care, the statement says. Providers in almost 40 states are required to give patients some information about breast density — though not necessarily about their own personal risk — but the FDA’s rule would codify such policies at a national level.

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