Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has made the Badger State the 35th state to report dense breast tissue to patients as part of their mammography reporting results. The bill was championed by Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Wis.) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-Wis.).
The governors of Utah, Washington, and Florida signed bills into law in February.
“I am honored to have authored this bill, which will provide Wisconsin women with more information regarding their breast health,” says Rohrkaste. “Early detection, prevention, and awareness of breast cancer are imperative, and this legislation helps to further those goals. I would like to thank my constituent, Gail Zeamer, who brought this legislation to light and has been a fierce advocate from the start.”
Wisconsin resident Gail Zeamer contacted Rohrkaste after her stage 3C breast cancer diagnosis within months after her normal 3D mammogram. Her healthcare providers ultimately disclosed to her that dense tissue hid her cancer on her 3D mammogram.
Gail adds, “When I began my cancer journey, I never imagined it would lead to advocacy and change on such a wide-reaching level. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with Rep. Mike Rohrkaste and Sen. Alberta Darling on this bill. With the passing of this law, my sincere hope is that all women in Wisconsin will have equal access to breast health information at the point of a mammogram. Notification leads to awareness, education, and individual choice. All of these will benefit women, leading to earlier diagnosis, less intense treatment, and overall greater survival outcomes.”
Connecticut was the first state to enact a density reporting law in 2009, inspired by Nancy M. Cappello, PhD, founder and director of two breast health nonprofit organizations, Are You Dense Inc. and Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc.
Illinois, West Virginia, New Mexico, and Georgia have also introduced density reporting bills this session.