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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Sen. Dan Brown: Bill Promoting Early Detection of Breast Cancer Delivered to Nixon

  • Many women throughout Missouri recognize the importance of receiving yearly mammograms. However, did you know your annual check-up may be missing something that could cost you your life?
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  • Many women throughout Missouri recognize the importance of receiving yearly mammograms. However, did you know your annual check-up may be missing something that could cost you your life?
    Legislators truly agreed to and finally passed legislation I sponsored this session, Senate Bill 639. I am particularly passionate about SB 639, which promotes standards that could prevent many women from undergoing the intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments that my wife underwent several years ago.
    Mammograms are used to x-ray breast tissue in order to detect tumors that cannot be felt during exams.  They can also detect tiny deposits of calcium that can sometimes indicate the presence of breast cancer. It is recommended for women over the age of 40 receive regular mammograms. This still may not be enough in early detection of breast cancer. Currently, 12.7 percent of American women will develop breast cancer.
    Early detection with screening will saves lives and allows treatment possibly before the disease has spread.
    If a woman has dense breast tissue it appears as a black mass on the mammogram, making it difficult to see tumors that may be present while also placing that woman at higher risk for cancer. Currently, it is not required to inform a woman that her dense breast tissue could potentially hide abnormalities.
    Senate Bill 639 states that upon the completion of a mammogram, facilities must provide information informing patients that they have dense breast tissue that could hide abnormalities. It would also require that patients be informed that they may benefit from supplemental screening that may be suggested by the ordering physician. Although facilities will be held to a duty to inform, they will not be held to a duty to provide further services.
    Senate Bill 639 now moves to the governor for his signature.
    With Mother’s Day right around the corner, let’s remember the importance of the women and mothers in our lives and encourage them to undergo mammograms annually to promote healthier lives.
    Always feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues by calling my office at (573) 751-5713 or by visiting my website at www.senate.mo.gov/brown.
    Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.