Bill calls for providing more info in mammogram reports

DIX HILL - Advocates are fighting for the passage of a bill aimed at informing women about a condition that puts them at a greater risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Five years ago, Joann Pushkin, of Dix Hills, was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. As it turns out, she has dense breasts but didn't know it. That means it's more difficult for doctors to spot the cancer on a mammogram.

Pushkin is now pushing for new state legislation that would require breast density information to be reported to patients after a mammogram. When necessary, the report would include suggestions for further testing such as an MRI or an ultrasound. It would also require insurance companies to cover the cost of additional tests.

Dr. Paul Fisher, of Stony Brook University Medical Center, says while increased awareness is a good thing, he believes the proposed legislation is misguided because there is no scientific proof that ultrasounds can save lives.

"One thing we do know about screening ultrasounds is that it will lead to many, many unnecessary biopsies," he says.

For an interview with JoAnn Pushkin about the new breast cancer legislation, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612.

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