DENVER — The FDA proposed new rules for mammograms Wednesday, saying that women must be told if they have dense breast tissue.
The FDA wants mammogram providers to tell those patients they are at higher risk for cancer, and tell them that dense tissue can make it more difficult to spot tumors. Additionally, those women should consult with their doctor about the possibility of additional testing, including an MRI or ultrasound.
“Women who have dense breasts are at higher risk of breast cancer, and it’s harder to detect,” said Dr. Joyce Moore at Sky Ridge Medical Center.
She believes communication is key, and patients need to be informed in order to make good decisions.
“We would like to screen them more intensively, meaning get more imaging studies like an ultrasound or an MRI. And I think the FDA is finally recognizing that is appropriate to do,” said Moore.
Right now, many MRIs and ultrasounds are not covered by insurance in the same way that mammograms are, but many people hope this rule will force a change.
“Now that the FDA has come out saying, ‘Yes, breast density is important,’ hopefully, insurance companies will start to cover these tests and it won’t be such a struggle to get them for these patients,” Moore said.