A picture of Senator Dianne Feinstein
Dianne F.
Democrat CA

About Sen. Dianne
  • Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

    by Senator Dianne Feinstein

    Posted on 2015-02-04

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    FEINSTEIN (for herself, Ms. Ayotte, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mrs. Boxer, Ms. Heitkamp, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Brown, Ms. Mikulski, Ms. Stabenow, Mrs. Capito, Mrs. Shaheen, Mr. Casey, Ms. Hirono, Mrs. McCaskill, Ms. Warren, and Ms. Cantwell): S. 370. A bill to require breast density reporting to physicians and patients by facilities that perform mammograms, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

    Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, even though we have made great strides in the treatment and diagnosis of breast cancer, this disease continues to be the second leading cause of death for women in the United States.

    When women receive their mammography report and it comes out normal, they usually move on with their day thinking everything is just fine. This may be the case, but for women with dense breast tissue this ``normal'' report doesn't capture the whole picture. This is because cancer may still be present and missed on their mammogram because it is obscured by dense breast tissue.

    It is vital for women to be told this simple, yet potentially life- saving, information about their own health so they can discuss with their doctor if additional screening makes sense for them. That could be the difference between catching breast cancer early and surviving, or waiting until its too late because you were never told your full medical information.

    Even though there is a risk for cancer being missed, when women receive their mammogram report there is currently no federal requirement to include notice that they have dense breast tissue. This is the case even though the radiologist makes that determination upon reading the mammogram This bill is a simple solution. It requires that women be informed on the mammogram report, that they already receive, if they have dense breast tissue, and that they may want to talk with their doctor if they have questions and if they might benefit from additional screening. Withholding this kind of medical information from women just doesn't make any sense.

    This bill doesn't change any state laws. It sets a minimum Federal standard, so any state that wants to have additional reporting requirements may do so. The bill also requires the Department of Health and Human Services to focus on research and improved screening for patients with dense breast tissue. Early detection is the key to beating cancer. Every patient deserves access to their own information, especially when it may be what saves their life.

    I want to thank Senator Ayotte for working with me on this bill. I urge my colleagues to join us, and Senators Gillibrand, Boxer, Heitkamp, Baldwin, Brown, Mikulski, Stabenow, Capito, Shaheen, Casey, Hirono, McCaskill, and Warren in cosponsoring the Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act. This bill is supported by organizations including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Are You Dense Advocacy, Breast Cancer Fund, and Susan G. Komen.

    I look forward to working with my colleagues on this important issue.

    ______ By Mr. CARDIN (for himself, Ms. Collins, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Cochran, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Kirk, Mr. Carper, Ms. Murkowski, Mr. Casey, Mr. Portman, Ms. Cantwell, Mr. Coons, Mr. Heinrich, Ms. Hirono, Mr. King, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Markey, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Merkley, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Wyden, and Ms. Klobuchar): S. 375. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a reduced rate of excise tax on beer produced domestically by certain qualifying producers; to the Committee on Finance.

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