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House passes bill requiring doctors to notify women who have dense breast tissue

BISMARCK - The North Dakota House on Monday overwhelmingly passed a bill that requires medical providers to notify women when images reveal they have dense breast tissue.

BISMARCK – The North Dakota House on Monday overwhelmingly passed a bill that requires medical providers to notify women when images reveal they have dense breast tissue.

 

House Bill 1370 passed 85-8, overcoming an early committee setback. The bill was amended to include an emergency clause, meaning it would take effect immediately if passed with a strong majority.

 

As many as half of women, especially those who are younger, have dense breast tissue, which makes it more difficult to detect tumors and places women at higher risk for breast cancer.

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The bill was championed by Cynthia Eggl, a Fargo woman whose repeated "normal" mammograms failed to detect tumors that spread to her lymphatic system. After surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, she now is cancer free.

 

"It was absolutely a rollercoaster ride," Eggl said Monday after the bill passed the House, noting its first committee vote was an 8-5 "do not pass" recommendation. The House Human Services Committee then reconsidered the bill, and it went to the full House with a "do pass" recommendation.

 

Women should be informed that they have dense breast tissue so they can discuss with their doctors the possibility of further imaging tests, Eggl said.

 

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