Science and Tech


FDA Mammography Rule Proposal Would Alert Women To Breast Cancer Risk

The FDA proposed a rule change Wednesday that would give women more information about how breast density can affect screening results.
Posted at 6:16 PM, Mar 27, 2019

The FDA is proposing changes to mammography rules that would provide patients with more information on how breast density can affect screening results. 

On Wednesday, the agency recommended a regulation update that would alert women if they're found to have dense breast tissue. The FDA says denser tissue can indicate a risk factor for developing breast cancer, and it also makes mammogram results more difficult to interpret. 

The FDA hopes notifying patients in this way will improve communication and help patients make better-informed decisions about their health. 

As CNBC points out, multiple states already require some sort of notification about breast density after a mammogram. But they're not always specific, and the new federal recommendation would get all states on the same page. 

Also included in the FDA proposal are some tweaks to mammogram results categories and facility standards. 

Expert advice varies on when regular mammogram screenings should begin, but most agree that women can choose to be screened starting at age 40. 

It's the first time in more than 20 years that federal health regulators have moved forward with these types of changes. There's a 90-day public comment period for the proposal before it reaches the finalization stage. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN