Assemblywoman Jean-Pierre (D-Babylon) announced that legislation she authored along with Senator Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood) requiring insurance companies to cover annual mammogram screenings for New York women aged 35 to 39, known as Shannons Law, was signed into law.
Its never too early to begin taking preventative measures against breast cancer as this devastating illness can affect women of all ages, said Jean-Pierre. Lowering the age of covered annual mammogram screenings will help more women detect early signs of cancer and ultimately save lives. I want to thank the governor for signing this critical legislation into law.
"I strongly believe in the importance of early detection, and it is imperative that individuals under 40 have access to annual mammograms when deemed medically necessary, said Martinez. With 1 in 8 women developing breast cancer in their lifetime, the enactment of this bill is critical to enabling early detection and saving lives."
Shannons Law is named for Shannon Saturno, a Babylon schoolteacher who was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant and tragically passed away at just 31 years old. Jean-Pierre and Martinez have worked closely with Donna Cioffi and Linda Bonanno of First Company Pink a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to support lifesaving breast cancer research as well as breast cancer prevention through education to help generate the support needed to pass Shannons Law.
We championed Shannons Law with the help of our legislative officials as a key component to offer more screening options alongside gradual education, said Linda Bonanno and Donna Cioffi of First Company Pink and the got checked? campaign. It was necessary for us to challenge the mammogram age to reflect todays younger ages of diagnosis.
We would not be here today without the relentless determination exhibited by Donna, Linda and First Company Pink, Jean-Pierre continued. Together, we were able to finish what Shannon started, and her legacy is one that will truly save lives.
Too many young women like Shannon have lost their lives to breast cancer, which is why expanding coverage for mammograms is so important, Jean-Pierre and Martinez noted.
This law will help ensure women like Shannon can access the critical preventative care that they need, noted Jean-Pierre.
Insurance companies were previously required to cover annual mammogram screenings for women over the age of 40, but statistics show that 1 in 227 women in the U.S. between the ages of 30 and 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 12,000 cases of breast cancer detected annually are in women under the age of 40, with over 26,000 cases in women under 45. Oftentimes, when breast cancer is detected in younger women, its in later stages and is more aggressive.