Seawright’s Breast Cancer 3D Mammography Screening Bill Passes Assembly

New legislation helps women to detect breast cancer earlier

NEW YORK, N.Y. – On Thursday, March 30, 2017, Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright announced that the New York State Assembly passed A.5677 which would expand access to breast cancer screenings without cost sharing to include breast tomosynthesis screenings or 3D mammography. The bill passed 146-0.

“It is important to continue to expand access to breast cancer screenings. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in New York State. Each year in New York, over 15,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. This bill clarifies that insurers would cover 3-D mammograms without co-pays or deductibles. Early detection is key, ” said Assemblywoman Rebecca A. Seawright (D- Upper East Side, Yorkville and Roosevelt Island).

Breast tomosynthesis or 3-D mammography uses x-rays to collect multiple images of the breast from several angles and creates a 3D image of the breast. Studies have shown It is more effective in detecting cancer in dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue is one of the strongest predictors of risk for breast cancer.

“3D mammography has been shown in recent studies to find more cancers than more traditional forms of breast screening, as well as resulting in fewer false positive test results. A false positive result can create an extreme physical and psychological toll on the patient, as well as creating the need for further testing. I am pleased to be a sponsor on this bill because it will require insurers in New York to cover this procedure, which is rapidly gaining popularity in the medical community, and which is proving to be a more reliable form of screening for breast cancer,” said Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D – Utica).

“Early detection is vital in the fight against breast cancer, which is why last year I passed legislation making screening services more affordable and accessible,” said Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-Columbia, Dutchess). “Expanding access and coverage to 3-D mammograms adds an important new tool in our effort to combat breast cancer that is sure to improve healthcare outcomes for women and men.”

“Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center applauds efforts in the New York State Legislature that would increase access to Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) technology for the women of New York. Increased access to DBT can reduce healthcare costs, save time for patients and reduce their stress levels , and allow for earlier and more accurate breast cancer detection.” – Elizabeth Morris MD, Chief, Breast Imaging Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer.

A5677, which is sponsored in the Senate by Senator Griffo, is supported by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Black Women’s Health Imperative.