TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Senator Nia H. Gill (D-Essex, Passaic) to expand access to critical breast screenings for thousands of women who are at high risk of getting breast cancer was approved today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
The legislation (S-792) would require health insurers to cover comprehensive ultrasound breast screenings for women in the event a mammogram demonstrates dense breast tissue – which can prevent detection of a tumor by a mammogram – or if a woman is believed to be at increased risk for breast cancer due to family history.
“Approximately 40 percent of breast cancers in the United States are diagnosed at a later stage, after they have spread to other areas of the body. In a significant number of cases, dense breast tissue is the primary reason the cancer went undetected. The tragedy here is that many at-risk women are doing the right thing and getting regular mammograms,” said Senator Weinberg. “This measure will provide women with access to health care screenings that have proven effective in identifying cancerous tumors that a mammography would otherwise miss, vastly improving early detection and increasing the likelihood for successful treatment.”