Illinois State Senate District 49 issued the following announcement on Oct. 02.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant encourages Will County residents to check with their health care providers to learn more about the disease, discuss their concerns and develop the right plan for breast cancer screenings -- because early detection can save lives.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers.
“It is vital that we work as a community to educate our friends and family on the importance of creating a health plan that works with an individual’s lifestyle and history,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “One in 8 women in the nation will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. It is important that we raise awareness and are equipped with the knowledge to detect breast cancer at its earliest stages.”
According to a study by the Illinois Department of Public Health, 26 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Illinois each day.
Bertino-Tarrant worked with her colleagues in the General Assembly to pass two initiatives to increase and improve breast cancer care this year.
She co-sponsored Senate Bill 162 which will expand insurance coverage for diagnostic mammogram. The new law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
Currently, insurance covers an initial screening mammogram without any co-pay or cost sharing. If dense breast tissue or an abnormality is detected, a doctor will want a second look with a more comprehensive ultrasound (diagnostic) mammogram, and a co-pay is applied. In Illinois, those co-pays can run from $600 to $700, which could discourage women from getting that screening.
The second measure Bertino-Tarrant sponsored is Senate Bill 1506, which requires providers of mammography services to notify patients of dense breast tissue and recommend follow-up testing if it’s present.
“Dense breast tissue increases the chances that breast cancer may go undetected by traditional mammograms,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is important that medical professionals inform patients if they have dense breast tissue and take the proper steps to ensure thorough screenings. This new law will help ensure patients are not left in the dark.”
An estimated 2,670 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the United States and approximately 500 will die of it.
Bertino-Tarrant urges residents to visit her website month for more information from the State of Illinois’ to education themselves.
Original source can be found here.