Kuster Highlights Breast Cancer Detection Bill During Visit to Gamma Medica in Salem
SALEM, N.H. – As part of her commitment to helping improve women’s health care services, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) met today with executives from Gamma Medica, where she discussed the Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act. Kuster recently cosponsored the bill in an effort to promote better breast cancer detection and prevention, and to help provide women with the tools to make informed health decisions.
“Thousands of women in New Hampshire and across the country are being diagnosed with breast cancer each year. It’s absolutely essential they have every tool available to battle this terrible disease,” Kuster said. “That’s what the Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act is all about. It will help to make sure women, especially those at greater risk for breast cancer, can detect it early and return to good health.”
First introduced by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, the bill ensures that relative breast density is included in the information provided to women and health care providers following a mammogram. Studies have shown that women with dense breast tissue are at least four times more likely to develop breast cancer, and they are also more likely to have an inaccurate mammogram reading.
Gamma Medica, which relocated last year from California to Salem, develops, markets, and services innovative molecular breast imaging systems to help radiologists detect early stage cancers. The company utilizes Molecular Breast Imaging, a highly effective secondary diagnostic tool that enables and improves assessments, especially for women with dense breast tissue.
In 2013, an estimated 1,180 Granite State women were projected to be newly diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the New Hampshire Breast Cancer Coalition, and an estimated 170 were projected to die of the disease.
“The Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act represents an important development in the battle against breast cancer,” said Jim Calandra, Gamma Medica’s Chief Executive Officer. “We feel that women should understand the true nature of breast cancer risk. With this bill, cosponsored by Congresswoman Kuster, women with dense breast tissue will have the information needed to assess this highly prevalent risk factor.”
Earlier this year, Kuster called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to cover certain medications that help prevent breast cancer under the Affordable Care Act. The request was granted last week when HHS issued a ruling that women who are at a higher risk for breast cancer will have access to certain categories of preventative drugs without any out-of-pocket costs.