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Lawmakers considering mammogram requirement

Lawmakers considering mammogram requirement

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado lawmakers are deciding whether to add a requirement to mammograms.  It would allow woman to find out if they have high density breast tissue, which sometimes can hide cancer.

"I think it would be beneficial to women to know if there were a high dense tissue," said breast cancer survivor Jennie Handt-Henderson.

"We know that breast density is a risk factor for getting breast cancer," said Dr. Laura Pomerenke.

Dr. Pomerenke is a breast surgeon for Memorial Health Systems.

"This is a very dense breast for someone her age and that means that a cancer could be hiding in here," said Dr. Pomerenke showing a mammogram image.   

Other states like Texas, California and New York already require that special note, showing a woman has high density breast tissue. Dr. Pomerenke says if Colorado requires it, it could help as long as it comes with education.

"The last thing we want to do is to scare women," said Dr. Pomerenke

Republican Sen. Larry Crowder is against the bill, arguing insurance companies are not required to pay for additional testing.

"I do not see the benefit. I see a lot of detrimental cost for ladies, but I think the message should be to get tested regularly," said Sen. Crowder.

For one breast cancer survivor, knowing is the first step to healing.

"It saved my life," said Handt-Henderson.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee will vote on the bill next week. The medical team providing the information will have until then to prove whether or not a mammogram should require the high density notice.

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