McAuliffe, Mulroe Mammography Legislation Signed in to Law

Pictured between Sen. Mulroe and Rep. McAuliffe are
 DrsMemmel and Fagin, co-medical directors
of  Caldwell Breast Center

Park Ridge, IL…Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 466, sponsored by State Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) and State Sen. John Mulroe (D-Chicago) to require insurance plans in Illinois, including Medicaid, to cover breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography. The signing took place today at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.

“This bipartisan legislation signifies the commitment of the General Assembly to the fight against breast cancer and protecting women’s health,” said Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago), chief sponsor of the legislation. “The best way to fight cancer is with early detection; I’m proud we’re taking this step that will expand women’s access to this important diagnostic tool.”

Breast tomosynthesis is a form of breast cancer screening that is newer and more effective than low-dose mammography. It works by creating an image of the breast through a series X-Rays from different angles. This enables doctors to have a clear, 3-dimensional image, making it easier to see through dense tissue and detect breast cancer.

“This is a great day for Illinois and the women of Illinois,” said Sen. Mulroe. “3D mammograms are more precise and will detect breast cancer sooner than standard mammograms. Early detection will reduce call backs for diagnostic testing which will reduce costs and more importantly reduce the stress and anxiety that women experience when the doctor tells them they have to come back for additional tests. But most importantly, early detection will save women’s lives.”

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Illinois women, accounting for 29.7 percent of 796,602 invasive cancer diagnoses in women during 1986-2013. 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer in their lives and IDPH projects that 10,290 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016.

Senate Bill 466 is effective immediately.