The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

January 7, 2014

Our View: Sound advice

— Thanks to Patty Richard for bringing attention to the need for additional screening for women.

Richard, the wife of state Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, has our support as she pushes for a measure that would require advisories be made to women who have dense breast tissue that they might want to have additional screenings.

Thirteen states require the advisory. It was introduced in Missouri several years ago, but there apparently was no champion then.

Now we have one right here in Joplin in Patty Richard.

Sen. Dan Brown, a Rolla Republican, is sponsoring Senate Bill 639.

Richard has told us that 40 percent of women undergoing regular mammogram screenings have dense breast tissue but that 95 percent don’t realize it. High breast density makes it more difficult to interpret the results of a regular mammogram.

Some cancer researchers are suggesting that digital mammography is superior to film mammography for women with high breast density. Ultrasounds and breast MRIs are also being studied.

Supplemental screenings could save lives. But women first need to know about their condition and that additional tests are available.

There’s nothing political about this bill, nor is there anything about it that forces a woman into taking additional tests.

We, like Patty Richard, think awareness and options are all part of the fight against breast cancer.

Missouri legislators should quickly pass Senate Bill 639.

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