PA Senate Passes Critical Breast Cancer Bills, Announces Statewide Mammography Day

Pennsylvania senators pass SB 1225 for no-cost breast MRI, SB 1330 for no-cost genetic testing and counseling

Sen. Mensch’s Video Remarks

News Conference Video

HARRISBURGThe PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC), along with PA Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) and PA Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery) this week (Oct. 19) announced the Senate passage of two bills for women at high-risk for breast cancer: Senate Bill 1225 for no-cost breast MRI and ultrasound and Senate Bill 1330 for no-cost genetic testing and counseling.

“Senate Bill 1225 and Senate Bill 1330 will arm the women of Pennsylvania with the best tools possible to find breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage – without having to worry about the cost,” said PBCC President Pat Halpin-Murphy. “We commend these joint efforts of Senator Bob Mensch and Senator Kim Ward that will undoubtedly save lives.”

Senate Bill 1225, sponsored by Senator Mensch, eliminates out-of-pocket costs for breast MRI and ultrasound for women with high-risk conditions such as dense breast tissue, a family history of breast cancer, personal history of breast cancer, genetic predisposition or prior radiation therapy. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), breast MRI is more than twice as effective at detecting breast cancer than even 3D mammograms in women at high-risk.

“These votes bring us closer to ensuring that high-risk women in Pennsylvania have affordable access to the early detection of breast cancer,” said Senator Bob Mensch, SB1225 sponsor. “I am proud to partner with the PA Breast Cancer Coalition on this 4th piece of legislation that I believe will have an impact on countless lives and reduce the number of late-stage diagnoses moving forward.”

Senate Bill 1330, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, removes costs associated with genetic testing and counseling for Pennsylvanians with a family history of breast and ovarian cancers. Senator Ward, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, discovered a BRCA2 genetic mutation through genetic testing.

“Informed decisions about our health now, can save the lives of future generations to come. Senate Bill 1330 is a significant step on our path to ensuring early detection and targeted therapies are possible for women with a history of breast and ovarian cancers,” said Senator Kim Ward. “As someone who had genetic testing, I know the impact this legislation will have on families across the state.”

Both bills will now go to the PA House.

Senator Ward and PA Sen. Christina Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) today announced the passage of a Senate Resolution designating October 2022 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Friday, October 21, 2022 as Mammography Day in Pennsylvania. The resolution serves as a reminder of the importance of annual screenings.

“Every family, including mine, has been touched by breast cancer in some way and knows the devastating effects this disease can have,” said resolution co-sponsor Senator Tartaglione. “When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is over 90 percent. Our hope is to encourage all women on Mammography Day and throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to schedule their annual mammograms, which are covered at no cost in Pennsylvania.”

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition is a 501(c)3 organization that represents, supports and serves breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania through educational programming, legislative advocacy and breast cancer research grants. The PBCC is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure now…so our daughters don’t have to.  For more information, please call 800-377-8828 or visit www.PABreastCancer.org.

For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit www.senatormensch.com.  State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at facebook.com/PASenatorBobMensch/ or Twitter @SenatorMensch.

###

Contact: Lidia Di Fiore ldifiore@pasen.gov (215) 541-2388