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PENNSYLVANIA LAWMAKER INTRODUCES BILL TO PROTECT WOMEN RECEIVING MAMMOGRAMS

 PENNSYLVANIA LAWMAKER INTRODUCES BILL
 TO PROTECT WOMEN RECEIVING MAMMOGRAMS
 HARRISBURG, Pa., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- State Rep. David Wright (D-Clarion/Armstrong) today introduced legislation designed to protect women receiving mammograms from faulty equipment and inadequately trained technicians.
 "Breast cancer is the most common cancer in America and the second leading cause of cancer deaths," Wright said. "This legislation would give a level of assurance to women who rely on and trust their mammography results as accurate."
 The comprehensive legislation (H.B. 2480) is aimed at ensuring that the machines used to perform mammograms are accurate and that the people operating the machines and reading the X-rays know what they are doing, he said.
 "Over the last several years, women have heeded the message -- breast cancer is highly curable with early detection and early treatment," Wright said. "That is the key."
 Unfortunately, Wright said, he is concerned about the potential for inadequately trained people operating the machines and reading the results. He also said he is concerned about the problems with faulty machines.
 "This issue truly is a matter of life and death for the more than 10,000 women in Pennsylvania who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year," he said. "If a mammogram is of poor quality, then the interpreter may miss cancerous lesions which could delay treatment and result in avoidable mastectomy or death."
 Wright said his legislation would set standards that machines have to meet before they could be used.
 Operators of the machine and people who interpret the results also would have to meet specific requirements, he said.
 ABC News' "PrimeTime Live" recently reported on the problems many women experience with the unlicensed and unregulated breast mammography industry.
 Wright's legislation is modeled after Michigan rules and regulations which are considered the toughest in the country.
 Under his bill, mammography machines would be checked annually by the state Health Department and the machine would have to be accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
 The physicians who interpret the results and the technologists who operate the machines would have to be accredited by ACR.
 "Women cannot afford to have their mammograms done shoddily or interpreted by someone who doesn't know what to look for," Wright said.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/10/92
 /CONTACT: Pam Landis of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Democratic Legislative Information Office, 717-787-7895/ CO: Pennsylvania House of Representatives ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:


MK-LJ -- PH021 -- 7003 03/10/92 15:44 EST
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Date:Mar 10, 1992
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