Sen. Tony Hwang Honored by CT Radiological Society
for Promoting Breast Cancer Awareness and Education
“We appreciate very much Senator Hwang’s leadership in promoting the value of mammograms as well as the benefits of early detection of breast cancer. As ranking member of the Insurance and Real Estate committee, Sen. Hwang played a leadership role in enacting Senate Bill 358, which provides extensive breast cancer tests and procedures to patients without any out-of-pocket expenses. We believe the legislation will save lives,” said Dr. Thomas Farquhar, Legislative Chair of the Radiological Society of Connecticut.
“Annual mammography, ultrasound screening and early detection is critical in the fight against breast cancer,” Sen. Hwang said. “Early diagnosis has a 98.6% survival rate within the first five years. Awareness and education is the goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the “Pink Pledge” campaign has been a remarkable community awareness initiative to raise funds toward that goal. I am honored to be recognized by the Radiological Society of Connecticut for my bipartisan efforts in leading legislative support and passage of Senate Bill 358.”
Senate Bill 358 encourages insurer coverage of preventative care and early detection for multiple cancer diagnoses that threatens women’s public health. The legislation expands insurance coverage requirements for mammograms, ultrasounds, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) for breast screenings under certain commercial health insurance policies. It also requires the policies to cover certain procedures related to breast cancer treatment, including breast biopsies; certain prophylactic mastectomies; and breast reconstruction surgery, subject to certain conditions.
Additionally, the bill requires these health insurance policies to cover additional health services related to the testing and treatment of ovarian cancer:
- genetic testing, including for breast cancer gene one (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene two (BRCA2), under certain circumstances;
- post-treatment CA-125 monitoring (i.e., a test measuring the amount of the cancer antigen 125 protein);
- routine ovarian cancer screenings, including surveillance tests for certain insureds.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers.