05022017CM0296SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced legislation through the Illinois Senate today to require insurance companies to cover an MRI if a patient is diagnosed with dense breast tissue, a possible indicator of cancer. Currently, insurance companies are only required to cover an ultrasound in Illinois.

“This is a significant, life-saving step forward for women, and I’m proud to advance it days after thousands of women rallied at the Capitol to support women’s health care,” Murphy said.

Studies show that dense breast tissue can be up to six times more likely to develop cancer. Because cancer is a non-fatty tissue, it can also be harder to detect within dense breast tissue. An MRI can find up to an additional 8 percent of breast cancers not initially detected by a mammogram or ultrasound.

“Experts agree – early detection is vital to giving women the best chance to beat breast cancer,” Murphy said. “Giving women with dense breast tissue, a potential indicator of cancer, the option to consult their doctors and conduct an MRI will save lives.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 314, passed the Illinois Senate unopposed and will now head to the House for consideration.