Breast Cancer is a disease that affects both women and men. Two laws can help save lives before people get the diagnosis of breast cancer and while they are fighting the disease. Henda’s Law, named after Henda Salmeron, signed into law in 2012, makes it mandatory that when women receive mammogram results from FDA approved mammogram facilities to include information about the limitations of mammogram results in women with dense breasts. If a woman has dense breast tissue it means
they have she has? less fatty tissue and more connective tissue. Salmeron wanted women to know about dense breast tissue before it is too late. She told D magazine that when she was in contact with Allen Vaught, the representative from her state, she told him that she would be unable to get any rest until women learned more about dense breast tissue.
Salmeron also said that if people do not know anything, then they cannot advocate for themselves. Vaught advocated for the law by speaking to doctors at various hospitals and was first passed as a law in Connecticut. Henna also did her part for the law by testifying in Austin and educating lawmakers about it by handing out folders that contained information about the bill as well as facts about breast cancer. The House of Representative as well as the Senate passed the bill and it became a law in 2011. Aside from this law, there is a type of legislation that is making it easier for people to maintain their lives while they have breast cancer.
The Family and Medical Leave Act gives people the opportunity to take an unpaid leave for twelve weeks for a twelve-month period. People can take this leave if they have a child, adopt a child, has a serious health condition such as breast cancer as well as care for a child, parent or spouse who has a serious health condition. It also covers any issue that arises with a child as well as spouse who is either a covered military member or an active duty military member. People can get twenty-six weeks of unpaid leave for a twelve-month period to take care of a sick or injured military service member only if the employee is a child, parent or next of kin. There is another act that can help people get back to work if they have breast or any type of cancer.
The Americans With Disabilities Act is to prohibit the discrimination against people who are disabled, which include anyone with a history of record of a major impairment or are disabled. Although it is not a law, this act can give people the ability to get adjustments from their employer so they can perform their job efficiently, which will help them maintain mostly normal lives. This can include getting their work shift changed or modified. It can also include being allowed to work at home, moving other tasks to another employee or changing the person’s current position to a vacant position if they are no longer able to complete their current job. Even though the Americans With Disabilities Act can give those with cancer hope that they can save their job, they should talk to their employer about their diagnosis and any changes that could come with it such as having to take off from work for treatment.
People who have mammograms to screen for breast cancer now get information about dense breast tissue because of Henda’s law. This law can save lives by warning women of their mammogram results and dense breast tissue. The law was recently passed in Arizona and is in effect in 14 states. The Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act are two acts that can help women as well as men with breast cancer continue their lives while they are dealing with the disease.
By Jordan Bonte