Senator Collins Joins Bipartisan Push to Expand Breast Cancer Screenings for U.S. Servicemembers, Veterans

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) joined a bipartisan group of Senators in sending a letter urging the Department of Defense (DoD) to expand and improve breast cancer screening coverage options for female servicemembers and retirees.  The letter was also signed by Senators Martha McSally (R-AZ), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV),  Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

 

In their letter to Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery, the Senators requested that the DoD expand TRICARE’s coverage to include the most effective breast imaging option: Digital Breast Tomosynthesis, also known as DBT or 3D mammography. This additional coverage would ensure that women who have served or currently serve in the armed forces have access to the latest medical and technological advancements that have the best possible chance of detecting breast cancer early.

 

“Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (also known as DBT or 3D mammography), which is now the standard of care in all 50 states, was developed to address the limitations of two-dimensional imaging by allowing the breast to be examined layer by layer,” the Senators wrote.  “Currently, TRICARE is the only national payer that does not cover preventative screening with DBT, creating a lower standard of care for the women who serve in our Armed Forces. It is only upon discovering a lump in which TRICARE covers 3D mammograms. We ask that the [Military Healthcare System] address this disservice to those who protect our country, and we urge TRICARE to promptly implement positive coverage for DBT screening.”

 

Click HERE to read the letter.