Missouri women could soon save hundreds of dollars if they need a follow-up exam, such as an ultrasound or MRI, to diagnose whether they have breast cancer. Gov. Mike Parson has not said yet whether he will sign a bill that would require health insurance companies to cover the full cost of these exams.

Dr. Amy Patel, a UMKC School of Medicine radiology professor, hopes the governor signs the legislation.

“From a financial perspective, this is a huge victory for women. But also from a survival perspective, also amazing because we know when we can treat and find a breast cancer, when it’s millimetric, less than a centimeter, your survival probability is almost 100%. That also leads to less invasive treatment,” said Patel.

The American Cancer Society says about 5,700 Missouri women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and more than 800 others will die in 2023. The bill aims to lower these figures.

“For women, if we can catch these cancers early, it’s huge. And a lot of times it was coming down to access and the financial aspects,” said Patel.

Representative Brenda Shields, R-St. Joseph, sponsored the bill. It was one of several bills that are part of Senate Bill 106 – a public health care package.

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