PINK UP: Illinois lawmaker looking to expand access to critical breast cancer screenings

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - An Illinois lawmaker is spearheading a bill that could help more women obtain an earlier breast cancer diagnosis.

State Rep. Katie Stuart, D- Edwardsville, submitted the legislation earlier in 2017

It would make it so insurance companies would be required to cover MRI screenings for women who may be at a higher risk for tumors missed by a standard mammogram.

"My bill ensures that women in Illinois have access to the most appropriate and most effective means of breast cancer screenings available," Stuart said. "For some women, mammograms can miss cancer in its earliest stages, when cancer is the most treatable. This legislation can save lives by guaranteeing insurance coverage for MRI screenings in women who may be at a higher risk for tumors missed by a standard mammogram screening."

An MRI would not serve as a replacement, but is seen as an important complementary screening tool, some insurance companies currently don't cover.

That's what Stuart is hoping to change.

"Breast cancer is something that affects our mothers, our sisters, our families and our friends," Stuart said. "I believe everyone who has ever been affected would want to make sure that we are taking every step possible to increase early detection and save lives. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill out of the House."

Both the House and the Senate has passed the bill.

It's now awaiting Governor Rauner's stamp of approval.

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