On Friday, August 2, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo passed “Shannon’s Law,” which requires insurance companies to provide annual mammogram screenings for women between the ages 35 through 39 when deemed medically necessary. The current New York insurance law covers breast screenings starting at age 40.
Shannon’s Law is named in honor of Shannon Saturno, a Babylon mother and teacher who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 28 while pregnant and passed away at age 31 in 2016.
According to a statement from Governor Cuomo, more than 12,000 cases of breast cancer are detected annually in women under the age of 40 and are oftentimes in later stages and are more aggressive forms of cancer. He said, "By signing this legislation we are taking another step to break down barriers to breast cancer screening and improve access to health care for all women in New York."
The bill was sponsored by Senator Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood). In a recent press release issued by Martinez, she stated, “With 1 in 8 women developing breast cancer in their lifetime, the passage of this bill is critical to enabling early detection and saving lives. Insurance coverage should work to facilitate early detection, not make it more difficult for individuals to determine if they have cancer.”
Assemblywoman Kim Jean-Pierre added, “It’s never too early to begin taking preventative measures against breast cancer as this devastating illness can affect women of all ages. Lowering the age of covered annual mammogram screenings will help more women detect early signs of cancer and ultimately save lives.”