AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study found that teachers were dying of breast cancer at a higher rate than women in most other occupations in the ’80s; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers held educational programs on breast cancer for its members as part of a breast cancer awareness project; and

WHEREAS, despite the AFT program’s success in reducing breast cancer deaths among teachers, many members still are not diagnosed until their breast cancer has reached an advanced stage; and

WHEREAS, research has shown that breast density is common, affecting approximately 40 percent of women over the age of 40 and that mammograms miss 50 percent or more of cancers in women with dense breasts; and

WHEREAS, many women are unaware that they have dense breasts and could benefit from other screening tests such as ultrasound; and

WHEREAS, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D.-Conn.) has introduced the Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act of 2017, H.R. 4122, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.) has introduced the corresponding bill, S. 2006, into the 115th Congress requiring that women receive this important information:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will support these bills, which mandate that women be informed by mammography providers if they have dense breast tissue and be provided with information on the risks associated with this so they can consult with their doctors about ultrasound and other testing options, which may help to find breast cancer at earlier stages; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will notify its members of this resolution and encourage them to lobby for federal legislation and to contact their state legislative directors to determine whether such protection exists in their states, and to lobby for such legislation if it is lacking; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will urge locals to inform their members and encourage them to ask their medical providers if they have dense breasts when they get their mammograms if they are not currently given this information.


Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.