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California Legislature declares August 8th as Are You Dense Day at the Capitol
Senate Bill 1538, introduced by Senator Joe Simitian is quite simple. It would require that women be informed if they have dense breast tissue; that they be told it can obscure abnormalities on a mammogram; and that they may wish to discuss with their doctor the potential value of additional screening.
Senator Simitian remarked in a recent article about Are You Dense Day, "The woman who inspired me to take up this issue in the Legislature learned the hard way about the limits of mammography for women with dense breast tissue. Amy Colton, a nurse in my district, was diligent about having regular mammograms, which had come back with reassuring reports. She was floored when she was subsequently diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.
Only in the midst of her treatment -- 16 rounds of chemotherapy, 6 weeks of daily radiation and five surgeries – did she learn from her own research that she had dense breast tissue, which made it difficult to detect the cancer.
She was even more chagrined to find out that radiologists and doctors know their patients’ breast density, because federal standards for mammograms require a breast density rating as part of the report the radiologist sends to the doctor. Yet too few doctors discuss breast density with their patients."
Dr. Nancy M. Cappello of Connecticut and President and Founder of Are You Dense Inc. and Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc. joined Amy Colton on the Senate Floor to accept a Senate Resolution designating August 8, 2012 as Are You Dense Day.
The message of “Are You Dense? Day” is: get a mammogram, find out your breast density; ask your doctor what breast cancer screening plan is best for you.
"All patients should be empowered to be effective advocates for their own health. For women, one of the most important facts to know is “Are you dense?” said Senator Joe Simitian.
Dr. Nancy Cappello, Amy Colton and Senator Joe Simitian discuss the importance of a woman knowing her breast density at a taping of a program at the State Capitol.