Law would warn women about dense breast tissue
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Breast cancer was the focus of debate in Sacramento Wednesday. A Bay Area woman is joining a lawmaker in an effort to make sure that what happened to her doesn't happen to anyone else.
After years of normal annual mammograms, Amy Colton was surprised to hear she had advanced stage breast cancer. The Santa Cruz nurse says she found out later her test results always noted she had dense breast tissue, which can sometimes obscure abnormalities. Dense tissue and cancer both show up white.
"I was really outraged that this information about my own physiology, this important critical information, was never shared with me," Colton said.
Colton is teaming up with State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, to re-introduce a bill that forces doctors to warn women who have dense breast tissue to get further testing at the time they get their mammogram results. They say the law is needed because 40 percent of women who get a mammogram have dense breast tissue.
"The information is already assessed by the radiologist, already provided to the referring physician," Simitian said. "The only person who doesn't get the information is the patient herself and that's just wrong."
But the California Medical Association says not all women with dense breast tissue need further testing and that the warning should be at the doctor's discretion.
"There are certain women, certain women, where when they have extremely dense breasts and meet the risk criteria, they ought to have some further testing," Dr. Ruth Haskins said.
Gov. Jerry Brown seems open to reconsidering the proposal. He vetoed a similar bill last year after consulting with doctors from UCLA and UCSF.
"They both felt that warning was too much in terms of a physician-patient relationship," Brown said. "I think we can get there."
Simitian notes Connecticut has a similar law in place and studies there show early detection of breast cancer increased 100 percent in women with dense breast tissue.
cancer, women's health, laws, politics, nannette miranda
- Firefighters control 4-alarm fire in Concord
- Bay Area freeze extends longer than expected
- Protest gets heated for Santa Rosa teen shot
- Only On 7: SF kids describe obstacles in Tenderloin
- NTSB: Asiana captain worried about visual landing
- Memorial taking place in SF to honor Mandela 35 min ago
- Golf pro charged with sexually abusing boys
- Richmond police searching for young runaway sisters
- SF Giants pitcher inspired by Batkid to give
- Husband's tutu project gets T-Mobile's support
- Winter Spare the Air called through Wednesday
- abcnews: Obama poses for selfie at Mandela's memorial
- roundup: Golf pro charged; Xmas tree in Bay 11 min ago
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Wednesday
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos