State Sen. Angela Williams knows that early detection can make a life-or-death difference in battling breast cancer, and she believes a better understanding of the individual risk factors — like breast-tissue density — faced by women could save more lives.
That’s why the Denver Democrat’s Senate Bill 142, which passed the Senate today with overwhelming, bipartisan support, would require facilities providing mammograms to notify women in writing if dense breast tissue is detected in their scans.
“Women have come to me whose breast cancer could have been detected at an earlier stage if they had known they had dense breasts and went in for further screening,” Williams said in a press statement released by the Senate Democrats’ communications office. “This bill will help prevent situations like that in the future. The aim of the bill is also to educate people about this health risk that many women don’t even know exists.”
Here’s more from the press release on Williams’s bill, which now goes to the state House:
Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography to detect cancer. Without a requirement that women with dense breast tissue receive notification, women are at times not given the information necessary to decide whether to undergo further testing and are left vulnerable to possible breast cancer diagnoses. Dense breast tissue is also a risk factor in itself for breast cancer; high breast density is a greater risk factor than having two first degree relatives with breast cancer.