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Are You Dense? Day - August 8, 2012

Senator Simitian, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Breast Cancer Awareness and Detection, is the author of SJR 27, the legislative resolution declaring August 8, 2012, as Are You Dense? Day in California.  Are You Dense? Day is designed to raise awareness about the risks associated with dense breast tissue and to encourage women to talk with their doctor about breast density.

Are You Dense?  Ask Your Doctor

Forty percent of women who get mammograms have dense breast tissue, which both increases their risk of breast cancer and makes it harder to detect cancer in the resulting mammography images.  But most women do not know what their density level is.  Radiologists already assess breast density every time they read a mammogram, and it’s included in the report sent to the referring physician.  Unfortunately, this information is rarely communicated directly to the patient.

Senator Simitian is also the author of SB 1538, a bill to improve cancer detection by informing women about how their breast density may affect mammography results. The bill encourages women to speak with their physicians about whether additional screening might be warranted in their individual circumstances.  SB 1538 has 37 co-authors in the Senate and 64 in the Assembly.  You can read more about the bill in the fact sheet prepared by our legislative staff.

You can learn more about breast density and how additional screening might benefit you by talking to your doctor and reviewing some of the online resources available from:

Senator Simitian spoke with Amy Colton and founder of Are You Dense, Inc. Nancy Cappello, both breast cancer survivors working to raise awareness about dense breast tissue, on his public affairs program “Capitol Focus” on August 9.  The video is available here.

The phrase “Are You Dense” is a registered trademark of the 501(c)(3) public charity Are You Dense, Inc, used here with permission.