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Proposed mammogram law could save your life

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Santa Cruz Sentinel

Cancer. No matter how sensitively the diagnosis is delivered, it is baffling, angering and frightening. Especially when you think you’ve done everything right to help ward off such a devastating diagnosis.

As a nurse, I’m diligent about my health. I get annual mammograms, perform self-exams, eat a healthy diet, exercise daily and have no family history of cancer. I thought I was armed with the information I needed to take care of my own well-being. I was wrong.

The missing piece of the puzzle turns out to be a piece of information that shouldn’t have been missing at all. My doctor had the information. I didn’t. It took my being a super sleuth, a cancer-diagnosed, fighting-for-my-life patient to discover that I had something that prevented radiologists from even seeing my cancer on a mammogram—dense breast tissue DBT…

...My outrage spurred me to enter state Sen. Joe Simitian’s annual “There Oughta Be A Law” contest. My winning entry resulted in the introduction of Senate Bill 173, which simply asks that the information that doctors and radiologists already have about a woman’s breast density be relayed to them in the annual letter they receive. It’s a small piece of information, but a vital piece that could spur many women to get the additional screenings they need before it’s too late.

View the full story (Santa Cruz Sentinel)