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Proposed law would inform of potential mammogram difficulties

In one of New Jersey's neighboring states, the legislature has reportedly just passed a law which aims to increase the early detection of breast cancer by requiring that women with dense breast tissue are notified of such following a mammogram. Dense tissue generally makes it more difficult to detect and diagnose breast cancer, leading to potentially fatal consequences for women who do not learn of their disease at an early enough stage.

Specifically, the bill, which has now passed the New York Senate and Assembly, would require mammography reports to notify women if they have dense breast tissue. The reports would also advise women to seek and utilize additional screening tools, such as ultrasounds or MRIs, in order to effectively monitor their breast health and potential for breast cancer.

Statistics reportedly indicate that up to 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue, which can obscure tumors on traditional mammograms. Supporters of the bill say that this can lead to missed breast cancer diagnoses, at which time the disease has progressed to a later, less-treatable stage. It is unknown whether medical professionals, who could find themselves facing legal liability from women who were not properly diagnosed, support the bill.

Three other state legislatures have passed similar laws, including California, where Governor Jerry Brown ultimately vetoed it. It is not known whether New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will support and sign the bill.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a faulty mammogram or missed breast cancer diagnosis, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: Star-Gazette, "N.Y. bill would notify women of dense breast tissue," Mary Esch, June 26, 2012

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