By Mike Colgan

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – A new law designed to increase the detection of breast cancer is about to be implemented in California.

The legislation, authored by Santa Clara County supervisor Joe Simitian during his tenure as a state senator, mandates that medical professionals advise women if they are identified as having dense breast tissue.

Advocates say it could help women better understand the findings of their mammogram, and know whether they need to take additional precautions as a result.

“There are probably close to 2 million women in California who are going to get a notice now, as a result of this new law, who otherwise wouldn’t have gotten the notice,” he explained.

Santa Cruz nurse and cancer survivor Amy Colton was the original inspiration for the bill.

“I just felt that it was fundamentally wrong not to inform a patient that she has a type of tissue that can mask breast cancer on a mammogram, that there is an increased risk for developing breast cancer if one has that type of tissue,” she said.

A similar law was implemented in Connecticut, and is considered the reason the breast cancer detection rate in that state has increased significantly.

California’s version of the law will take effect April 1.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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