A bill being considered by lawmakers in Carson City hopes to help prevent breast cancer in Nevada women.
Our own Wendy Damonte testified in support of Assembly Bill 147 today.
Forty-percent of women have dense breast tissue which can hide tumors, even on a mammogram.
When women do find their cancers, either they're big enough to be felt, or big enough to be seen on a mammogram, they are often later stage cancers and that makes them harder to treat.
I testified today because my mother had dense breast tissue and I believe she died because of it. She had a clean mammogram six months before she was diagnosed with cancer.
Her dense tissue hid the tumor from view in her yearly mammograms. In fact, that tumor was likely growing inside her for at least 5 years.
Assemblyman James Orenschall's bill would inform women if they have this type of tissue.
"Wendy I'm hoping to save lives. I appreciate you being here today I hope this bill passes but even if it doesn't I'm hoping more people will be aware of it and the dangers of having dense tissue and the fact you need to talk to your doctor you need to perhaps get additional tests," says Assemblyman Orenschall.
There was opposition presented today to AB 147 from the Nevada State Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates.
"I guess our concern is there is a cost and a benefit to every medical test and it shouldn't be legislators who aren't doctors making that evaluation. It should be professional associations," says Elisa Cafferata of Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood.
So what's next?
The Health and Human Services Committee will consider the bill and the amendments presented by the opposition and then decide if they will send it on to the entire Assembly for a vote.
Assemblyman Orenschall tells me he hopes to have a decision by the committee in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
We'll be sure to keep you posted.
Written by Wendy Damonte