State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, will host a forum Tuesday night, Sept. 11, to discuss the risks associated with dense breast tissue and the legislature he is spearheading that would require physicians to notify patients of their breast density.
Simitian's bill, Senate Bill 1538, has already passed both houses of the Legislature and now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown's signature. Brown, who vetoed a similar bill last year, has until the end of September to sign the new bill.
To support his new legislative effort, Simitian has released a public-service announcement noting that 40 percent of the women who get mammograms have dense breast tissue, which increases their changes of getting breast cancer and makes it difficult to detect cancer through a mammogram. Simitian's bill includes a requirement that women be informed of how their breast density could impact the mammography results.
Simitian, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Breast Cancer Awareness and Detection, will discuss the issue at a Tuesday evening forum at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way. He will be joined by Amy Colton, a registered nurse and an advocate for the bill; Dennis McDonald, medical director of the Sutter Health Foundation's Women's Center; and Women's Health Nurse Practicioner Barb Dehn. The forum will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m.