California Bill Aimed at Breast Cancer Worries Docs

By SHEILA V KUMAR | September 15, 2011 | 4:35 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — It took seven years of annual mammograms and a cancer diagnosis for a California woman to learn something her doctors had realized from the beginning: Her breast tissue is so dense that it could have masked tumors on earlier exams.

Amy Colton went on to push for a bill passed by the California Legislature that requires mammogram providers to tell women if they have dense breast tissue, and to suggest they discuss additional screenings with their doctor. Texas and Connecticut have passed similar measures.

Gov. Jerry Brown has not said whether he will sign the California bill, but many doctors oppose it. They say the requirements may end up causing undo anxiety in millions of women and lead to unnecessary and expensive ultrasound or MRI screenings.