For Cathryn Tatusko, a regular mammogram failed to reveal her breast cancer. She was diagnosed five months later, and now the Annandale resident is working to give other women the information they might need to make an early diagnosis.
About 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue, a risk factor that can hide cancers.
Physicians receive information on breast density following an exam, but the information isn't always passed on to the patient. Tatusko wants state lawmakers to change that.
"This would absolutely save lives," Tatusko told News7, "and save disruption of families, save anxiety and horrors on the part of women who do survive, and make a huge difference in the lives of many women in the state."
During a hearing this week in Richmond, a Delegate raised concerns that the information might alarm some women unnecessarily. Tatusko said a recent survey indicated that most women would rather have some anxiety that spurred further testing, rather than no information at all.
The measure has won approval in the House of Delegates. The State Senate is expected to take a final vote on its own version next week.