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Doctors will soon be required to tell you if you have dense breast tissue

Take a close look at your next mammogram report. Starting Saturday in New York, your doctor will be required to let you know if you have dense breast tissue.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Take a close look at your next mammogram report. Starting Saturday in New York, your doctor will be required to let you know if you have dense breast tissue.

Dense breast tissue can make it harder for doctors to spot cancers, but many doctors say the information won’t help patients.

In a mammogram, dense breast tissue shows up as white. Cancers also show up as white, so finding a cancer in dense breast tissue can be difficult.

More difficult to find, but according to Dr. Deepa Masrani at Upstate University Hospital, it's not more likely to have cancer. She says telling patients they have dense breasts will just scare them into requesting extra views by sonograms or even MRIs.

“It's going to increase the number of biopsies she's going to have, so it's just going to open up Pandora’s box and create a lot of confusion and panic,” explained Dr. Masrani.

Dr. Masrani says new technologies will help much more than new legislation. For example, new 3-D breast cancer screening machines give doctors a much more in-depth picture than conventional mammograms.

The new legislation is highly debated in the medical field. The American Cancer Society says the new legislation will help catch cancers early on by encouraging patients with dense breasts to seek more screenings.
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