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Supporters of Breast Cancer Bill Speak at Ohio Statehouse

COLUMBUS (Chris Vanocur/Ken Hines) -- Advocates gathered at the Ohio Statehouse Wednesday to encourage the passage of legislation that, they claim, would give women a new weapon in the fight against breast cancer.

If passed, Senate Bill 54 would require doctors to disclose the presence of dense breast tissue if discovered during a mammogram.

Among the bill's supporters is Anne Gates, who provided testimony at the Statehouse about the disease, which recently claimed the life of her sister.

During her testimony, Gates told an Ohio Senate Committee about the possible impact such a disclosure might have had on her sister's life.

Well if that had happened, then maybe she would still be with us today," Gates said. "Maybe she would be sitting here today, telling her own story, rather than me."

According to another woman who testified Wednesday, the bill would be helpful because dense tissue and cancer can both appear white in a mammogram.

"There's no contrast to see cancer. The analogy is it's like looking for a snowball in a snowstorm," cancer survivor Nancy Cappello said. "It's very hard to see.

Cappello and other supporters believe the knowledge would lead many women to undergo additional screening, such as ultra sounds and MRIs.  

Gates believes such measures might have enabled her sister to defeat the disease that claimed her life.

She was just a joy. We miss her very much, she said.
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