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From The Desk Of Senator Charles Fuschillo

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. has announced that a law he supported to improve early breast cancer detection is now in effect. The new law will increase women’s awareness of the presence of dense breast tissue found during a mammography exam. Dense breast tissue can make it more difficult to detect tumors.

“Raising women’s awareness about a known breast cancer risk factor will help save lives,” said Senator Fuschillo. “Providing this information to those with dense breast tissue, when combined with routine breast cancer screenings, will help increase early detection of breast cancer and improve patients’ ability to make educated decisions about their health.” 

The new law requires educational information to be provided to women with dense breast tissue. Patients will receive a mammography report in plain, non-technical language about a finding of dense breast tissue and will also be given information about how they should discuss the potential benefit of further screenings with their physician.

Mammogram films of breasts with higher density are harder to read and interpret than those of less dense breasts. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of tumors in dense tissue may not be detected since this condition obscures their presence. According to leading medical studies, breast cancer is four to six times more likely in women with dense breast tissue.

In spite of the risk factor presented by dense breast tissue, a Harris Interactive survey found that 95 percent of women do not know their breast density, and less than one-in-ten women learn about breast density from their physician.  Prior to this new law, there were no legal requirements for patients in New York to be alerted to breast density.

STAR

The deadline to apply for New York State’s School Tax Relief (STAR) program and other property tax exemptions in Nassau County has been extended. According to Nassau County, residents now have until April 1 to apply for the property tax exemptions. The STAR program works in two parts:

—Basic STAR is available to all New Yorkers who own and live in their own home, condominium, or cooperative apartment whose adjusted gross income does not exceed $500,000, regardless of age.

—Enhanced STAR is available to senior citizen property owners whose adjusted gross income is under $79,050 (less any taxable IRA distributions) and who will be age 65 or older by Dec. 31, 2013. If the property is owned by a husband and wife, or by siblings, only one of them must be at least 65 years old to qualify for this exemption.

Residents who already receive the Basic STAR exemption or who participate in the Enhanced STAR Income Verification Program do not need to re-file.

Residents who moved to a new house and had the STAR exemption at their previous address need to file a new application. The STAR exemption is not automatically transferred to a new address.

In addition, Nassau County also offers other property tax exemptions, including:

  · Senior citizens

  · Veterans

  · Cold War veterans

  · Volunteer firefighters or ambulance service workers

  · Persons with disabilities & limited incomes

  · First-time homebuyers of newly constructed homes

Residents who need additional information about any of these exemptions, or who need applications, can contact the Nassau County Department of Assessment at 516-571-1500 or visit www.nassaucountyny.gov. The deadline to apply is April 1.