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Doctor insights on: Mammogram Radiation

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Are there any problems with mammograms' radiation?

Are there any problems with mammograms' radiation?

Mammogram: Medical consensus is that the minimal theoretical radiation risk of mammography is outweighed by the benefits of early detection of cancer. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
658 doctors shared insights

Mammogram (Definition)

A mammogram is the "gold standard" screening test for breast cancer. It's well established that yearly 'grams will DX cancers well before they are palpable, leading to earlier diagnoses and saved lives. All experts agree to begin yearly mammograms by age 50; many (including myself) believe the pro's outweigh the con's to begin at 40. Regrettably, less than half of all women ...Read more


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I'm a strong disbeliever in mammograms due to the radiation. Will a doctor still treat me if i refuse to havemammograms?

I'm a strong disbeliever in mammograms due to the radiation. Will a doctor still treat me if i refuse to havemammograms?

Yes but,: Your doctor may ask you to sign a form that acknowledges that mammography was recommended but you refused the procedure. Ultrasound of the breasts is not at all to be considered a screening tool for breast cancer. Breast MRI with contrast may be a possible alternative but is expensive. Radiation risk is much lower than risk of breast cancer. ...Read more

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Is there any proof that radiation from mammograms can cause breast cancer? Is there any legitimate alternative to screen for breast cancer?

Is there any proof that radiation from mammograms can cause breast cancer? Is there any legitimate alternative to screen for breast cancer?

MammogramsSAVELives: The radiation exposure of a digital mammogram is 3.7mgy. This is associated with a lifetime-attributable risk of breast cancer of 1.3 cases per 100, 000. Mammography is a safe, proven technique for finding cancers well before they are palpable and there is no controversy about its use after age 50. Thermograms are 25% as sensitive as mammograms and not suitable for screening. ...Read more

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What number of msv of radiation would a person having a mammogram every year from age 35 to 65 years old (30 years) receive just from this procedure?

What number of msv of radiation would a person having a mammogram every year from age 35 to 65 years old (30 years) receive just from this procedure?

Radiation: Total effective dose about 25 mSv for bilateral annual mammo over that time period. Theoretical additional cancer risk 0.09% over baseline risk ...Read more

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Can the radiation from a mammogram cause cancer?

Can the radiation from a mammogram cause cancer?

Yes: Mammograms have been fine tuned to expose the breast to very little radiation. But no matter there is a small percent risk of causing cancer that is less than the risk of not catching a breast cancer that is not radiation caused early if you did not do mammograms. ...Read more

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I stopped nursing 4 months ago. Is if safe to get a baseline mammogram now ? Would my breasts be more sensitive to the radiation ?

I stopped nursing 4 months ago. Is if safe to get a baseline mammogram now ? Would my breasts be more sensitive to the radiation ?

Yes: Mammograms are easier to read and interpret if there is more fat and less active tissue, so it's best to wait 6 months after stopping breast feeding. Also, breasts may still be more tender, and the procedure could be more uncomfortable if the milk glands were recently active. However, there is no increased risk to you (from the small amount of radiation) due to having recently nursed a baby. ...Read more

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How much radiation is there in a digital mammogram? The clinic keeps telling me it's like a plane flight, but i don't believe them.

Radiation: Mammograms require very small doses of radiation. The risk of harm from this radiation exposure is extremely low, but repeated x-rays have the potential to cause cancer. The benefits of mammography, however, nearly always outweigh the potential harm from the radiation exposure. Digital mammograms use slightly less radiation than conventional. ...Read more

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Is it true that mammograms have 100 percent more radiation than a chest x-ray?

Is it true that mammograms have 100 percent more radiation than a chest x-ray?

No: Modern mammography delivers a much lower dose than in the past and whats more the dose is delivered only to the breast. ...Read more

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Are dense breasts a problem? My doctor sends me to do mammograms every year. But I am afraid of too much radiation! is this a problem?

Are dense breasts a problem? My doctor sends me to do mammograms every year. But I am afraid of too much radiation! is this a problem?

Dense breasts: do decrease the sensitivity of mammo for detecting cancer, but screening mammo is still the standard of care for dense breasts. Dense breasts are also a risk factor for the development of cancer. The amount of radiation from a mammo is minimal, you are 250 times more likely to die in a car accident than get a radiation induced cancer. The benefits of early detection outweigh the slight rad risk ...Read more

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I am 35 year old female. Had 6 CT plus 2 mammograms and a few x rays in the last 2 years. Just learned about radiation danger. Now I am terrified.What can I do to repair cell damage. Please so scared?

I am 35 year old female. Had 6 CT  plus 2 mammograms and a few x rays in the last 2 years. Just learned about radiation danger. Now I am terrified.What can I do to repair cell damage. Please so scared?

Radiation damage: The past is the past. Antioxidants and healthy living are the best recommendations for you. If down the road you get systemic symptoms such as weight loss or chronic headaches please see your physician. An MRI is a radiation free test that if you need one you should have instead of ct or x-ray. Relaxation techniques may be of benefit to you as well. ...Read more

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Have studies shown conclusively that the radiation from a lifetime of mammograms does not cause breast cancer? Which studies are they?

Have studies shown conclusively that the radiation from a lifetime of mammograms does not cause breast cancer? Which studies are they?

No,: that type of study would be impossible to perform. Radiation induced cancer risks are extrapolated from various data sources, but not controlled studies. The theoretical slight cancer risk of mammography is dwarfed by the number of cancers mammography detects. You can easily calculate the risks using an interactive tool at xrayrisk.com ...Read more

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How long is process of evaluating mass after mammogram including biopsy or lumpectomy? Then how long till radiation? Probable dcis or stage 1 ductal.

How long is process of evaluating mass after mammogram including biopsy or lumpectomy? Then how long till radiation? Probable dcis or stage 1 ductal.

3-5 weeks: Biopsy should be done soon after a suspicious lump is detected either by physical examination or mammogram. If it is cancer or dcis, a lumpectomy should follow anywhere from a few days to a few weeks later. The start of radiation depends on healing after lumpectomy, but radiation generally starts about 4 weeks later. Radiation generally takes 6-7 weeks to complete. ...Read more

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Mnday i had a routine mammogram and a CT scan on my back; thursday routine xrays at dentist. Is this too much radiation? I am a 46 yr old african am. Woman in good health on no medications.

Mnday i had a routine mammogram and a CT scan on my back; thursday routine xrays at  dentist. Is this too much radiation? I am a 46 yr old african am. Woman in good health on no medications.

Probably just fine: We all want the least cumulative x-ray exposure always. However, the ability to provide an accurate assessment and diagnosis often requires these studies. Because the area of exposure with the dentals is dictant from the rest, there is no need for worry. About them. If your dentist has digital x-rays, the exposure is decreased by 60 - 70 %. You might want to spread out the other 2 if possible. ...Read more

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How soon after finishing radiation therapy for breast cancer should I get a follow-up mammogram?

How soon after finishing radiation therapy for breast cancer should I get a follow-up mammogram?

4 to 6 months: The side effects of the skin need to heal and breast heals and any scarring internally improve. That takes 4 to 6 months. Even then that is the baseline mammogram and surgery and radiation changes will be seen. Then future mammograms will show these changes are improving. ...Read more

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My mother 61 was operated for breast conservation surgery followed by chemo and radiation. How often should she get repeat mammograms?

My mother 61 was operated for breast conservation surgery followed by chemo and radiation. How often should she get repeat mammograms?

Annually: Often one or more mammograms are done on a 6 month interval on the affected/operated side until one is satisfied that a stable scar has been established. Beyond that, annual mammography remains the interval of standard on both the affected and non-affected side. ...Read more

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Do i need a pet scan after surviving breast cancer? I had breast cancer (stage 1) and treatment was successful. I just had a mammogram and there was no cancer. Treatments were chemotherapy and radiation.

Do i need a pet scan after surviving breast cancer? I had breast cancer (stage 1) and treatment was successful.  I just had a mammogram and there was no cancer.  Treatments were chemotherapy and radiation.

You and your oncolog: You and your oncologist need to discuss this. Given the low stage, and assuming successful completion of treatment, pet/ct might not be indicated at this time. It does depend on the specifics of your case. Pet/ct is useful in evaluating for distal metastatic disease. It does not replace mammography, ultrasound or breast MRI for local recurrence surveillance ...Read more

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What is the radiation amount exposure in breast mammography? What is the radiation amount exposure in chest X-rays?

Similar amounts in e: Both of these procedures expose you to very low amounts of Radiation. So you do not need to worry about it. it is minisicule and absolutely safe if done once yearly. ...Read more

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Had a sore, very painful swollen knotted ab for 5 mos.Xrays, ct,lung scan, mamagram clear.Still no diagnosis. Would a MRI be too much radiation?

Had a sore, very painful swollen knotted ab for 5 mos.Xrays, ct,lung scan, mamagram clear.Still no diagnosis. Would a MRI be too much radiation?

No radiation in MR: MRI uses magnets and radio waves, no x ray dose at all. MRI is an excellent tool for soft tissue mass eval. Lung scan for a "knotted ab" suggests that your history is more complex, so work with your provider. ...Read more

Gamma Rays (Definition)

This is light of extremely short wavelengths typically produced either among the stars / in cosmic rays or by radioactive element decay. Gamma rays form the background of normal radiation in which we all live; it is substantially greater than the exposure we get from imaging scans or should get from ...Read more