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Mammography may increase breast cancer risk in some high-risk women
Date:12/1/2009

rticles found on the topic, six were selected by the reviewers for inclusion in their analysis. Four studies looked at the effect of exposure to low-dose radiation among breast cancer gene mutation carriers, and two studies researched the effect of radiation on women with a family history of breast cancer. Using data from these studies, the researchers were able to calculate pooled odds ratios to estimate radiation-induced breast cancer risk.

The results showed that among all high-risk women in the study, average increased risk of breast cancer due to low-dose radiation exposure was 1.5 times greater than that of high-risk women not exposed to low-dose radiation. High-risk women exposed before age 20 or with five or more exposures were 2.5 times more likely to develop breast cancer than high-risk women not exposed to low-dose radiation.

"Our findings suggest that low-dose radiation increases breast cancer risk among these young high-risk women, and a careful approach is warranted," Dr. Jansen-van der Weide said.

She noted that this analysis is based on a small study sample and should be interpreted with caution. Dr. Jansen-van der Weide also pointed out that these results apply only to specific high-risk groups of women. Women at average risk were not assessed in this study.

In general, early detection with mammography and prompt treatment can significantly improve a woman's chances of survival. More than 90 percent of women whose breast cancer is found in an early stage will survive. For young, high-risk women and their doctors, it is important to weigh the benefits against any potential risk when making a decision about annual breast cancer screening with mammography.


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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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