Mammography may put high-risk women at even greater risk for developing breast cancer, according to a study presented at the annual Radiological Society of North America conference in Chicago.
Mammography may increase risk for some: study
“I think it would be good for high-risk women younger than 30 to be careful with mammography,” said Marijke Jansen-van der Weide, a co-author of the study and an epidemiologist with the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands.
For the study, researchers reviewed six articles on the breast cancer risks of high-risk women receiving low-dose radiation from mammograms. The authors concluded high-risk women who were exposed to mammography radiation were 1.5 times more likely to develop breast cancer than high-risk women who weren't exposed. The risk was even greater for high-risk women who received five or more mammograms before the age of 20. They were 2.5 times more likely to develop breast cancer than high-risk women who underwent mammography screenings at a later age.
Jansen-van der Weide acknowledged that the study was too small to be definitive about the risk of using mammography in high-risk women, but said it suggests doctors might want to consider alternative screening methods such as ultrasound and MRI in those younger than 30.
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