Study: Mammo scatter radiation risk is negligible

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The radiation dose to areas of the body close to the breast during mammography is negligible, according to a study presented last week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago. According to Alison L. Chetlin, assistant professor of radiology at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, the results of the study suggest that thyroid shields are unnecessary during mammographies.

This is important since thyroid cancer cases in women have increased recently; it has been suspected that mammography could be a contributing factor. In fact, Chetlin said, the use of thyroid shield use could result in increased radiation doses for patients. "A thyroid shield gets in the way of the exam and can actually cause an increase in radiation dose by necessitating repeat exams," she said. Article