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Mammograms, X-rays May Boost Breast Cancer Risk By 250%

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 by: NewsTarget

(NewsTarget) An International Agency for Research on Cancer study showed that
chest X-rays may increase women's chances of developing breast cancer. The
study involved 1,600 women with high-risk BRCA1 and 2 gene mutations.
"If confirmed in prospective studies, young women who are members of families
known to have BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations may wish to consider alternatives to
X-ray, such as MRI," Lead researcher Dr. David Goldgar said.
According to the study, women who get chest X-rays before the age of 20 may
increase their risk of developing the disease 2.5 times by age 40 compared to
women who had never been exposed to x-rays.
"It is important to remember that 90 percent of breast cancer
cases are not hereditary and that most
healthy women would not need to have frequent chest X-rays
especially if in their 20s," Breast Cancer Care's Dr.
Erin Pennery said.
The research has not conclusively tied chest X-rays to breast cancer
The researchers did say that women who had
been diagnosed with breast cancer were more likely to remember getting a
mammogram than women who had not.
However, it is no surprise that there is skepticism of these findings among
cancer industry groups which rely on mammography to recruit patients into
lucrative cancer treatment protocols. It is not in the interests of such groups to
admit that the very test used to detect breast cancer appears to be causing
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