Know your risks/benefits of mammography...

3 Apr 2012 1:05 PM - They will differ from woman to woman...

This is an interesting study out of Norway and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggesting that mammography may lead to some women being treated for breast cancers that would not grow or cause a problem. 

It's a very difficult question and I have had robust discussions with both my GP and oncologist about the risks versus the benefits of mammography. 

There is no blanket rule that applies to everyone.  Please make sure you discuss your own personal risk profile for developing breast cancer with your GP.  There are a variety of factors which can increase/decrease your risk of developing the disease.  For women with a higher risk of breast cancer then mammography may be more warranted than for those with a lower risk. 

Even though a GP will generally say that the radiation exposure of a mammography is minimal, please ensure they are taking into account ALLyour other radiation exposure too (e.g. dental and other xrays, CT scans, frequency of flying and other sources of radiation exposure). 

Ultimately you need to gather as much information as you can about your own risk profile and the benefits/risks of mammography and then make your own decision.

In good health,

Kaye Wright
Naturopath