Tags: breast | screening | risks | cancer

Needless Breast Screenings Hike Risks

Friday, 15 June 2012 01:46 PM

University of California researchers are warning women against unnecessary breast cancer screening exams, saying such testing may needlessly raise the risk of breast cancer.
The finding, by UC-San Francisco scientists, is based on an analysis of a recent Institute of Medicine report on a variety of factors that contribute to breast cancer.
"The single thing that the IOM highlighted that a woman can do to lower her risk of breast cancer is to avoid unnecessary medical imaging," said Dr. Rebecca Smith-Bindman, a professor of radiology who wrote the article, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, and who contributed to the IOM report.
The IOM report found there was not enough data to confirm or dismiss potential risks associated with beauty products, household chemicals, pesticides and plastics in water bottles. But two factors were conclusively tied to increased breast cancer risk -- post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy and radiation exposure from medical imaging.
While CT scans and other forms of medical imaging have revolutionized medicine and can be life-saving, Smith-Bindman advised women to ask their doctors more questions when they are recommended for a breast exam. Among them:
• Is this scan absolutely necessary?
• Is it necessary to do it now?
• Are there other, alternative tests?
• How can I be sure the test will be done in the safest way possible?
• Will having the scan information change the management of my disease?
• Can I wait until after seeing a specialist before getting the scan?
"They should understand the risks and benefits and ask their doctor to explain the risks and benefits," said Smith-Bindman.

© HealthDay

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Researchers warn unnecessary breast screening exams raise cancer risks.
Friday, 15 June 2012 01:46 PM
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