printable article
Originally published June 27 2006
Mammograms, X-rays may boost breast cancer risk by 250%
(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

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 it.