Radiation in a Mammogram

Radiation Causes Cancer

We all know “radiation causes cancer”, right?    And that no one wants to get cancer, right?   Then we should make choices that keep us from as much radiation as possible.

In case you don’t already know this about radiation, it’s effects are cumulative. That means it is not like having a glass of wine at night. Next morning the effects are gone. Each exposure to radiation causes genetic changes inside our cellular DNA. Enough radiation all at once or over a period of multiple smaller exposures produces enough damage to cause cancer.

In a well respected online medical site called Medscape. Dr. Topol has a must see video called Runaway Use of Radiation Harming Patients .   He says 2-3% of cancer is caused by medical radiation and patients should be told exactly how much radiation exists in the imaging that we are exposed.

This radiation chart is very valuable

You can see that one chest x-ray equal 20= uSv and one mammogram film =400uSv.   Therefore one mammogram picture  is equal to having 20 chest x-rays.  The chest x-ray is spread out over the entire chest area.   The mammogram x-ray is condensed and focused through that small 2 inch nozzle directly into the breast tissue.  But wait, who has just one mammogram picture?

How many mammogram films do you have at each visit, 2, 4, 8?   Do the math!