Mammogram Radiation Risks
Many mammogram critics talk about the dangers of radiation on your health. This mammography radiation debate reached it’s peak in 1976. In the past, mammography technology applied 5 to 10 doses of radiation for every screening, opposed to the 1 dose used today. Dr. Frank Rauscher (NCI manager) says that in women around ages of 35 to 50, every radiation dose increases the chances of developing breast cancer.
Another doctor, Russell L. Blaylock, M.D., claims that the cancer risk in the breast probably increases at the rate of at least 2% percent per year when getting mammograms which use radiation. He expects that risk to increase by 20 percent in the next 10 years.
During the 60’s and 70’s, women were not told it was dangerous to be exposed to mammogram radiation – even those who had 10 tests every year. In the midst of this controversy over radiation, Kodak, the large film manufacturer used in mammograms, published a whole page ad in a scientific publication with the subject “About breast cancer and X-rays: A message of hope from the business about a serious subject.”
Even today with the improvements in the technology and the reduced amount of radiation, critics and scientists continue to claim that a mammogram is a big health risk. Dr. JW. Gofman, who is an expert on the health issues of ionizing radiation, says that around 75 cases of breast cancer may be prevented by reducing the radiation exposure. This includes mammography, x-rays, and other medical and dental tests.
Since mammograms first were introduced, a version of breast cancer known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) has increased by as much as 328%. Mammography is the presumed culprit for this 200% increase. Another disturbing suspicion is the that mammograms are responsible for the progression of previous existing cancer cells due to the squeezing put on women’s breast during the screening. In the opinion of some doctors and health care professionals, this squeezing pressure could cause cancerous cells which are already present to spread further in the breast tissue.
There is a gene called Oncogene AC that was discovered in cancer research. This gene is extremely sensitive to the smallest dose of radiation. In the US a certain portion of women carry this gene, which dramatically increases their risk factor for getting cancer from mammograms. Mammograms are believed to be the cause of death for 10,000 AC carriers.
The radiation risks for younger females is higher. The NCI has shown proof that in women less than 35 years of age, a mammogram could develop 75 breast cancer conditions for every 15 it diagnosed. A study in Canada revealed a 52% increase in breast cancer deaths in young women who’ve had mammogram screening every year. Another disturbing claim by Dr. Samuel Epstein is that the fetus of pregnant women may be damaged when exposed to radiation. Dr. Epstein suggest women avoid mammograms when carrying a baby due to leukemia and birth defects risks to the unborn child. Other studies show that a child who is exposed to radiation has an elevated chance of acquiring breast cancer when they become adults.