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Radiation from cancer testing does not significantly increase cancer risk

Category: Breast

Some women shy away from breast cancer testing due to concerns over high levels of radiation exposure. However, a new study has found that the benefits of early detection far outweigh the risks associated with radiation exposure.

A team of researchers from the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada developed a model to predict the amount of radiation a woman would be exposed to by annual breast cancer testing. They found that the number of women who would develop radiation-induced cancer is lower than the number of women who would benefit from early detection.

"Recently, there have been reports in the press focusing on the potential radiation risk from mammography, particularly as used for periodic screening," said the study's lead author, Martin J. Yaffe. "Our study shows that the risk of cancer associated with routine screening in women age 40 and over is very low, especially when compared to the benefits associated with early detection."

The researchers said that the fear of radiation-induced cancer should not dissuade women from seeking regular breast cancer testing.

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