Is mammography dangerous?

Annual screening mammography is considered the best way for detecting breast cancer in its initial stage of formation. There are, however, false beliefs that mammography entails risk. Dr Muhittin Mümtaz Ozarar, MD, specialist radiologist at the Breast Centre with Anadolu Medical Centre disproves those beliefs.

Does mammography increase the risk of cancer?

Mammography is a method of visualizing the inner structure of the mammary glands by means of penetrating radiation. Indeed, theoretically, carcinogenicity exists. But the probability of tumour occurrence as a result of a dose received by a woman during mammography, is practically negligible. The doctors at Anadolu Medical Centre use state-of-the-art digital mammographs, which produce as much radiation as we obtain when travelling by plane.

Can mammography be performed during breast feeding?

Yes, it can. Radiation does in no way affect the quality or the quantity of the mother’s milk. Do remember that during this period the sensitivity of mammography will be reduced. This is due to the fact that breast tissue density in breastfeeding women is increased, firstly because of the filling of the ducts with milk, and secondly, because of the proliferation of the breast cells, a prerequisite for sufficient milk production. Feeding of the baby immediately before mammography, may be a partial solution to this problem. Mammary ducts will be temporary emptied, the tissue density will reduce, which will allow for a better image quality.

Can mammography be performed in the presence of silicone breast implants?

Yes, it can. Implants are not an obstacle for obtaining reliable results either in terms of mammography or ultrasound, or in terms of breast MRI. Just make sure to inform the doctor that you have silicone implants. The doctor then, will consider this and will correct the radiation parameters to avoid obscuring of the image. There is a slight pressure on the breast tissue during the examination, but it will not damage the implant. In such cases, breast ultrasound is recommended following mammography.

You can find more information about the breast glands diagnostic imaging here. 

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