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Grids are placed between the patient and the x-ray film to reduce the scattered radiation (produced mainly by the Compton effect) and thus improve image contrast.
"We found that radiation doses to the thyroid gland, salivary gland, eyes, and uterus were less than 2% of the annual natural background radiation — the radiation people are exposed to just from living on the planet," Dr. "Getting a mammogram doesn't increase the risk of cancer to these organs," she said.
"If a woman asks if she should be concerned that mammography will increase her risk of thyroid cancer and wants to wear a thyroid shield, the physician should explain that the thyroid gland is not exposed to the direct x-ray beam used to image the breast and receives only a tiny amount of scattered x-rays," Dr. "She should also be told that wearing a thyroid shield during a mammogram can be detrimental; it gets in the way of the exam and could interfere with optimal positioning and result in artifacts.
CHICAGO — Scatter radiation to areas of the body near the breast during screening mammography is negligible and likely does not confer an increased risk for cancer, researchers reported here at the Radiological Society of North America 98th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting.
Thyroid shields are unnecessary during mammography and could even result in an increased radiation dose to patients, lead author Alison L. Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania, told "Some patients were unnecessarily worried about radiation during screening mammography, especially to their thyroid.
I noticed a lot of calls coming in after a daytime talk show, and patients began requesting thyroid shields during their mammograms," Dr. The fact is, thyroid shields can get in the way and impede good mammographic quality and are not recommended during the procedure, she said.
During mammography, some x-rays scatter away from the primary beam and spread outward in different directions.Mammography (also called mastography) is the process of using low-energy X-rays (usually around 30 k Vp) to examine the human breast for diagnosis and screening.The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses or microcalcifications.The authors of this Cochrane review write: "If we assume that screening reduces breast cancer mortality by 15% and that overdiagnosis and over-treatment is at 30%, it means that for every 2,000 women invited for screening throughout 10 years, one will avoid dying of breast cancer and 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be treated unnecessarily.Furthermore, more than 200 women will experience important psychological distress including anxiety and uncertainty for years because of false positive findings." The authors conclude that the time has come to re-assess whether universal mammography screening should be recommended for any age group.It is usual to employ lower-energy X-rays, typically Mo (K-shell x-ray energies of 17.5 and 19.6 ke V) and Rh (20.2 and 22.7 ke V) than those used for radiography of bones.Ultrasound, ductography, positron emission mammography (PEM), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are adjuncts to mammography.Ultrasound is typically used for further evaluation of masses found on mammography or palpable masses not seen on mammograms.Ductograms are still used in some institutions for evaluation of bloody nipple discharge when the mammogram is non-diagnostic. Preventive Services Task Force recommends (2016) mammography every two years between the ages of 50 and 74, concluding that "the benefit of screening mammography outweighs the harms by at least a moderate amount from age 50 to 74 years and is greatest for women in their 60s".This is partly due to dense tissue obscuring the cancer and the appearance of cancer on mammograms having a large overlap with the appearance of normal tissue.A meta-analysis review of programs in countries with organized screening found a 52% over-diagnosis rate.