Radiation could raise risk of breast cancer for some women

European study looks at chest radiation and breast cancer risk

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A new study suggests chest x-rays and mammograms before age 30 could increase the risk of breast cancer for women who carry the gene for the disease.

Dutch researchers reviewed about 2,000 gene carriers and their history of chest radiation.

Women who were exposed to that type of radiation during their 20s, were 43 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those not exposed. The study revealed exposure before age 20 increased the risk by 62 percent.

The radiation from mammograms and other tests that involve chest radiation could be harmful and an MRI might be a safer way to screen for breast cancer.

The study does not prove a link between radiation and breast cancer.

Mammograms are used by women 40 and older and those at high risk; including those who carry a gene mutation. According to the American Cancer Society, a common cause of hereditary breast cancer is the mutation of the  BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.  

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