Study: MRIs Safer Than Mammograms for Younger High-Risk Patients

European research finds radiation may harm those with gene mutations

by Lesley Kennedy • Reporter

Women with a high risk of breast cancer who are younger than 30 may want to opt for an MRI rather than a mammogram when screening for the disease, a new study says.

The Associated Press reports the research, conducted by cancer agencies in Europe, found the radiation used in mammograms could be harmful to young women with gene mutations.

“We believe countries that use mammograms in women under 30 should reconsider their guidelines,” study coauthor Anouk Pijpe of the Netherlands Cancer Institute tells the news service. “It may be possible to reduce the risk of breast cancer in [high-risk] women by using MRIs, so we believe physicians and patients should consider that.”

But Pijpe also tells the AP women shouldn’t be afraid to get scans.

“No one should think that they should never get an X-ray because they have the BRCA1 or 2 gene mutations,” he tells the news service. “Just be careful that the X-rays you get are really the ones that you need.”

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