Women Advised to Avoid Unnecessary Imaging Tests to Lower Breast Cancer Risk
Rebecca Smith-Bindman, a UCSF researcher whose JAMA study published this week warns of the increased body burden of a lifetime of exposure to medical imaging, has also examined a subset of those findings involving breast cancer risk. She cites a December 2011 IOM study (to which she contributed) as identifying the “single thing…that a woman can do to lower her risk of breast cancer:” avoid unnecessary medical imaging. She provides a list of things a woman should know to ask her doctor when an imaging scan is prescribed: • Is this scan absolutely necessary? • Is it necessary to do it now? • Are there other, alternative tests? • How can I be sure the test will be done in the safest way possible? • Will having the scan information change the management of my disease? • Can I wait until after seeing a specialist before getting the scan?