Adverse effects of screening mammography

Radiol Clin North Am. 2004 Sep;42(5):807-19, v. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2004.06.013.


The main risks and other adverse consequences from screening mammography include discomfort from breast compression, patient recall for additional imaging, and false positive biopsies. Although these risks affect a larger number of women than those who benefit from screening, the risks are less consequential than the life-sparing benefits from early detection. Radiation risk, even for multiple screenings, is negligible at current mammography doses. Anxiety before screening or resulting from supplementary imaging work-up, short-term follow-up, cyst aspiration, and biopsy has not dampened the enthusiasm of most women for the value of early detection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / diagnostic imaging
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography / adverse effects*
  • Mammography / psychology
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Risk Factors