DNA damage induced by mammography in high family risk patients: only one single view in screening

Breast. 2012 Jun;21(3):409-10. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2011.12.003. Epub 2011 Dec 31.


Women with high risk of breast or ovarian cancers might be more susceptible to radiation-induced cancer because most of tumor suppressor genes are also implicated in the radio-induced DNA damage repair and signaling. Recent radiobiological advances may help to re-consider the potential cellular and molecular consequences of the standard two-view mammographic screening. A major radiobiological effect exacerbated in high family risk women caused by mammographic repeated doses was pointed out on relevant cellular model (untransformed and non tumoral human breast epithelial cells): the Low and Repeated Dose (LORD) effect. In parallel, while magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is reported to be less sensitive than mammography for detection of ductal carcinoma in situ, a recent study highlighted the increased ability of MRI to detect them related to the experience both of radiologists and MRI centers. Hence, along with studies confirming improvement of the sensitivity of MRI to detect ductal carcinoma in situ, the supra-additivity effect induced by the two-view mammographic screening in high family risk patients suggests that mammographic exposures can be limited seriously. Consequently, a single view (oblique) per breast in association with annual MRI, with the sole aim to detect calcifications reflecting carcinoma in situ non detectable by MRI, might represent currently a compromise.

MeSH terms

  • Breast / radiation effects*
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded / radiation effects*
  • Epithelial Cells / radiation effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography / adverse effects*
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Risk Factors
  • Women's Health