Breast Cancer

Frequently Asked Questions

14. Is there any danger in having a mammogram?

Some women worry about radiation exposure, but the risk of any harm from a mammogram is actually quite small. The doses of radiation used are very low and considered safe. The exact amount of radiation used during a mammogram will depend on several factors. For instance, breasts that are large or dense will require higher doses to get a clear image.

The federal government limits the amount of radiation used for each exposure of the breast to 0.3 rad. A "rad" is a unit of measurement that stands for Radiation Absorbed Dose. In practice, most mammograms deliver just a small fraction of this amount.