Can mammograms cause overexposure to radiation?

Lisa Michels
Women and breast cancer

Digital mammography has decreased radiation exposure by 22% when compared to the prior screen print mammography.  The average radiation exposure from a mammogram is 70 millirems, which is equal to the amount of radiation we are exposed to in our own personal environment over two and half months.

A breast examination by a doctor or nurse trained to evaluate breast problems should be part of a woman's physical examination. The ACS recommends:

You can find more information about breast health and mammograms in our health library at


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