Shielding during mammography

Risk vs benefit is always taken into account for imaging using ionizing radiation. The risk of a screening mammogram is quite low: since a very large number of screening mammograms are done in the US every year, mammographic imaging procedures and radiation dose are closely regulated by the FDA. Screening mammograms are kept at a tightly regulated low dose. Physicists ensure that all of the x-rays produced by the machine fall on the imaging detector, which blocks direct x-rays from going to your uterus. Therefore, a lap apron is not necessary. Due to the positioning of the breast on the imaging plate (pulled away from the body), the amount of low-energy, low-dose scattered radiation that could possibly reach the vicinity of the uterus is incredibly small or negligible. In comparison, if you are at risk for breast cancer, the potential benefit – both for you and for your future baby -- of catching any problems early typically far outweighs the low risk!

Answered by WGATE

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