Can mammograms spread tumors?

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Question from Becca: Is it true that extreme pressure on the breast for a mammogram can break and spread small tumors?
Answers - Cecilia M. Brennecke, M.D. No. The compression is necessary to get the X-ray image, and the compression does NOT cause any abnormalities of the breast. I have seen some bruising on occasion, but it has never been shown to cause or spread breast cancer.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Breast Cancer Screening featured Cecilia M. Brennecke, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about mammograms, ultrasound, MRI, breast self-exams, physical exams by a doctor, and other topics related to breast cancer screening.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in July 2003.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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