Influence of menopausal status and use of hormone replacement therapy on radiation dose from mammography in routine breast screening

C J Whitaker; Mol Kelly; K Faulkner; E C Stamp
July 2006
British Journal of Radiology;Jul2006, Vol. 79 Issue 943, p597
Academic Journal
Menopausal status and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) cause alterations in breast structure which can affect mammographic image quality. Here we present the results of a study to discover the effect of menopausal status and HRT use on breast dose. Women attending routine screening completed questionnaires which included questions regarding menopausal status and HRT use. Details of the radiographic technique factors were recorded, from which the mean glandular dose (MGD) per film for each woman was calculated. MGD values were analysed with regard to the woman's menopausal status and HRT use. The data from 516 women were analysed. Among the women who had never used HRT, women who had not undergone the menopause had a mean MGD of 2.94 mGy per film, whereas post-menopausal women had a lower mean MGD of 2.52 mGy per film: a difference which was found to be highly significant (p = 0.0045). Post-menopausal women who had never used HRT and those who had previously used HRT, but had ceased using it, had identical mean MGDs (2.54 mGy per film), whereas current HRT users had a significantly greater mean MGD (2.89 mGy per film, p = 0.003). Women currently using HRT receive a statistically significantly larger radiation dose from routine breast screening than other women. However, this effect is small and only occurs during the period of HRT use. Women who have ceased using HRT show no difference in MGD compared with women who have never taken HRT.


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