Safety of Molecular Breast Imaging
Molecular Breast Imaging, or MBI, uses a short-lived radioactive agent that is injected into the patient while a radioactive sensitive camera is used to take pictures of the breast tissue. Currently the dose of radiation is three times greater than radiography or X-ray mammograms.
Risk to Nuclear Medical Techs
Nuclear medical techs are exposed to four to six times more radiation than traditional radiography. However the current dose of 480 milirems does not exceed the limit of 5,000 milirems.
Development of MBI is working towards reducing the amount of radiation necessary to develop detailed images of breast tissue. Cameras that are more sensitive to radiation may reduce the amount of radioactive agent necessary.
MBI reduces the number of false positives. MBI also provides more detailed images than traditional radiography or X-rays. MBI also has fewer callbacks.
Mamography Comapared to MBI
Traditional mammography does not differentiate between noncancerous dense breast tissue, noncancerous masses and cancer tissue. The MBI radioactive agent "sticks" to cancers cells more than normal cells.
Effects of Radiation
Radiation in high enough doses can cause burns, scars, tissue death and other forms of cancer. It is critical to limit exposure to harmful radiation to ensure good health.