Breast Cancer Screening Risks

Breast Cancer Screening Risks

Screening for breast cancer can catch tumors while they are still small and easy to treat. However, it is important to know that breast cancer screening tests have potential risks. These risks are outlined below, but should be considered along with consultation with your doctor. Your doctor can answer any questions you may have about screening risks and benefits.

Breast cancer screening risks include:

  • False-Negative Test Results: A screening test does not show signs of cancer even though a cancer is present. No treatment is given even though it may be necessary.
  • False-Positive Test Results: A screening test shows signs of cancer when a cancer is not actually present. Additional tests and treatments are given when they are not needed.
  • Overdiagnosis: Overdiagnosis occurs when a cancer has been identified and treated even though it is asymptomatic or has not bothered the individual before, and which may not become life-threatening. In these cases, it is unknown if treatment will help a patient live longer or if treatment will cause more harm or lead to late-term side effects.
  • Mammograms may not always catch the presence of a cancer.
  • Mammograms are sources of radiation exposure. While the amount of radiation is small, it may potentially increase the chance of developing cancer later.
  • Cancer screening tests may not help you live longer.

Your doctor will help you determine if you are at high risk for developing breast cancer. Together, you will weigh breast cancer screening risks as well as the potential benefits so that you can make an informed decision about your health.

Find Us & Get in Touch

Serving Anderson & Greenville SC, and Surrounding Areas

We welcome patients and family from all over the world, but mostly those living within a hundred-mile radius of Anderson and Greenville, South Carolina.


Contact & Appointments

Appointments - Call AnMed Cancer Center:

(864) 512-4600
AnMed Cancer Center, 2000 E Greenville St, Anderson, SC 29621

Messages/Inquiries for Nurses & Doctors

Please let us know how we can help you! We read web form submissions daily and a nurse or doctor will get back to you within 24 hours.
  • What can we help you with, and who is this message for? **Please do not include any personal health information (PHI).