Estimating absorbed dose to breast adipose tissue from mammograms

Al Rashid, Rabin Dhakal, Hanna Moussa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Breast cancer usually originates in the glandular tissue of the breast. However, inflamed adipose tissue surrounding glandular tissue may expedite the local growth of cancerous cells. Exposing adipose tissue to radiation during mammography might cause inflammation in adipose tissue. This inflammation depends on the dose, and thus on the energy deposited from the X-ray mammography. Therefore, estimating the absorbed dose to adipose tissue during mammography is essential in breast cancer research. Materials and Methods Absorbed dose to adipose tissue in the breast is determined using a new geometrical (semi-elliptical) model and Monte Carlo N-Particle transport code (MCNP6). X-ray mammogram images of patient breasts were taken as the basis of the new compressed breast geometry. The source probability density used in the MCNP6 code was generated from a published X-ray spectrum corresponding to tube voltage and air kerma. The relationship between various mammogram parameters such as peak tube voltage, compressed breast thickness, and adipose tissue weight fraction versus estimated absorbed dose is established for analysis. Results Significant influences of adipose tissue weight fraction on absorbed dose were observed. Conclusion Estimating the absorbed dose to breast adipose tissue during mammography and patients' degree of obesity are important factors in breast cancer research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Absorbed dose
  • Monte Carlo N-Particle
  • X-ray
  • adipose tissue
  • mammogram


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