A device used in a study for the delivery of radiation in one session as opposed to weeks of radiation treatment was flawed. The device should have protected healthy breast tissue from harmful radiation, but it left residual particles of tungsten behind. The error results in the tungsten showing up as tiny microcalcifications on mammogram, compromising the use of mammograms for these women, who have already diagnosis of breast cancer.
It is not clear as to the harmful effects of tungsten in the body, so some of the study participants have had or are considering surgery to remove the tungsten-infiltrated breast tissue.
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