Wellness and You: The Case Against Mammography
November 27, 2009
When asked, I advise my patients against mammography and instead
refer them to centers that do high quality Thermography. Mammograms
don’t save lives, cause untold suffering, and serve mainly
to ensure our Medical-Hospital-Pharmaceutical Complex remain the
purveyors of the most expensive, but not the best, health care system
in the world.
Mammograms Do a Poor Job Detecting Cancer
Dr. Samuel Epstein in "The Politics of Cancer" said that
mammography misses 1 in 4 cancers in the 40 to 49 year old group.
The National Cancer Institute admitted that Mammograms miss about
40% of cancers in women aged 40-49, and about 10% of cancers in
women over 50 are missed.
Mammograms See Tumors That Aren’t There
A Swedish study of 60,000 women revealed that about 70% of mammographically
detected tumors were not tumors at all. This fits well with experience
in this country that indicate that 70-80% of biopsies based on mammograms
show no evidence of cancer.
However, women suffered the emotional, physical, and financial
trauma of those biopsies; and hospitals, surgeons, and assorted
professions make a lot of money from those biopsies. The 1998 Merck
Manuel stated that for every case of breast cancer detected, 5 to
10 women will undergo painful, unnecessary biopsies.
Too often, everyone is so happy to be relieved of the terror that
precipitated the biopsy, that no one asked if a better way isn’t
Mammograms are often poorly done
In 1996, the Journal or Archives of Internal Medicine published
the results of a study of 108 Radiologists who received copies of
mammograms whose diagnosis had been confirmed by biopsy, surgery,
or other follow up. The Radiologists missed cancer in 21% of the
films, thought that 10% of the healthy mammograms showed breast
disease, and called 42% of the benign lesions cancer.
Mammograms don’t save lives
A Canadian study of 40,000 women, ages 50-59, from University of
Toronto compared the effectiveness of mammography with periodic
breast examinations to breast examinations alone. Thirteen years
after the study began, there were 610 cases of invasive breast cancer
and 105 deaths in the women who received only breast examination
compared to 622 invasive breast cancers and 107 deaths among the
women who had mammography along with the breast exams.
To date, there has not been a single controlled study to indicate
that routine mammography increases survival or lessens the risk
from breast cancer. A 1997 consensus panel appointed by the National
Institutes of Health ruled that there was no evidence that mammography
for women in the 40-49 year old age group saved lives. However,
the American Cancer Society still advised women in this age group
to get a mammogram every two years.
Mammograms Cause Damage
The extreme mechanical pressure place on breast tissue and the
exposure to repeated x-rays can cause or spread cancers.
Breast tissue is extremely sensitive to radiation. John Gofman,
MD, PhD, an authority on health effects of ionizing radiation, estimates
that 75% of all breast cancers could be prevented by avoiding or
minimizing exposure to ionizing radiation from mammograms, dental
and medical x-rays and other sources.
Ductal carcinoma in situ has increased 328% since the introduction
of screening mammograms. Some in the field maintain that 200% of
the increase is due to routine mammograms.
Cancer research has found that a significant number of women in
the United States carry the oncogene AC which greatly increases
the risk of radiation exposure. One estimate is that 10,000 AC carriers
will die of breast cancer this year due to mammography.
The extreme pressure placed on breast tissue, during mammography
may serve to spread existing cancer cells.
There Is A Much Better Way Of Detection Of Breast Cancer
Breast Thermography involves taking an infrared picture of the
surface temperature of the breasts. The new blood vessels that malignant
cells develop do not respond to cool room temperature and show up
as hot spots on the breast surface. The technology is well developed
and can detect a collection of malignant cells before they become
a lump. I’m always amused by physicians who are totally unfamiliar
with the technique who elaborate on its alleged limitations.
Breast Thermography is a safe and effective tool that can detect
breast cancers before there is even a lump. In "Beyond Mammography",
Dr. Len Saputo explores various technologies for detecting breast
cancer. The article references data from major peer review journals
and combined data from more than 300,000 women. The greater success
of this method is gaining popularity among progressive practitioners.
I am not especially optimistic that mainstream medicine will readily
adopt this better technology. Untold millions of dollars are invested
in mammography equipment, an obsolete technology, and a major source
of revenue for hospitals. In addition to this, it took the medical
profession over 50 years to adopt a simple procedure that virtually
eliminated another major cause of death in women: Childbirth Fever.
That technology was hand washing.
There are many nutritional interventions that can greatly decrease
your risk of breast cancer. Some of these include adequate intake
of vitamin D3, iodine, and cruciform vegetables.
Excellent information on this topic is available on www.mercola.com
For more information visit the website of
Board Certified in Psychiatry and Board Eligible in Neurology
with special interest in Thyroid, Adrenal, Chronic Fatigue,
and Natural Hormone replacement for men and women.
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