The Case Against Mammography
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Wellness and You: The Case Against Mammography

by Don Michael, MD
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 possible.

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 and

    For more information visit the website of
    Donald Michael, MD
    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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