By Dr Janey
“If screening was a drug it would have been withdrawn. You don´t market a drug that harms so many people for such uncertain benefit“.
Prof Peter Gotzsche (Cochrane Centre, Copenhagen)
If you want to do everything possible to prevent (or heal from) breast cancer you may want to consider avoiding mammograms!
Yes, you read that right.
Radiation, in the form of mammograms, is used as the premier method in conventional medicine to screen for breast cancer. This practice continues in spite of the fact that it has been conclusively proven that radiation causes cancer, and in spite of the fact that safe and more accurate methods exist for detection and screening.
Let’s begin by looking at some of the expert opinions and studies conducted on the subject (excerpts taken from ‘Cancer is not a Disease’ by Andreas Moritz)
- Dr Charles Simone, a former clinical associate in immunology and pharmacology at the National Cancer Institute said, “Mammograms increase the risk for developing breast cancer and raise the risk of spreading or metastasising an existing growth”
- Each x-ray you are exposed to increases your risk of abnormal cell growth. One standard mammography test results in approx 1 rad(radiation absorbed dose) exposure, which is about 1000 times greater than that from a chest x-ray
- The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports that among women under 35, mammography could cause 75 cases of breast cancer for every 15 it identifies
- Dr Samuel Epstein of the Cancer Prevention Coalition claims, “Screening mammography poses significant and cumulative risks of breast cancer for pre-menopausal women”
- A Canadian study found a 52% increase in breast cancer mortality in young women who received annual mammograms.
- Since mammogram screening was introduced, the incidence of the form of breast cancer called ‘ductal carcinoma in situ’ (DCIS) has increased 328%
- Each year, thousands of women unnecessarily undergo mastectomies, chemotherapy and radiation after receiving false positives on a mammogram
- Research has identified a gene, called the oncogene AC which is extremely sensitive to even small doses of radiation. A significant percentage of women in the US (and elsewhere) have this gene. An estimated 10 000 AC carriers in the US will die of breast cancer each year due to receiving mammograms
- In July 1995, ‘The Lancet’ wrote about mammograms, saying “The benefit is marginal, the harm caused is substantial and the costs incurred are enormous……”
While the conducting of mammograms has been hailed as a crucial screening program for the early detection of breast cancer by various cancer establishments, and the trusting public have come to accept this almost unquestioningly, the truth has been shown to be somewhat different: mammography is NOT a technique for early diagnosis of breast cancer. In fact cancer in the breast usually has to be present for 8 years before a mammogram can detect it!
Added to this, there is substantial room for error in the interpretation of mammograms leading to frequent incorrect results:
False positives: It is not uncommon for both pre-menopausal women, as well as post-menopausal women on oestrogen replacement therapy to receive a falsely positive result of breast cancer leading to these women having to experience unnecessary anxiety, biopsies and more mammograms, not to mention unnecessary surgery, chemotherapy and radiation at times with the often considerable side-effects/trauma that these entail.
False negative results: It is common for cancers to be missed in pre-menopausal women due to the dense and highly glandular nature of the breasts at this stage of life. It is also easily missed in post-menopausal women on oestrogen replacement therapy because of the breast densities that can develop making radiological interpretation difficult. In addition, and very crucially, mammograms are not good at detecting the most lethal forms of breast cancer (eg triple negative), leading to a failure to diagnose an existent cancerous tumour.
Over-diagnosis and over-treatment: in addition to false positive and negative results, over-diagnosis and over-treatment is a major hazard of mammography. As a direct result of mammogram screening there has been a significant increase in the diagnosis of DCIS (see above). What is important to note here is that while cancer is staged from 1-4, DCIS is Stage 0. It is a pre-invasive form of breast cancer and is not cancer! In fact the DCIS survival rate after 10 years is almost 100%!
Treatment for DCIS however generally involves lumpectomy and radiation or even mastectomy and chemotherapy with the dire side-effects that go with them. The over-diagnosis and resultant over-treatment that results from mammography is considered by many as a monumental disservice to women!
In view of this, Laura Esserman (director of the breast cancer centre at the University of California) is campaigning to rename DCIS so that it is no longer called, nor treated as a cancer.
Important note: There has been no decrease in the incidence of metastatic cancer – the major cause of death from breast cancer – since the introduction of screening!
In view of the whole point of mammograms being to ‘save lives’, the question to be asked then is why, in view of the above facts, does the practice of regular use of mammograms persist? The answer in short is that mammography is big business!
So if having regular mammograms is fraught with increasing our risks of breast cancer, is there a viable alternative?
Absolutely! In fact the existence of a side-effect free, relatively inexpensive alternative that is more accurate than mammography makes the persistent use of mammograms all the more inconceivable. The safer alternative is called Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) or thermography. It works by measuring the infrared heat radiating from the body and translates this into anatomical images. The breasts (and the entire body) can be scanned using this method, and abnormal growths will stand out clearly as a ‘hot spot’.
For more information on DITI, see article entitled ‘Thermography ~ the safer alternative!’
While the industries who have much to gain from the huge profits generated by mammography, are quick to deny the above facts, the individual who chooses to inform themselves of the options available can exercise their right in making their own safer choices!
In summary therefore, the screening for breast cancer using mammograms is a profit-driven technology that offers poor reliability of results while posing considerable risks to the women who have them, while safe and viable alternatives exist!
Final Note: Your conventional doctor or nurse will most likely be insisting that mammograms are the best way forward and they are naturally entitled to offer their opinion and approach. However, you may be left feeling confused by the hugely contrasting opinions available as to the right way forward.
To assist you in this decision-making process, you can enjoy our live recording in which we share further facts and insights on this important subject shared from our own natural and non-toxic approach to cancer. Then, once you have considered both view points, you will be in a considerably more informed position to make the choice that resonates best with you!
To access this important information via our live recording for just R197, simply go to our website and find it in the category: Natural Cancer Programs, and entitled ‘Mammograms – dispelling the myths!‘