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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Better to Rethink Mammogram

UPDATE: 1 December

The US Government has known since the 1960s and perhaps before that mammogram causes breast cancer, they just failed to tell you so an industry could be created on false findings.

Mammogram Radiation May Put Some Women at Risk
By Julie Steenhuysen

Low-dose radiation from mammograms and chest X-rays may increase the risk of breast cancer in young women who are already at high risk because of family history or genetic susceptibility, Dutch researchers said on Tuesday.
They said high-risk women, especially those under 30, may want to consider switching to an alternative screening method such as magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, which does not involve exposure to radiation.

"Our findings suggest that low-dose radiation increases breast cancer risk among these young, high-risk women, and a careful approach is warranted," said Marijke Jansen-van der Weide of the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands.

"I should recommend to be careful with radiation before 30 and to think about alternatives," Jansen-van der Weide, who presented her findings at the Radiological Society of North America meeting in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

For the study, Jansen-van der Weide pooled data from six published studies that involved 12,000 high-risk women from Europe and the United States.

The team found that of the 8,500 women who had been exposed to radiation from chest X-rays or mammograms before the age of 20 or those who had had five or more exposures were 2.5 times more likely to develop breast cancer than other high-risk women who had not been exposed. read full story
UPDATE: 29 November

The Basic Problem With Screening Mammography
Reservoir of Silent Disease

The basic underlying problem with screening for breast cancer with mammography

is the "reservoir of silent disease". A series of autopsy studies show that indolent breast cancers are common in the population. These early cancers, called DCIS, are silent and rarely cause clinical disease. The most impressive study was from Denmark in 1987. The Danish group used specimen radiography on autopsy samples, which most closely approximates what screening mammography does, searching for and finding small clusters of calcifications. The Danish team found breast cancer in one out of five women, most of which was DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ).

One out of 5 women show breast cancer at autopsy, yet only 2 to 3 women per 10,000 die from breast cancer annually. (20% vs .03%) This indicates a disconnect between the huge reservoir of silent and clinically insignificant disease, and the much smaller numbers of invasive breast cancer presenting clinically.

DCIS in 18% of the Population

Current screening mammography technology detects >60,000 cases of DCIS annually, and this is only a small fraction of total DCIS which is present in one out of five women in the population. DCIS is ductal carcinoma in situ, an early form of cancer with good prognosis, a 98% five year survival with no treatment. I expect future refinements in xray technology to allow detection of even greater numbers of DCIS cases which have small calcifications. Ultimately the technology will catch up and replicate the Danish autopsy findings.

Do we really want to be detecting DCIS in one out of five women, and submit all these women to biopsy and lumpectomy? This is exactly what is advocated by the corporate-government-media sponsored mammography screening programs.

Just Stop Calling It Cancer

Recently, an NIH panel has asked pathologists to stop calling DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). Here is the NIH Consensus statement: "Because of the noninvasive nature of DCIS, coupled with its favorable prognosis, strong consideration should be given to elimination of the use of the anxiety-producing term “carcinoma” from the description of DCIS. "

Less is Better

I beg to offer a differing opinion more in line with the US Preventive Task Force revisions. The detection of massive numbers of cases of DCIS results in harmful over-treatment of the population with little benefit in terms of reduced mortality from breast cancer. This opinion is echoed by Dr Laura Esserman in a recent JAMA article on the limitations, and disappointing benefits of screening mammography.

Cancer Prevention With Iodine Supplementation

The discovery of a large reservoir of silent disease is a wake-up call that something is dreadfully wrong. Rather than screen the population for small calcifications, called DCIS, generating massive numbers of lucrative procedures with biopsies and lumpectomies that have little impact on overall mortality, I suggest a better approach.

The evidence is overwhelming that Iodine deficiency causes breast cancer, and Iodine supplementation prevents and treats breast cancer. Iodine supplementation is a less expensive and more effective alternative to the corporate-government-media sponsored runaway train called mammogram screening.

Radiation Exposure Causes Breast Cancer

Iodine tablets are available from Natural Health News, just contact us to order.


Larry King had a discussion last evening about the mammography controversy.  One of his guests was the TV OB-GYN Lisa Masterson who was very aggressive in her defense of this practice.

Listening to the other guests and Masterson discuss this topic it made it so very clear how graduate education seeks to make one believe that certain things are written in stone, and should never change.  And so once you've received your diploma and later a license if you are in a licensed profession, you will often go to great ends to defend what you were taught rather than look to see if there might be something else more effective.

As a person with an investigative mine I did look for all of the options and I will continue to support the science behind the dark side of mammogram that no one seems to want you to know.   And I will encourage thermography.
Mammogram accounts for finding 10% of all breast cancer cases. The woman herself discovers the other 90% of breast cancer cases.

Although the numbers are recorded separately from other breast cancers by the American Cancer Society, DCIS, Ductile Carcinoma in Situ accounts for 40% of all breast cancer detected by mammogram. DCIS is abnormal (sometimes called pre-cancerous) cells confined to the milk ducts of the breasts. (

There are at least 45 articles here on Natural Health News addressing the issue of mammogram, and specifically the issue that it is known to increase breast cancer.

I think Dr. Susan Love is correct when she says the focus needs to be on prevention and finding out why so many younger women are getting breast cancer.

Of course there are many factors such as hormones, cell phones, fluoridated water, vaccines, environmental toxins, BPA, pharmaceutical drugs, cosmetics....and I am sure you can think of several others.

Instead of outrage, and of course knowing that Big Insurance will take this chance to limit screening as a cost cutting action, get more knowledgeable about the real facts on this issue.  And demand better methods of screening that detect sooner and do not increase your exposure to radiation that also can cause severe thyroid and heart problems.

There are some 22 articles regarding thermography, ultrasound and Breast Self Exam here and more here.

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