Women all around the world are told that regular mammograms are the best approach for early breast cancer detection. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that looks to find tumorous growths that are otherwise undetectable in a physical exam. However, new research has shown how dangerous mammograms are.
X-rays use ionizing radiation to create the photographic image. Despite enormous research and funding, mammography has a very strong opposition in many quadrants of the medical and natural health communities.
This opposition is due to the dangers associated with the amount of harmful radiation, the inaccuracy rates, and the economic costs. Yearly mammograms had been recommended for women over the age of 50. In 2001, US health officials began recommending women over 40 get regular mammograms.
In July 1995, the Lancet wrote that “the benefit (of mammograms) is marginal, the harm caused is substantial, and the costs incurred are enormous…”.
Mammograms and false positive diagnosis:
Numerous doctors have trouble believing mammograms due to their huge rate of false positive diagnosis. In one large study looking at 60,000 women, the researchers discovered that 70 percent of the detected tumors were not tumors at all.
These false positive results cause a great amount of emotional stress on patients and family members involved. Even worse, these results lead to many unnecessary and invasive biopsies. Research has shown that 70-80 percent of all positive mammograms do not show the presence of cancer upon further biopsy testing.
The unnecessary stress of false positives:
False positives and unnecessary biopsies can dramatically change an individual’s health. The emotional stress of thinking you have cancer when you do not is sufficient to trigger the onset or the acceleration of disease in the body.
Numerous women have undergone unnecessary chemotherapy, radiation, and mastectomies after receiving false positive results on a mammogram. This creates an enormous overall economic, physical, and emotional stress on the individual due to the limitations of this sort of testing.
Mammograms bring massive radiation:
Regular mammography exposes the individual to an exceptionally large amount of ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is something we are all exposed to in nature and the body can handle a certain amount each year without it becoming risky. One series of mammograms (2 x-rays on each breast) is equivalent to the radiation dose of 8 normal chest or spinal x-rays.
Due to this huge blast of radiation numerous experts warn that mammography actually raises the risk of breast cancer. Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD, estimated that annual mammography raises the risk of breast cancer by 2 percent each year.
The National Cancer Institute has stated that mammography is especially dangerous for younger women. As a matter of fact, they have stated that it could cause 75 cases of breast cancer for every 15 it identifies. Other studies have shown up to a 52 percent increase in breast cancer mortality in young women given annual testing.
Mammograms induce cancer growth:
The number of some specific forms of breast cancer such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) has increased by 328 percent since mammography was introduced. Also, cancer research has found a gene called oncogene AC that is very sensitive to radiation.
Women who have this gene are at very high risk when exposed to mammography. Researchers estimate that 10,000 of these gene carriers will die of breast cancer each year due to mammography.
Mammography also requires the patient’s breasts to be compressed. This compression is known to cause the release of cancerous cells into circulation which greatly increases the risk of malignant spread.
A former clinical associate in immunology and pharmacology at the NCI, Dr. Charles Simone has been a strong advocate against mammography. He states, “Mammograms increase the risk for developing breast cancer and raise the risk of spreading or metastasizing an existing growth”
Thermography is a much better evaluation:
A good alternative to mammography is thermography. This is a simple, non-invasive way of accessing your risk for breast cancer. It can detect breast cancer many years earlier than physical exams and even mammograms.
Progressive physicians in Europe and the US have been using thermography since 1962.
The main difference between mammography and thermography is that thermography can see cancer formations at the size of 256 cells, while mammograms can’t detect cancer until there are roughly 4 billion cells clumped together.