Numerous studies over the past 5 years have called into question the use of mammography as a screening device. The dose of radiation can cause cancer, and tends to make future cancers more aggressive. The pharmaceutic backed early screening movement of course claims that early screening cuts rates by 50% but the data just does not support that.
Peter C Gøtzsche, of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, shows that the practice of breast irradiation in an attempt to ‘protect’ against breast cancer is not only harmful but should be abandoned.The study entitled “Mammography screening is harmful and should be abandoned,” shows that decades of screening has done nothing to reduce breast cancer mortality. This is despite the fact that millions of new and supposedly “early stage” or “stage zero” cancers are being diagnosed, which inflate survival rates.
Natural Society reports: Previous research by the same author has concluded that even up to 52% of women undergoing this form of breast screening as recommended will be over-diagnosed; however it is hoped that as many of these women as possible obtain a second opinion.
The test itself causes cancer. Radiation at any dose is damaging and every dose adds up. Many women feel bullied into having a mammogram they don’t feel comfortable with. The medical committee tries to downplay the alternatives yet the data from the Cochrane study really sheds light on the actual facts.
However, the lower-dose radiation used in mammography has actually been shown to be up to 3-4 times more carcinogenic than high dose radiation.
To make things even worse, women with BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 gene mutations are more vulnerable to radiation-induced cancers, but are encouraged (or often shamed) to have mammograms more often and starting earlier than women born with the normal variants of the genes.
So what is the alternative? Self-exams and thermagraphy are a good start. Diet and lifestyle changes to reduce your risk are also important.
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Image courtesy of Natural Society