A recent study showed that mammography – a diagnostic tool that uses x-rays to detect breast cancer in women – is highly inaccurate. Only 1 to 10 out of 100 ‘positive’ mammography tests are truly positive, which means that there is a 90 to 99 percent chance of a woman being diagnosed with breast cancer who doesn’t have it. Since these tests are not taken only once in a lifetime, the chances of becoming a victim of false diagnosis for breast cancer are very high.
In Great Britain, about 100,000 women per year receive a false diagnosis for breast cancer (not excluding other forms of diagnoses). The women undergo many unnecessary biopsies and an unknown number of mastectomies (breast amputations). Many of the women suffer unnecessarily from depression, desperation, and fear of dying as a result of the diagnosis. In the United States, mastectomies have skyrocketed since mammography became the most popular ‘preventive’ method for diagnosing breast cancer.
The medical establishment is very nervous that the truth about the mammogram technology is finally beginning to surface. After all, it is a huge moneymaker. Peter Gotzsche, M.D. – a researcher at the Nordic Cochrane Center in Denmark – and his associates recently published a peer-reviewed study that found major fault with the results of a large trial that reported a 31 percent reduction in breast cancer mortality as a result of mammogram screening. After carefully reviewing the data, Dr. Gotzsche’s team discovered that a large number of breast cancer deaths in the original data had ‘somehow’ been left out of the final report. The Gotzsche study was originally published last in an online edition of the European Journal of Cancer (EJC). Three weeks later, the study vanished from their web site. Apparently, EJC editors removed his study because they received complaints from pro-mammogram doctors.
To suggest mammography to be a diagnostic tool for detecting pre-symptomatic stages of cancer is deceptive and dubious. In most cases of breast cancer, it is irrelevant whether breast cancer is detected at an early or late stage. It is rather the type of cancer and whether it tends to metastasize (‘spread to’, which in reality means ‘develop in’ other parts of the body as well) at an early stage, that determines the outcome of the disease. Contrary to common belief, early detection has not shown to lower mortality rates for these types of cancer. Also by having many mammograms performed, a woman may put herself at risk for developing the very disease mammography is supposed to prevent, or worsen it if it is already present. Mammograms certainly aren’t the ‘magic bullet’ for breast cancer prevention that everyone seems to think they are. For one thing, mammograms are of very limited effectiveness because they seem only to be able to detect tumors of a size that is large enough to signify a rather advanced stage of cancer.
What is most disturbing about this diagnostic method is the excessive compression of the breast that is required during a routine mammogram. To produce good pictures and to avoid being sued for missing a tumor, the technician squeezes the breast extra hard. Squeezing can rupture internal tissue, including tumor tissue. If there is a tumor in the breast, performing a mammogram can actually break apart cancerous cell masses, spill the deadly poisons they contain and cause the disease to develop in other organs. New research shows that small tumors are especially prone to such potentially fatal damage.
Forcible flattening of a breast during a mammogram cannot be considered an acceptable risk, especially when the test is so ineffective anyway. A large body of research suggests that mammograms may be only marginally more effective (if at all) than physical exams in detecting breast cancer. So why use a method that can exacerbate a disease unnecessarily? Mammography is a major-league moneymaker for hospitals, doctors and cancer clinics nationwide. The unsuspecting women believe that the screening reduces their risk of death from breast cancer by 50-75 percent! In truth, according to research conducted by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, it would be necessary to screen over 1,200 women aged 40-74 every year for 14 years to prevent even one death from breast cancer.
Fortunately for women, the massive increase in lawsuits as a result of missed tumors is contributing to an increasing reluctance among doctors and clinics that once offered mammography to continue doing so.
A 1997 report by the American National Cancer Institutestated that mammograms showed no mortality benefit unless women in their 40s had been followed for 10 years. Other studies have shown that women who have mammograms suffer about the same rates of death due to breast cancer as women who do not have mammograms. Despite the fact that over 90 percent of the abnormalities discovered by mammography have been benign (not cancerous), 63 percent of U.S. women in their 40s keep having a mammogram every one or two years. This poses a great risk on healthy women who wish to prevent developing breast cancer in the future. Given the powerful cancer-inducing effects of mammograms, there is little if any benefit having a yearly mammogram.
Prevention of breast cancer does not begin with having a mammogram; it starts with taking active responsibility for one’s body and mind. It can be said that most natural foods have a cancer preventive effect, and this includes food. Commenting on a recently released study on the prevention of cancer, John Pezzuto, leader of a food research group at the University of Illinois in Chicago, U.S.A, said, “…the study does show that a diet loaded with fruits and vegetables is a good defense against cancer.” Research has identified a substance in grapes called resveratol that keeps cells from turning cancerous and inhibits the spread of cells that are malignant already. Most other natural foods contain similar or even more powerful cancer-fighting substances.
Women don’t need to rely on mammography to feel safeguarded against breast cancer, especially since it is highly unreliable as a diagnostic tool. A series of liver, kidney and colon cleanses are often enough to prevent, stop and regress any type of cancer.
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