The Dangers and Futility of Mammograms

Dec 30, 2008 by

The Dangers and Futility of Mammograms

Sister Rosalie Bertell, a highly respected world authority on the dangers of radiation wrote that one rad of radiation increased breast cancer risk one percent and is the equivalent of one year’s natural aging. “If a woman has yearly mammograms from age 55 to 75, she will receive a minimum of 20 rads of radiation. Women surviving the blast in Hiroshima absorbed 35 rads.

As a result of all this pressure, Dr. Charles B. Simone, a former clinical associate in immunology and pharmacology at the National Cancer Institute finally came out and said “Mammograms increase the risk for developing breast cancer and raise the risk of spreading or metastasizing an existing growth. The annual mammographic screening of 10,000 women aged 50-70 will extend the lives of, at best, 26 of them; and the annual screening of 10,000 women in their 40s will extend the lives of only 12 women per year.”

Radiation is not the only danger posed to women by mammograms

Although mammography is widely used for early cancer detection screening, remarkably little attention has been paid to the techniques of breast compression used in the mammography procedure, according to William Campbell Douglass, Jr., writing for the Weston A. Price Foundation. He saw that although the principal of handling cancer very gently so as not to spread it is widely accepted by the medical profession, it doesn’t apply to breast screening. During mammography the techniques used are designed for maximum detection of abnormalities without regard to the possible consequences of the action. Douglass notes a survey that found mammographers used as much compression as the patient could tolerate and had no idea how much compression they were using. In fact, the guidelines for mammography state that “adequacy of the compression device is crucial to good quality mammography.” That force is 300 newtons, the equivalent of placing a 50 pound weight on the breast.

Cambell reports one animal study that found that the number of metastases will increase by 80 percent if the tumor is manipulated. A human study reported in the British Medical Journal found that death rates were increase by 29 percent in women whose breasts were squeezed during mammography. This is likely to be the result of the rupture of small blood vessels in or around small yet undetected breast cancers. This squeezing into the blood stream of malignant cells is why many women with breast cancer have cancer cells in their lymph nodes.

Mistaken false positive diagnoses are common in pre-menopausal women and post-menopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy because the breast tissue of these women is dense and glandular in nature. These mistakes result in needless anxiety, more mammograms, and highly dangerous biopsies that will cause cancer cells to metastasize if indeed there is a cancer. For the group of women with multiple high-risk factors, such as a strong family history, prolonged use of contraceptives, early menarche, and no history of breast feeding, the cumulative risk of false positives increases to as high as 100 percent over a decade of screening due to this being the group most strongly urged to participate in multiple screenings.

Over diagnosis and subsequent over treatment are major risks of mammography. The unchallenged use of screening has resulted in a huge increase in the diagnosis of ductal carcinoma-insitu (DCIS), a pre-invasive form of cancer which has about 40,000 diagnoses annually. DCIS is composed of micro-calcifications and treated by lumpectomy plus radiation or even mastectomy and chemotherapy. However, over 80 percent of DCIS do not become invasive if left untreated. The mortality rate from DCIS is the same as for women diagnosed and treated early and for those diagnosed later, following the development of invasive cancer.

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  1. Mammograms - Their Dangers and Futility | All 4 Natural Health News - [...] Read more about the dangers and futility of mammograms at [...]

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