In case you gentlemen are wondering, “what’s up with the pink colored ribbons?”, the answer is that October was the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Typically, this date focuses on getting the routinely ordered mammograms which not only incite compassion but a lot of needed contributions to help rid womanhood of this dreaded, insidious disease.
However, the question which now is more commonly asked is, “do mammograms actually help in deterring breast cancer? Do I really need to get one?” This brief article overview will focus on these questions and provide some facts; however, the answer best lays with the reader and his/her loved ones.
Many in mainstream medicine, media and certain well established health organizations state that mammograms are absolutely a prerequisite to surviving breast cancer; supposedly, they are needed for early detection and quick treatment.
THE WAY IT WAS BACK THEN…
Back In 1940, studies of women having breast cancer indicated only 5% or one in 20 had a risk of breast cancer. However, according to the the American Cancer Society, today risks have risen to 13% in 2009 — almost tripled to one in eight women. What’s gives?
Despite the almost mandatory routine mammograms which are undertaken annually, there has been a recorded increase in the risk factor associated with the disease.
The answer may lay in recent 2009 studies which indicate it is the exposure to rough handling of the mammary glands and to the actual radiation used in lab tests which may be the culprit in causing breast cancer in some women in the first place. (1)
An annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), produced a recent study which summarized that annual mammograms actually increase breast cancer risk to certain groups of women with genetic or familial “predisposition” — but where not necessary for all women to begin with.
RAMPANT UNRELIABILITY OF MAMMOGRAMS
A more recent new study by University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), indicates that half of the women who received mammograms over the last decade were notified erroneously that their test results were positive. Later, it was discovered that they were actually cancer-free from the start.
However, it was too late for these victims of false lab results. They went on to be subjected to more lab tests which resulted in one in 12 of these women going on to potentially, breast-scarring biopsies.
“This study provides important information about the potential harms of undergoing regular mammography,” states Karla Kerlikowske, a Professor of Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine.
Another comprehensive study of approximately 170,000 clinical cases showed that women between the ages of 40 and 59 came back with almost 4,500 reported cases of invasive breast cancer. Women who started having mammograms at age 40 were more likely to have erroneous findings resulting in expensive and unnecessary medical tests, including biopsies. (2) The remaining women tested never needed to have had the mammograms done in the first place.
MAMMOGRAMS ARE BIG $$$
To the tune of $2.1 billion a year which will increase dramatically as Baby Boomers begin their regular screenings — especially in the area of mammograms, ultrasound, MRIs, biopsies and radiographic-directed lumpectomies.
This, despite the facts as reported by Medscape, that up to more than a third of breast cancers are not detected at all by routine breast cancer lab tests. Further horrors, a recent task force indicated that mammograms and their ensuring tests, can actually cause the cancer in the first place. In addition, more recent findings suggest that:
According to the Cancer Prevention Coalition, breast cancer had usually been dwelling in breast tissues for nearly eight years before detection. This, of course, is contrary to assurances by the U. S. media and the cancer establishment organizations: National Cancer Institute (NCI) and American Cancer Society (ACS). (4)
The Breast Cancer Fund.org reports that even at lower energy levels, x-rays by mammograms may result in damage to a woman’s DNA structure. (5)
As far as man-handling is concerned, even a minor scratch or bruise may easily provoke cancer cells to gravitate towards the wound such as found in a biopsy or lumpectomy, reports Science News Magazine. Further horrors, during recent research studies, minor trauma suffered by the breast during compression during a mammogram indicated resulting ruptured cysts. These, of course, may end in disseminating invasive cancer cells throughout the breast area.
Light At The End of The Tunnel
Fortunately, many doctors today are adhering to the theory that mammograms should be spaced every three years instead of yearly — if at all. However, they always revert to the exclusion of an existing risk factor being involved.
And there are other methods such as thermography to obtain safe, reliable and accurate information for early detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. However, the breasts are not the only place which can benefit from thermography. Your heart, teeth, circulatory and vascular system can also benefit from this procedure which does not involve touching of the body in any form whatsoever. In addition, it is totally risk-free with no need for return appointments. Unknown to most of the American public, this procedure is FDA-approved. Yes, there is hope in the battle against breast cancer but mammograms may not necessarily be the best route for many women and their families.
Tips To Breast Cancer Survival and Prevention:
– Research self-examination techniques consider alternative treatment by other physicians
– Research information, get second opinions and a third
– Pray, ask God’s Wisdom and have a family pow-wow … and yes, choose wisely.
Written by Beverly Anne Sanchez, Nov. 2011