Mammograms: A Flawed System Run Amok — Another expose on the dangers of breast compression and radiation.
Having been diagnosed as a victim of prostate cancer, one tends to read a lot more about that particular subject. The curiosity also extends naturally to other types of cancer, quite likely to breast cancer since that is the most common form of cancer with the opposite sex.
While coming to the conclusion that there are a multitude of effective and proven natural cures for eliminating cancer, I have also become acutely aware that the cancer industry is a monstrosity-sized industry which is focused primarily in perpetuating the belief that the only effective means of treating cancer is an archaic system which quite often causes the eventual death of the patient.
Dating back to 1974 as mammography was being introduced to the world, University of Southern California School of Medicine Professor Malcolm Pike warned that “giving a woman under age 50 a mammogram on a routine basis was close to unethical”. That report was given to the National Cancer Institute and conveniently forgotten.
Also in the 1970’s Dr. Irwin Boss, Director of Biostatistics at Roswell Park Memorial Institute for Cancer Research made an interesting study of some 16 million people. The study decisively determined the main cause of the rising rates of leukemia was medical radiation in the form of diagnostic medical x-rays. He related his findings to the breast cancer screening program, stating that “women should have been given this information about the hazards of radiation at the same time they were given the sales talk for a mammogram”.
Mammography is a classic example of modern medicine adhering to a concept run amuck and in which it has been repeatedly proven that there is only very minimal evidence that any lives are saved. Today we unfortunately find that most physicians continue to recommend mammograms, primarily because of a fear of being sued by a woman who might develop breast cancer following his/her failure to make such a recommendation.
The irony here is that extensive research shows that it is the mammogram itself that accelerates the possibility of breast cancer. And to make things even worse, the practice of recommending an inconclusive and ineffective procedure of painful mammograms creates two glaring issues which I’m reasonably certain that most radiologists would rather not discuss.
The first danger is compression of the breast. Any doctor will tell you that rough handling of breasts can cause tumors to spread. Yet the intense compression required for a mammogram is never mentioned as a glaring example of what a person should not be doing if there were in fact a cancerous tumor in the breast. A human study reported in the British Medical Journal found that death rates were increased by 29% in women whose breasts were squeezed during a mammogram. They continued that this squeezing of small blood vessels in yet-undetected breast cancer is the logical reason that malignant cells are frequently found in lymph nodes.
The techniques used in mammography are designed for maximum detection of abnormalities without regard to the possible consequences of the action. One survey reported that mammographers used as much compression as the patient could tolerate, with no idea how much compression they were using. The “guidelines” recommend that “adequacy of the compression device is critical to good quality mammography”. That force is 300 newtons which is roughly the equivalent of placing a 70 pound weight on the breast.
The second danger is radiation. Radiation is highly toxic to our bodies, hence the extreme care of x-ray attendants to avoid being in the same room during the actual process. Yet yearly mammograms expose women to cumulative doses of radiation that may prompt growth of cancerous tumors and according to women’s health advocate Susan Weed, scientists readily agree that there is no safe dose of radiation. Further is the fact that breast cells are second only to fetal tissues in sensitivity to radiation, and that cellular DNA in the breast is more easily damaged by very small doses of radiation than either thyroid tissue or bone marrow. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, a mammogram exposes you to 1,000 times more radiation than received from a normal chest x-ray.
To put it in a different perspective, I would remind you that a radiologist is not only a doctor, but he’s also a businessman. So if the American Cancer Society says mammogram screening saves lives, and all women over age 40 should be getting a yearly exam, then it’s just good business sense to make that recommendation, and strongly suggest that your customers… err, patients…step up to the ol’ compression machine.
The solution? The vast majority of research suggests the best solutions are regular self examination, coupled with a relatively new technique called thermography. Thermographic breast screening is quite simple and safe as it simply measures the radiation of infrared heat from your body, and then translates the information into anatomical images based on your normal blood circulation. Thermography uses no mechanical pressure nor toxic radiation, and can detect signs of breast cancer years earlier than either a physical exam or mammography.
One interesting observation is that the spiraling rates of breast cancer seen in the last 25 years may be directly tied to the increase use of mammography? Sort of makes me glad to be a man.