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from the Sydney Morning Herald Mammogram study adds new doubts to life-saving value One of the largest and most meticulous studies of mammography ever done, involving 90,000 women and lasting a quarter-century, has added powerful new doubts about the value of the screening test for women of any age. It found that the death rates from breast cancer and from all causes were the same in women who got mammograms and those who did not. And the screening had harms - one out of five cancers found with mammography and treated was not a threat to the woman's health and did not need treatment like chemotherapy, surgery or radiation. The decision to have a mammogram should not be a slam dunk. The study, published on Tuesday in The British Medical Journal, is one of the few rigorous evaluations of mammograms conducted in the modern era of more effective breast cancer treatments. It randomly assigned Canadian women to have regular mammograms and breast exams by trained nurses or to have breast exams alone. Researchers sought to determine whether there was any advantage to finding breast cancers when they were too small to feel. The answer was no, the researchers report. Advertisement The study seems likely to lead to an even deeper polarisation between those who believe that regular mammography saves lives, including many breast cancer advocates and patients, and a growing number of researchers who say the evidence is lacking or, at the very least, murky. "It will make women uncomfortable, and they should be uncomfortable," said Dr. Russell P. Harris, a screening expert and professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina. "The decision to have a mammogram should not be a slam dunk." The findings will not lead to any immediate change in guidelines for mammography, and many advocates and experts will almost certainly dispute the idea that mammograms are on balance useless, or even harmful. Dr. Richard C. Wender, chief of cancer control for the American Cancer Society, said the society has convened an expert panel that is reviewing all studies on mammography, including the Canadian one, and would issue revised guidelines later this year. He added that combined data from clinical trials of mammography showed it reduces the death rate from breast cancer by at least 15 per cent for women in their 40s and by at least 20 per cent for older women. That means that one woman in 1000 who starts screening in her 40s, two who start in their 50s and three who start in their 60s will avoid a breast cancer death, Harris said. Wender added that while improved treatments clearly helped lower the breast cancer death rate, so did mammography, by catching cancers early. But an editorial accompanying the new study said that earlier studies that found mammograms helped women were done before the routine use of drugs like tamoxifen that sharply reduced the breast cancer death rate. In addition, many studies did not use the gold-standard methods of the clinical trial, randomly assigning women to be screened or not. Dr Mette Kalager, an epidemiologist and screening researcher at the University of Oslo and the Harvard School of Public Health who wrote the editorial, said there was a reason its results were unlike those of earlier studies. With better treatments, like tamoxifen, it was less important to find cancers early. Also, she said, women in the Canadian studies were aware of breast cancer and its dangers, unlike women in earlier studies who were more likely to ignore lumps. "It might be possible that mammography screening would work if you don't have any awareness of the disease," she said. The Canadian study reached the same conclusion about the lack of a benefit from mammograms after 11 to 16 years of follow-up, but some experts predicted that as time went on the advantages would emerge. That did not happen, but with more time the researchers could, for the first time, calculate the extent of overdiagnosis, finding cancers that would never have killed the women but that led to treatments that included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Many cancers, researchers now recognise, grow slowly, or not at all, and do not require treatment. Some cancers even shrink or disappear on their own. But once a cancer is detected, it is impossible to know if it is dangerous, so doctors treat them all. If the researchers also included a precancerous condition called ductal carcinoma in situ, the overdiagnosis rate would be closer to one in three cancers, said Dr. Anthony B. Miller of the University of Toronto, the lead author of the paper. Ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, is found only with mammography, is confined to the milk duct and may or may not break out into the breast. But it is usually treated with surgery, including mastectomy, or removal of the breast. Mammography's benefits have long been debated, but no nations except Switzerland have suggested the screening be halted. In a recent report, the Swiss Medical Board, an expert panel established by regional ministers of public health, advised that no new mammography programs be started in that country and that those in existence have a limited, though unspecified, duration. Ten of 26 Swiss cantons, or districts, have regular mammography screening programs. Dr Peter Juni, a member of the Swiss Medical Board until recently, said one concern was that mammography was not reducing the overall death rate, but increasing overdiagnosis and leading to false positives and needless biopsies. "The mammography story is just not such an easy story," said Juni, a clinical epidemiologist at the University of Bern. Even experts like Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at Dartmouth University, who have questioned mammography's benefits were surprised by Switzerland's steps to reconsider its widespread use. "Wow, times they are a changin'," Welch said. In the United States, about 37,000,000 mammograms are performed annually at a cost of about $US100 per mammogram. Nearly three-quarters of women age 40 and older say they had a mammogram in the past year. More than 90 per cent of women ages 50 to 69 in several European countries have had at least one mammogram. Kalager, whose editorial accompanying the study was titled Too Much Mammography, compared mammography to prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, screening for prostate cancer, using data from pooled analyses of clinical trials. It turned out that the two screening tests were almost identical in their overdiagnosis rate and had almost the same slight reduction in breast or prostate deaths. "I was very surprised," Kalager said. She had assumed that the evidence for mammography must be stronger since most countries support mammography screening and most discourage PSA screening. New York Times Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/mammogram-study-adds-new-doubts-to-lifesaving-value-20140212-32hnl.html#ixzz2tLtZgjoz

Mammograms- more harmful than helpful?

This information has been distilled from articles from several sources some of whom understandably wish to remain anonymous. We believe the information is so important to today’s women that we feel it is appropriate to include it in the interests of public awareness. The references at the bottom of this page provide more in-depth discussion.

 

Can you really believe this is a
procedure which supports your health?

Articles on Natural News[1] state that researchers are saying Mammograms do not really work and that Mammograms are a hoax[2] promoted by the radiation manufacturers and produce more false positives than legitimate tumour detections in women, thus maiming over one million American women unnecessarily. Women on HRT drugs are also getting false readings.

Increased Mammograms result in more mastectomies[3] because Mammograms actually cause breast cancer, especially if a person has a family history of breast cancer[4].

One third of cancers found in Mammograms are not life threatening however chemotherapy is still used to poison these women[5].

How X-Ray Mammography Is Accelerating The Epidemic of Cancer[6] cites an article in the British Journal of Radiobiology[7] which provides compelling evidence that the low energy X-rays as used in mammography are approximately four times - but possibly as much as six times - more effective in causing mutational damage than higher energy X-rays.

A Cochrane Database Systematic Review[8], shows that for every 2000 women invited for screening over a 10 year period, one will avoid dying of breast cancer and 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be treated unnecessarily. Furthermore, more than 200 women will experience important psychological distress including anxiety and uncertainty for years because of false positive findings. [9]

Thankfully, scientists are working on a saliva test that hopefully will make Mammograms obsolete and we fervently hope this will provide a safe alternative to mammography soon.

New science shows that Ultrasounds work far better than Mammograms at detecting breast cancer[10].

It has been scientifically shown that diet and vitamin D in the form of sunshine is the miracle nutrient that is shown to prevent 77 percent of all breast cancers[11][12][13]. It seems that this stay out of the sun theory is a myth and moderate amounts of glorious sunshine is really what we need.

We strongly urge anyone concerned about mammography to also read this article:
Mammograms cause breast cancer (and other cancer facts you probably never knew)
Article by Dawn Prate on newstarget.com




Is this the look of Health Care?

 

For over 15 years now at least one Australian physician has been advising patients NOT to have mammograms in the belief that the 'squashing' of the delicate breast tissue has the potential to do more damage than good, Lately, more and more information is being published to support this view. For example ... In one Canadian study involving 90,000 women aged between 40 and 50 who underwent annual mammograms, actually showed a 35 - 50% increase in breast cancer mortality. This finding was published way back in 1992 in the pre-eminent medical journal, The Lancet. The procedure for a mammogram involves squeezing and compressing the breast in order to get good images. This action has the potential to activate and spread an otherwise contained or localized cancerous mass. The Canadian study suggests that this "squashing" of breast tissue may actually cause the spread of diseased cells and/or the development of cancerous tumors within an otherwise healthy breast.

A report published in November, 2008 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association's Archives of Internal Medicine [14] reached a startling conclusion. Breast cancer rates increased significantly in four Norwegian counties after women there began getting mammograms every two years.


In fact, according to background information in the study, the start of screening mammography programs throughout Europe has been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer.

Now, forget about the danger of the trauma from a mammogram, and ask the question - is mammography as good a test as is generally assumed? Just suppose, for a moment, that only 1 in 6 biopsies performed on the basis of a positive mammogram (or physical exam) actually revealed cancer! (that's something like 70% inaccurate!). Sadly, thousands of women rush, or are pressured into, lumpectomies and even mastectomies on these false findings. This little gem of information comes from a 5 year study of 250,000+ women aged between 35 and 73 (The Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Study).

What about the mainstream advertising, that "early detection" of breast cancer will save a woman's breast (or breasts) or life? Well ... that makes sense! But could they be using the wrong test? Individual studies suggest that the majority of tumors mammograms can reliably detect are those that indicate a relatively advanced stage of metastasized cancer ... too late!

 


Caring for your body?


So what test procedure should a physician recommend for patients? Before we come to that, it is important to also tell you that not all cases of breast cancer require surgery or radical treatment of any kind. Approximately 25% of breast cancer diagnoses involve the slow-to-develop ductal or lobular carcinomas "in situ" which (according to a recent report that I was reading) only become malignant in about 2% of cases. Yet women are often pressured or coerced into surgery, radiation and chemo for this type of cancer, when close monitoring over time, coupled with a less invasive treatment regime, would be the sensible approach.



Self Examination

 

OK ... so what is the better way of testing?

Self Examination (monthly), DITI, Ultra Sound or AMAS?

Self Examination: Monthly. This is still one of the most effective tools available in breast cancer screening, but only if you have been shown how to check yourself correctly. (Ask your doctor to show you) This is performed by yourself at home each month, and then by your doctor annually.

The University of Toronto study released in 2000 [15] , involved 40,000 women. Half screened for breast cancer with Self Examination and annual checkups, and the other 20,000 were screened with Self Examination and mammograms. Ten years into the study the Self Examination and annual checkup group reported 610 cases of invasive breast cancer, and 105 deaths. In the Self Examination and mammogram group there were 622 cases of invasive breast cancer, and 107 deaths. Statistically, there is no significant difference between the 2 groups! Which begs the question: Is there any need for squashing and discomfort along with associated potential increase in risk?


Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) [16] involves a non-invasive (no squashing) scan of your breasts (or whole of body) graphing changes in temperature using thermography.

One of the main benefits of DITI is that it has the ability to pick up changes in tissue long before self examination, doctor's check or mammography ever will.

However, DITI can not pinpoint the exact location of damaged / cancerous cells, so additional procedures (such as MRI or ultrasound) may still be recommended to determine if a tumor is forming or has already taken shape.

Even though you may not have heard of it, DITI is available in Australia; Sunstate Thermal Imaging has clinics throughout South-east Queensland offering DITI services.

 


breast thermography image





Ultra Sound mammography

 

Ultrasound [17] often, when a mammogram. detects a change, your doctor will refer you for an Ultrasound to confirm the mammogram's findings. I say ... skip the mammogram and go for the Ultrasound first. Makes sense to me!

AMAS (Anti-Malignan Antibody Screen) [18] Blood Test. OK ... so here's a test that has been around for more than a decade, and I bet you that your doctor has never heard of it!

Cancer cells (including breast cancer) trigger our body to produce a chemical (peptide) called malignin. When our body detects malignan, our immune system goes on the attack by producing anti-malignan antibodies. A simple blood test, looking for the presence of the anti-malignan antibody (AMAS) is a sound and logical first step in cancer detection. No anti-malignan antibody present means no malignan ... means no cancer! A positive AMAS reading, however, would indicate that there are cancerous cells in your body, but a blood test will not tell you where or what type of cancer is present. After a positive AMAS test, your doctor would follow-up with DITI or an MR1 or some other more specific testing. Clinical studies have shown that the AMAS test is up to 95 percent accurate on the first reading, and up to 99 percent accurate after two readings, with less than 1% false positives.





For more information on the AMAS test, we used to steer people to the www.amascancertest.com website. This has now disappeared or morphed into another of those ubiquitous “search portals”. Despite showing a very promising ability for early detection this test is not available in Australia and seems increasingly difficult to obtain elsewhere in the world. We wonder if it was so successful at early-stage detection, did it present a major bottom-line threat to the drug manufacturers?


Some comments regarding mammographic screening

excerpted from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute - JNCI Cancer Spectrum Vol. 92 No. 18, pp1490-1499.

  • "screening women aged 50�59 years with yearly mammography in addition to physical examination detected considerably more lymph node-negative and small breast cancers than screening with physical examination alone but had no impact on mortality from breast cancer."

  • "Detection rates were higher in the mammography [arm of the study].... These detection rates were achieved at the cost of high biopsy rates for benign lesions, and an excess of mastectomies largely due to uncertainty over the appropriate treatment of the excess of in situ carcinomas found."

  • " the addition of mammography to physical examination of the breasts did not reduce the cumulative incidence of lymph node-positive breast cancers. In other words, the stage shift that resulted from mammography screening did not result in a decrease in the absolute rate of advanced breast cancers."

  • "It is striking that the successive trials of breast cancer screening have failed to show a greater reduction in breast cancer mortality ... despite the substantial technologic improvements in mammography since the 1960s."

  • "It seems likely that benefit was derived from the physical examinations together with Breast Self Examination "

  • "One further possible explanation for the lack of difference in breast cancer mortality between the two arms in this trial (annual mammography plus annual physical examination versus annual physical examination) is that treatment of breast cancer has improved to such an extent that there is no longer any benefit from screening."

  • "we cannot confirm that screening in either arm was beneficial."

  • "Although it could have been anticipated that, if mammography makes the major contribution to the benefit of combined screening, we would have observed it ..... we have now conducted sufficient additional follow-up to be able to conclude that it does not do so."

  • "We are not aware of any mammography screening trial that has shown a widening of benefit beyond 7�10 years after entry. "
We strongly urge anyone concerned about mammography to read this article
Mammograms cause breast cancer (and other cancer facts you probably never knew)
Article by Dawn Prate on newstarget.com



And this disturbing research ... ( also from NewsTarget)

Mammograms, X-rays may boost breast cancer risk by 250%

An International Agency for Research on Cancer study showed that chest X-rays may increase women's chances of developing breast cancer. The study involved 1,600 women with high-risk BRCA1 and 2 gene mutations.

"If confirmed in prospective studies, young women who are members of families known to have BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations may wish to consider alternatives to X-ray, such as MRI," Lead researcher Dr. David Goldgar said.

According to the study, women who get chest X-rays before the age of 20 may increase their risk of developing the disease 2.5 times by age 40 compared to women who had never been exposed to x-rays.

"It is important to remember that 90 percent of breast cancer cases are not hereditary and that most healthy women would not need to have frequent chest X-rays, especially if in their 20s," Breast Cancer Care's Dr. Erin Pennery said.

The research has not conclusively tied chest X-rays to breast cancer. The researchers did say that women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer were more likely to remember getting a mammogram than women who had not.

However, it is no surprise that there is skepticism of these findings among cancer industry groups which rely on mammography to recruit patients into lucrative cancer treatment protocols. It is not in the interests of such groups to admit that the very test used to detect breast cancer appears to be causing it.


Further reading

  1. Mammograms By Dr Con Travershol, in the Cansurvive Magazine - Vol 23, 2004.
  2. More on the Dangers of Mammography
  3. Cancer Cure Foundations page on Cancer Tests
  4. Feature articles on mammograms at NaturalNews.com
  5. Screening for Breast Cancer with Manunography Justiflable?" The Lancet, 2000; 355: 129-134.
  6. "Mammography Does Not Reduce Breast Cancer Mortality When Added to Careful Breast Examination for Women Aged 50-59 Years," Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2000; 92(18); 1,455.
  7. "Cochrane Review on Screening for Breast Cancer with Mammography" The Lancet, 2001; 358: 1340-1342
  8. "Screening Mammography - an Overview Revisited" The Lancet, 2001; 358: 1284-1285,
  9. "The Cruel and Costly Hoax of Breast Cancer Screening: Protect Yourself from Mainstream Mammography Mania" William Campbell Douglass, M.D., Real Health, January 2002, www.realhealthnews.com/
  10. "Medicine Mum on Mammography.. Do the Math" Alternative Medicine, 10/23/00.
  11. "Women Need Better Information About Routine Mammography" British Medical Journal, 2003; 327: 101-103, 7/12/03.
  12. "Mammography Myths Remain Unexposed" Dr. Joseph Mercola, 7/30/03.
  13. "Is Screening for Breast Cancer with Mammography Justifiable?" The Lancet, 2000; 355: 129-134
  14. Mammograms Don't Cut Deaths in Women in Their 40s
  15. New Studies Fuel the Mammogram Debate
  16. Breast Cancer May Regress On Its Own - Controversial Report Says Up To 22 Percent Of Cases May Disappear Without Treatment
  17. New Studies Fuel the Mammogram Debate an Artemis article
  18. More on the Dangers of Mammography
  19. Expert Panel Cites Doubts on Mammogram's Worth
  20. X-Rays, Cancer and Heart Disease
  21. Mammograms Worthless Over Breast Exam Alone
  22. article from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute cited in above article
  23. Should You Get a Mammogram?
  24. Women in the US Not Properly Informed About Mammography
  25. Mammograms cause breast cancer (and other cancer facts you probably never knew)
  26. Breast Cancer Detection (Mammography)
  27. CancerActive:Latest Research on Breast Cancer
  28. http://hsibaltimore.com/2007/02/22/are-mammograms-really-safe-and-effective/
  29. Mammography Madness
  30. Danger and Unreliability of Mammography
  31. Do Mammograms Cause Breast Cancer?
  32. Mammogram Danger? JAMA confirms possibility!
  33. Danger and Unreliability of Mammography
  34. Mammography's danger to younger women.
  35. Experts On Mammograms And Breast Cancer




  you may also appreciate our   Natural Cancer treatment and how to Eliminate the Causes ebook

References

 [#]SourceTitle and link to resource if available
[1]  Natural NewsMammograms news, articles and information:
[2]  Natural NewsShock study: Mammograms a medical hoax, over one million American women maimed by unnecessary 'treatment' for cancer they never had
[3]  Natural NewsStudy shows increased mammograms result in more mastectomies
[4]  Natural NewsWarning! Mammography may be dangerous to women at high breast cancer risk
[5]  Natural NewsOne-third of cancers found in mammograms are not life-threatening, but the chemo poisoning of women continues
[6]  How X-Ray Mammography Is Accelerating The Epidemic of Cancergreenmedinfo.com
[7]  Enhanced biological effectiveness of low energy X-rays and implications for the UK breast screening programme.British Journal of Radiobiology
[8]  The Cochrane Collaboration Working together to provide the best evidence for health care
[9]  The Cochrane CollaborationScreening for breast cancer with mammography
[10]  Natural NewsNew science shows ultrasounds work better than mammograms at detecting breast cancer
[11]  Natural NewsNew research shows vitamin D slashes risk of cancers by 77 percent; cancer industry refuses to support cancer prevention
[12]  MercolaNew Study Shows This Potent Vitamin Helps Prevent Breast Cancer
[13]  Natural News Vitamin D treatment for deadliest form of breast cancer
[14]  AMA AIMBreast cancer rates increased with Mammography
[15]  obgyn.netStudy Challenges Mammogram Effectiveness in Breast Screening; Radiologists' Group Dismisses Findings
[16]  WikipediaDigital infrared thermal imaging in health care
[17]  WikipediaUltrasound
[18]  The Douglass ReportMammograms: Pressing the issue
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