Is Mammography Saving Lives?
Recently everyone is up in arms about the change in recommendations for mammograms that has recently been put forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The current recommendations are for women to begin mammography at age 40. The new recommendation made by the USPSTF is to begin mammography instead at age 50. Let me tell you that every single one of my female patients is screaming about how insurance companies are jeopardizing women's health and increasing their risk of dying from breast cancer with these new recommendations. Not so fast... I want to give you some food for thought. Here are a few facts that are not in the literature by the American Cancer Society: The Lancet, one of the most respected medical journals, reported back in 2001 that mammography screening resulted in overtreatment without reducing mortality. Make sure you read that last sentence again... and again... and again. The truth is that mammograms detect tiny anomalies in the breast tissue. However, there is no way to detect which of these anomalies are cancer and which are not, leading to immediate and aggressive biopsies, surgeries and often misdiagnosed cancers and their subsequent treatment. Also, the evidence to begin mammograms was based on only one study done in the 70's which showed that mammograms MIGHT result in a 30% reduction in breast cancer deaths in women OVER the age of 50. Now this means there is no evidence for mammograms to benefit women under the age of 50, yet women between the ages of 40 and 50 are being damaged by unnecessary breast treatment because of a test that has not shown to have any benefit at all!
In the end, mammogram screening for breast cancer leads to overtreatment of large numbers of women, and all of it for no real change in fatality statistics. That's right, the statistics say that only 1 in 1,900 women who undergo mammography for 10 years could avoid a breast cancer death. Now why am I harping on this? Because women close to me have died from infections caused by the surgical procedures used to obtain biopsies that turned out to be nothing at all. I've even had clients who chose to have mastectomies because their doctors had scared them into believing they were at such a high risk for breast cancer, it was inevitable and it would be better to take drastic preventive measures. So we are maiming women for life because we are afraid they may at some time in the future develop a condition that may result in their death. We are treating the breasts as disposable, unnecessary objects... just like tonsils, appendix and gallbladders.
In fact, over a month ago, my mother had a breast biopsy, her third to date. She is a large women with large, dense breasts. Every single mammogram produces the same results... anomalies that the doctors insist must be biopsied, despite the fact that my mother has no breast cancer history in her family, nor in her past. Each time has been traumatic, difficult and debilitating for her. This time, she has developed a serious infection at the incision site which has required on-going care at the hospital's wound clinic, including serious loads of antibiotics (many of which she has become immune to), and a lot of pain and discomfort. Of course the biopsy turned out to show only a calcification yet agin.
The stress that is placed on women with mammography is ridiculous, not to mention the pain involved in smashing a healthy women's breasts into positions that produce days of inflammation and soreness. Is there a better way? Absolutely! First, check out Thermography at www.naturalbell.com . This European method of detection can point out anomalies up to a year ahead of a mammogram. But the best part is that this process can also point out what may be contributing to the anomaly and rate the anomaly so that you can decide if a mammogram and further diagnosis is warranted. It is painless and non-invasive with no manipulation of the breast tissue.. truly a blessing after experiencing a mammogram!
Traditionally women simply wait for a diagnosis of a problem with their breasts because nothing is suggested to women as truly preventive measures. They are told only who is at a higher risk for breast cancer. That is why we have developed programs at ISIS for prevention. We offer our Healthy Breast program, lymphatic drainage therapies to cleanse the breast tissue, Infrared Sauna to increase blood flow, immunity and tissue metabolism, and wonderful cleanses for decongesting the breast tissue. We even have lifestyle guidelines to really make a change in the shape, texture and tone of the breast tissue.
So don’t just sit back and wait for bad news. Do something proactive that will truly give you peace of mind!