Be aware of the dangers of mammography
by Dr. David Jockers
(NaturalNews) Women all around America and other industrialized nations are told that regular mammograms are the best approach for early breast cancer detection. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that looks to find tumorous growths that are otherwise undetectable in a physical exam. X-rays use ionizing radiation to create the photographic image. Despite enormous funding and research, mammography has a very strong opposition in many quadrants of the medical and natural health communities.
This opposition is due to the dangers involved with the amount of harmful radiation, the inaccuracy rates and the economic costs. Yearly mammograms had been recommended for women over the age of 50. In 2001, US health officials began recommending women over 40 get regular mammograms. The Lancet wrote in July 1995 that ‘the benefit (of mammograms) is marginal, the harm caused is substantial, and the costs incurred are enormous.’
Many doctors have trouble trusting mammograms due to their enormous rate of false positive diagnosis. In one large study looking at 60,000 women, the researchers found that 70% of the detected tumors were not tumors at all. These false positive results create a great amount of emotional stress on patients and family members involved. Even worse, these results lead to many unnecessary and invasive biopsies. Research has shown that 70-80% of all positive mammograms do not show the presence of cancer upon further biopsy testing.
False positives and unnecessary biopsies can dramatically alter an individual’s health. The emotional stress of believing you have cancer when you do not is enough to trigger the onset or the acceleration of disease in the body. Many women have undergone unnecessary chemotherapy, radiation and mastectomies after receiving false positive results on a mammogram. This creates an enormous overall economic, emotional, and physical stress on the individual due to the limitations of this sort of testing.
Routine mammography exposes the individual to an exceptionally high amount of ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is something we are all exposed to in nature and the body can handle a certain amount each year without it becoming risky. One series of mammograms (2 xrays on each breast) is equivalent to the radiation dose of 1000 normal chest or spinal x-rays.
Due to this enormous blast of radiation many experts warn that mammography actually increases the risk of breast cancer. Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD, estimated that annual mammography increases the risk of breast cancer by 2% each year. The National Cancer Institute has stated that mammography is especially dangerous for younger women. In fact, they have stated that it could cause 75 cases of breast cancer for every 15 it identifies. Other studies have shown up to a 52% increase in breast cancer mortality in young women given annual testing.
The incidence of certain forms of breast cancer such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) has increased by 328% since mammography was introduced. Cancer research has also found a gene called oncogene AC that is very sensitive to radiation. Women who have this gene are at extraordinarily high risk when exposed to mammography. Researchers estimate that 10,000 of these gene carriers will die of breast cancer each year due to mammography.
Mammography also requires the patient`s breasts to be compressed. This compression is known to cause the release of cancerous cells into circulation which greatly increases the risk of malignant spread. Dr. Charles Simone, a former clinical associate in immunology and pharmacology at the NCI, has been a strong advocate against mammography. He says, ‘Mammograms increase the risk for developing breast cancer and raise the risk of spreading or metastasizing an existing growth.’