Why Alternative Cancer Treatment

On Mammograms & Mammography

Quotes and facts you should know

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Mammogram interpretations are unreliable. According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 26, 1993) one study revealed a false positive rate in the range of 20% to 63%. This suggests that huge numbers of women are unnecessarily going through the pain, expense, and anxiety of biopsies.

Of every 1,000 American women getting mammograms each year between the ages of 40 and 50, 345 will receive false positive results, often with unnecessary intervention as the result.
New England Journal of Medicine, Feb. 11, 1993

False-positive findings on screening mammography causes long-term psychosocial harm: 3 years after a false-positive finding, women experience psychosocial consequences that range between those experienced by women with a normal mammogram and those with a diagnosis of breast cancer.
John Brodersen, PhD and Volkert Dirk Siersma, PhD

Our current estimate is that about 75% of the current annual incidence of breast cancer in the U.S. is being caused by earlier ionizing radiation, primarily from medical sources.
John W. Goffman, M.D., Ph.D., Committee for Nuclear Responsibility, in Preventing Breast Cancer: The Story of a Major, Proven, Preventable Cause of This Disease
Compare Cancer Causes: Radiation

Mammograms ... is one topic where the line between advertising and scientific proof has become very blurred. As far back as 1976, the American Cancer Society itself and its government colleague the National Cancer Institute terminated the routine use of mammography for women under the age of 50 because of its "detrimental" (carcinogenic) effects.

More recently, a large study done in Canada ... found that women who had routine mammograms before the age of 50 also had increased death rates from breast cancer by 36%. (Miller)

Lorraine Day [MD, who cured herself naturally from breast cancer] notes the same findings in her video presentation "Cancer Doesn't Scare Me Any More." [available at libraries] The reader is directed to these sources and should perhaps consider the opinion of other sources than those selling the procedure, before making a decision.

John McDougall MD has made a thorough review of pertinent literature on mammograms. He points out that the $5–13 billion per year generated by mammograms controls the information that women get. Fear and incomplete data are the tools commonly used to persuade women to get routine mammograms.

What is clear is that mammography cannot prevent breast cancer or even the spread of breast cancer. By the time a tumor is large enough to be detected by mammography, it has been there as long as 12 years! It is therefore ridiculous to advertise mammography as "early detection." (McDougall p 114)

The other unsupportable illusion is that mammograms prevent breast cancer, which they don't. On the contrary, the painful compression of breast tissue during the procedure itself can increase the possibility of metastasis by as much as 80%! Dr. McDougall notes that a between 10 and 17% of the time, breast cancer is a self-limiting non-life-threatening type called ductal carcinoma in situ. This harmless cancer can be made active by the compressive force of routine mammography. (McDougall, p 105)

Most extensive studies show no increased survival rate from routine screening mammograms. After reviewing all available literature in the world on the subject, noted researchers Drs. Wright and Mueller of the University of British Columbia recommended the withdrawal of public funding for mammography screening, because the "benefit achieved is marginal, and the harm caused is substantial." (Lancet, 1 Jul 1995)

The harm they're referring to includes the constant worrying and emotional distress, as well as the tendency for unnecessary procedures and testing to be done based on results which have a false positive rate as high as 50%. (New York Times, 14 Dec 1997)
Dr. Tim O'Shea in TO THE CANCER PATIENT www.thedoctorwithin.com

As well as being dangerous and invasive, the tests are also notoriously unreliable, often producing false positives and negatives. In other words, they detect cancers that aren’t there, so causing unnecessary worry, or they fail to pick up cancers that are there. Instead, hospitals should be using microwave tomography, which is cheaper, less risky and more accurate, say researchers.
SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, 2010; 70: 2509-33

In 1993 Dr. Julian Whitaker, author of the subscription newsletter Health and Healing, pointed out that since 1986, the number of mammogram clinics in the U.S. has tripled. Big money has been invested in these clinics, and investors profit by scaring women about breast cancer so they will start having routine mammograms at an early age. Breast cancer scare stories frequently appear in daily newspapers.

... over a period of 100 years, breast cancer treatment has evolved from no treatment to radical treatment and back again with more conservative management, without having affected mortality.
Dr. Edward Scanlon, professor at Northwestern U School of Medicine
in Journal of the American Medical Association, Sept. 4, 1991

As Alternative Medicine has maintained for years, mammograms do far more harm than good. Their ionizing radiation mutates cells, and the mechanical pressure can spread cells that are already malignant (as can biopsies).

In 1995 the British medical journal The Lancet reported that, since mammographic screening was introduced in 1983, the incidence of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which represents 12% of all breast cancer cases, has increased by 328%, and 200% of this increase is due to the use of mammography. This increase is for all women:

Since the inception of widespread mammographic screening, the increase for women under the age of 40 has gone up over 3000%.

Mammogram interpretation is often wrong. In 1996, the journal Archives of Internal Medicine published results of a test of 108 radiologists throughout the United States. The test used a set of 79 mammograms where the diagnosis had been verified by subsequent biopsies, surgeries or other follow-up. The radiologists missed cancer in 21% of the films, thought 10% of the women with no breast disease had cancer and thought 42% of benign lesions were cancerous.

Further, mammograms are not diagnostic and too frequently lead to unnecessary breast biopsies which are an expensive, invasive surgical procedure that causes extreme anxiety, some pain and often physical harm to many women who do not have cancer.

According to the 1998 edition of the Merck Manual, for every case of breast cancer diagnosed each year, from 5 to 10 women will needlessly undergo a painful breast biopsy. Statistically, this means that any woman who has annual mammograms for 10 years has at least a 50% chance of having at least one biopsy — even if she never develops breast cancer.

... a mammogram showed a tiny anomaly in my left breast. Then the nightmare began...
L. P. who experienced the disfigurement and trauma resulting from “quackery at its cruelest” (see her report)

The breast cancer suggestions associated with self-examinations have caused more cancers than any treatments have cured. They involve intense meditation of the body, and adverse imagery that itself affects the bodily cells. ... Your current ideas of preventative medicine, therefore, generate the very kind of fear that causes disease. They all undermine the individual's sense of bodily security and increase stress, while offering the body a specific, detailed disease plan...
Seth in "The Individual And Nature of Mass Events"
(full quote found at Inspirational Quotes: On Mind Power)

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