The American Cancer Society says it is not currently rethinking its stance on cancer screening, as was widely reported last week. Nor do they intend to restate their guidelines to emphasize the inadequacies of screening. It remains a sales hype document for a totally discredited procedure which Prof. Sam Epstein MD has condemned as “a crime against humanity”.
The cancer society argues it has never maintained that mammography screening for breast cancer is perfect. The statement, from the society’s chief medical officer, Dr. Otis Brawley, said that the organization “stands by its screening guidelines” and that “women are encouraged to continue getting mammograms.” He omitted to mention that it actually kills women, through radiation and through over-zealous (ie. fraudulent) diagnosis. Women are subject to needless biopsies and scares. Often surgery results, with its accompanying risks because treatment, of course, is not about the patient but about raising funds.
ACS has tried to take credit for the decline in breast cancer rates and hinted “it’s unclear how much of this is because of more screening”. The answer is none whatsoever. Everyone now knows, though ACS will die rather than admit it, that the sudden decline is due to the fact that women in large numbers have refused hormone therapy in recent years. Before that, cancer rates had RISEN sharply because of mammogram screening and unnecessary intervention.
See more about this use of mammograms to drum up business in my important blog piece “Do doctors create the cancer problem?”
[Oct. 21, 2009, news release, American Cancer Society]