Over the years I have several times referred to the abuse of women that is called “mammograms”. Someone commented aggressively on the blog, demanding to know why I took that stance. Clearly she thought I was a subversive idiot and “everybody knows” that mammograms save lives.
Mammograms actually KILL.
Dr. Epstein, M.D., professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, and author of an amazing book “The Politics of Cancer Revisited” has described the guidelines as a sham.
According to him “They were conscious, chosen, politically expedient acts by a small group of people for the sake of their own power, prestige and financial gain, resulting in suffering and death for millions of women. They fit the classification of ‘crimes against humanity.’”
Mammograms are in fact not a scientific diagnostic test but a marketing trick, to sell worthless and unnecessary treatments. Women who do not have cancer at all are subject to pointless biopsies and many of these go on to have expensive, dangerous and unneeded treatments. They have been TOLD they have cancer; “The mammogram shows it.” But mammograms are hugely inaccurate, a fact glossed over by those who support it.1
Significantly, the American Cancer Society (ACS) promotes the dubious value of mammograms. Then we read that five radiologists have served as presidents of the ACS over the years. In its every move, the ACS promotes the interests of the major manufacturers of mammogram machines and films, including Siemens, DuPont, General Electric, Eastman Kodak, and Piker. It does not represent the interests of women or patients.
The mammography industry conducts research for the ACS and its grantees, serves on its advisory boards, and donates considerable funds. “DuPont also is a substantial backer of the ACS Breast Health Awareness Program; sponsors television shows and other media productions touting ACS literature for hospitals, clinics, medical organization, and doctors; produces educational films; and aggressively lobbies Congress for legislation promoting the nationwide availability of mammography services, telling women to get mammograms.
No wonder the lady who complained to me firmly believed that mammograms help save lives!
Breast Self-Examination Done Properly Is More Accurate Than a Mammogram
Mammograms CAUSE Breast Cancer
Mammograms are dangerous in more ways than one:
Missed cancers are common in premenopausal women due to their dense breast structure, and also in postmenopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy who often develop breast densities, making their mammograms difficult to read. Also, about one third of all cancers, and more of the aggressive premenopausal cancers, are diagnosed between annual screenings. Women can thus be lulled into a false sense of security by an apparently negative mammogram, when trouble is already present.
Moreover, misdiagnosed cancers are common in premenopausal women, postmenopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy, and women with a strong family history, and can reach 100% over a decade’s screening. Misdiagnoses thus result in anxiety, more mammograms, unnecessary biopsies and even wasted mastectomies.
The Canadian National Breast Screening Study, which was conducted over the course of 25 years, concluded that 106 of 484 screen-detected cancers were over-diagnosed.
The doctors explained: “This means that 106 of the 44,925 healthy women in the screening group were diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer unnecessarily, which resulted in needless surgical interventions, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or some combination of these therapies.”
But it’s worse than that:
The routine practice of taking four films of each breast annually results in approximately 1 rad (radiation absorbed dose) exposure, which is about the same dose as a woman standing within one mile of the Hiroshima bomb when it went off, and 1,000 times greater than that from a chest x-ray (remember, mass screening with chest x-rays was stopped years ago, because it caused more cancer than it detected!)
Prof. Epstein describes mammograms as an avoidable cause of breast cancer. Be warned.
Yet all the time, the ACS ignores or attacks breast self examination (BSE), following training by expert nurses or clinicians, which is the safe and effective alternative.
Swiss Medical Board Is No Longer Fooled
In 2013, the Swiss Medical Board, an independent health technology assessment initiative, was requested to prepare a review of mammography screening. The team of medical professionals included a medical ethicist, a clinical epidemiologist, a pharmacologist, an oncologic surgeon, a nurse scientist, a lawyer, and a health economist. 2 Two of those members, Nikola Biller-Andorno, M.D. Ph. D. and Peter Juni, M.D, opened up about the project in the New England Journal of Medicine.
They said: “As we embarked on the project, we were aware of the controversies that have surrounded mammography screening for the past 10-15 years. When we received the available evidence and contemplated its implications in detail, however, we became increasingly concerned.”
These two doctors were shocked to discover that there is minimal evidence that actually indicates that the benefits of mammography screening outweigh the harms.
“The relative risk reduction of approximately 20 percent in breast-cancer mortality associated with mammography that is currently described by most expert panels came at the price of a considerable diagnostic cascade, with repeat mammography, subsequent biopsies, and over-diagnosis of breast cancers — cancers that would never have become clinically apparent.”
Another review of 10 trials involving more than 600,000 women discovered no evidence that mammography screening was effective on overall mortality. This is remarkably at variance with the public perception of the value of mammograms, created by endless propaganda. A survey of U.S. women’s views on the mammography screenings discovered that 71.5 percent of women think that it lessened risk of death from breast cancer by half, while 72.1 percent believed that 80 deaths could be avoided per each 1,000 women screened. Their perceptions were gravely over-calculated. 3
In fact, when looking at the real numbers, mammography results in a risk reduction of 20 percent and only 1 death can be prevented per 1,000 women screened. The complications and results of the UNNECESSARY treatments more than wiped out this almost insignificant advantage.
As I said: mammograms KILL.
Due to the lack of evidence in support of mammography and the clear potential risks involved with them, the Swiss board chose to recommend cancelling mammography-screening programs altogether. The report caused a furore amongst Swiss cancer experts and organizations.
The so-called “experts” were in uproar because, of course, it questioned their competence and the lies they had been using to sell expensive treatments.
But the bottom line is: the benefits do not clearly outweigh the harms, and women’s perceptions of mammography benefits do not match reality.
Here’s a short video on YouTube you can watch.
The sheer number of studies that have been published on breast mammography examinations and their failure to produce a benefit in screened populations is overwhelming.
A paper published in 2011 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) set out to prove that mammography created healthier populations with less breast cancer, by comparing countries that screened routinely with those that did not. They did not expect to find the complete opposite; they found a drop in breast cancer mortality among women who were not screened. They concluded that the recent downward trend in breast cancer mortality has nothing to do with screening and everything to do with improvements in treatment and service provision.4
A study from Norway’s breast screening program shows screening has actually increased the chance of being diagnosed with early stage breast cancer by more than 200%, as well contributing to an increased chance of receiving advanced stage breast cancer diagnosis by 35%. This is the opposite of what screening is supposed to do!5
As Sayer Ji, founder of Greenmedinfo.com points out, a National Cancer Institute commissioned expert panel concluded that “early stage cancers” are not cancers at all, they are benign or indolent growths. This means that millions of women were wrongly diagnosed with breast cancer over the past few decades and have been subjected to harmful treatment, when they would have been better off leaving it untreated or diagnosed; frighteningly, it is not uncommon for a breast cancer misdiagnosis to occur.
Another study that was recently published in the British Medical Journal concluded that regular mammogram screenings do not reduce breast cancer death rates. And they found no evidence to suggest that mammograms are more effective than personal breast exams at detecting cancer in the designated age group.
So I suggest you learn breast self examination (BSE) from a competent teacher (preferably a nurse, rather than a doctor!) You’ll get the same accuracy, if not better, without any of the side effects and complications.
I repeat: mammograms are a marketing trick, not a scientifically credible screening tool.
P.S. Please don’t write to me and tell me you had a mammogram and it found cancer and so saved your life. I would argue you the “cancer” found was fake and therefore you would survive anyway.
Current figures show that 1 in 2 men and almost that many women will get cancer at some time in their lifetime. That’s 50/50 odds. That’s why we are ALL battling cancer: either you or a loved one close to you will probably get the disease.
I will show you how to beat the 50/50 odds of cancer. I will reveal eye-opening, science-backed secrets shown to beat breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and more…
1. Breast Cancer Choices – Imaging FAQ. (2017). Breastcancerchoices.org.
2. Swiss Medical Board: Stop Widespread Mammography Screening. (2017). Medscape.
European Journal of Public Health, Volume 24, Issue 6, 1 December 2014, Pages 1017–1022
3. FAIL: Another Mammography Study Finds They Don’t Save Lives. (2017). Greenmedinfo.com.
4. Autier, P., Boniol, M., Gavin, A., & Vatten, L. (2017). Breast cancer mortality in neighbouring
European countries with different levels of screening but similar access to treatment: trend analysis of WHO mortality database.