The Dangers of Mammography
Are Yearly Exams Actually Harmful?

It’s highly ironic, but it may be that mammography can actually harm women—and even help cause cancer to develop in a woman’s breast. Researchers increasingly agree that mammography is ineffective at best and harmful at worst.cause cancer to develop in a woman’s breast. Researchers increasingly agree that mammography is ineffective at best and harmful at worst.

Indeed, several studies over the past few years have concluded that mammograms, far from saving lives, may actually harm more women than they help, due to false positives, overtreatment, and radiation-induced cancers. According to Joseph Mercola, MD:

“One of the largest and most meticulous studies of mammography ever done, involving 90,000 women and lasting a quarter-century, has added powerful new doubts about the value of the screening test for women of any age.

It found that the death rates from breast cancer and from all causes were the same in women who got mammograms and those who did not.  And the screening had harms: one in five cancers found with mammography and treated was not a threat to the woman’s health and did not need treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation.”  

Mammography Can Lead to Unnecessary Treatments and Surgeries

A study published in the British Medical Journal (December 2011) confirms this harm, especially for women getting mammograms during their early years.

Much of the harm is due to unnecessary surgeries, such as lumpectomies and mastectomies and other interventions. The study emphasizes losses in quality of life from these unnecessary treatments and false positive results.

Mammograms carry a surprisingly high rate of false positives—up to six percent. False positives can lead to numerous repeat screenings, exposing you to even more radiation, and can sometimes result in unnecessary invasive procedures such as biopsies, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

In fact, if you get yearly mammograms, you have a 35 percent increased risk of having surgery. If a screening detects an abnormal spot in your breast, the next step is typically a biopsy. These biopsies are often inaccurate, leading to misdiagnosis and unnecessary treatments.  And a whole lot of stress and worry.

In a Cochrane Database Systematic Review of breast cancer screening and mammography in 2009, the authors wrote:

“Screening led to 30 percent overdiagnosis and overtreatment, or an absolute risk increase of 0.5 percent. This means that for every 2000 women screened for 10 years, one will have her life prolonged, and 10 healthy women who would not have been diagnosed if they had not been screened, will be treated unnecessarily.”

Outdated Radiation Risk Model

And this is not all the damage mammography can do. Due to the radiation you’re subjected to with mammograms, they may actually be shortening your life, rather than extending it.  Sayer Ji of Green Med Info writes:

“What is perhaps most disturbing about these findings is that, while they clearly call into question the safety and effectiveness of breast screenings, the studies upon which they are based use an outdated radiation risk model, which minimizes by a factor of 4 to 5 the carcinogenicity … What this indicates, therefore, is that breast screenings are not just ‘causing more harm than good,’ but are planting seeds of radiation-induced cancer within the breasts of millions of women.”

It is especially clear that premenopausal mammography poses significant risks of breast cancer. The usual routine of taking two films annually for each breast results in an exposure of approximately 0.5 rad (radiation absorbed dose).

This is nearly 500 times the dose from a single chest X-ray—25 times higher than is allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency for whole-body radiation from local nuclear industries (0.02 rad)! And, alarmingly, the breast is the most sensitive organ to ionizing radiation.

Even worse is the “new and improved” type of mammogram introduced in 2011 called 3D tomosynthesis, which actually exposes you to even higher doses of radiation than a standard mammogram.

With all these facts, the prestigious U.S. Preventive Task Force, supported by the National Breast Cancer Coalition, has warned against routine premenopausal mammography.

So How Else to Avoid Breast Cancer?

If the dangers of mammography are so great, then what else can you do to help prevent breast cancer? There are a number of things.

1. Substitute Thermography for Mammography: Thermography is a form of thermal imaging that has been known to detect cancer years before mammography.

In 1981, a 10-year study was conducted by Michel Gautherie, Ph.D. which found that an abnormal thermogram was 10 times more significant as a future risk indicator for breast cancer than having a history of breast cancer in your family.

2. Avoid estrogen replacement therapy and prolonged use of the Pill: It’s well-known that both of these make you more vulnerable to developing breast cancer.

3. Avoid foods & products that contain hormones and hormonal ingredients:
•    Non-organic milk from cows
•    Non-organic meat from animals
•    Cosmetics and personal care products with hormonal ingredients

4. Avoid living near hazardous waste sites.

5. Get EMF protection: Your exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted by cell phones, smart meters, WiFi, computers, cell towers, appliances and electricity make you more vulnerable for cancers of all types. But they play a particular role in making you especially vulnerable to breast cancer.

This is because they inhibit melatonin, an important hormone that helps prevent breast cancer cells from developing. It’s also a powerful scavenger of free radicals, which helps to facilitate proper DNA synthesis and cell division—thus helping to prevent cancer in this way, as well. Read more.

 EMF protection will also protect you from a number of other health symptoms and diseases and keep your immune system healthy.

Choosing to Avoid Mammography

Your doctor may not be happy with your choice to avoid mammography. But take charge of your own health—make your own decisions that are right for you. Check out thermography, get EMF protection and avoid taking in unnecessary hormones to your body. You’ll likely live a longer, healthier life this way.


Posted in Other Health Concerns

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