Liberty Planet Weblog

Can You Cut Your Breast Cancer Risk by Skipping Mammograms?

Posted on: March 2, 2013

By Dr. Mercola

In the US, women are still urged to get an annual mammogram starting at the age of 40, despite the fact that updated guidelines set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2009 urge women to wait until the age of 50, and to only get bi-annual screening thereafter.

Unfortunately, many women are completely unaware that the science simply does not back up the use of routine mammograms as a means to prevent breast cancer death.

What’s worse, the “new and improved” tomosynthesis mammogram, which provides a three-dimensional (3D) image of the breast,1 is now being hoisted on women across the US as “the answer” to mammography’s failing efficacy rates and pattern of harmful misdiagnosis…

Please, don’t get suckered into further doubling your risk for radiation-induced breast cancer by signing up for annual 3D tomosynthesis.

New 3D Mammography is NOT the Solution Women have Been Waiting for…

The primary hazard of conventional 2D imaging is ionizing radiation. According to a 2010 study,2 annual screening using digital or screen-film mammography on women aged 40–80 years is associated with an induced cancer incidence and fatal breast cancer rate of 20-25 cases per 100, 000.

This means annual mammograms CAUSE 20-25 cases of fatal cancer for every 100,000 women getting the test. Now, 3D tomosynthesis also exposes you to ionizing radiation—and much more of it!

First, in order to achieve the three-dimensional image, the machine moves in an arc around your breast, taking multiple x-rays along the way, which are then computed together into a 3D image. Second, women are still advised to get a conventional 2D mammogram.

How is this addressing the hazards of breast cancer screening using ionizing radiation?

Well, it’s not. After all, that’s what the cancer screen is supposed to do, yet studies have repeatedly shown that mammography causes more widespread harm than good, and has not resulted in reduced breast cancer mortality rates. The hope is that these 3D images will boost the accuracy of diagnosing cancer; alas… this is probably not going to happen.

Why?

Because there’s no way to tell if a little spot on an x-ray (3D or not) is actually cancerous or benign. As image technologies have improved, false positives have increased along with it. Furthermore, what good will it do to identify more and more tiny tumors if the incidence of cancer starts to skyrocket as a result of ever increasing amounts of radiation exposure?

Continue reading at Mercola

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