Wouldn’t it be great if our healthcare system actually worked with the body instead of against it? Of course, this is currently not the case.
Last year, millions of women had their mammograms done. Most did it at the recommendation of their health care provider. The majority, if not all, got a mammogram because they thought that they were being proactive in preventing Breast Cancer by doing so.
According to the latest research, however, mammograms may, in fact, instigate existing breast cancer cells to grow and may even cause breast cancer in many unsuspecting women.
How Mammograms May Cause and Encourage Breast Cancer Cells to Grow
The first way that mammograms may lead to Breast Cancer is by exposing very sensitive breast tissue to low-level radiation that can accumulate with each exposure. Because of this sensitivity and accumulation, a 2006 study done by University Hospital in Birmingham, UK discovered that the x-rays used in a typical mammogram procedure can sometimes be up to 6 times more effective in “causing mutational damage than higher-energy x-rays.”
Another reason why mammograms just don’t make sense is because of the high number of “false positives” that result from mammograms and doctors’ knee-jerk reactions to these findings. Some studies claim that up to 20% of all mammogram tests come up with a “false positive,” leading women down the road to unnecessary biopsies, more tests, and in some cases, traditional treatments such as chemo, radiation and surgery.
A worse-case scenario is that a woman actually does have tumor growth when she goes in for a mammogram; all the prodding and poking can aggravate cancer cells and cause them to spread.
“At medical school, one of the first things we’re taught when it comes to finding a tumor is, don’t touch it…,” explains Dr. Johnnie Ham, OBGYN, of Coastal Prestige Medical Center in California. “ [With mammography], we’re looking [to see] if something is there─ and if something is there, there’s the chance of smashing that tumor and spreading it to the vasculature and lymphatic system.”
Are The So-Called Prevention Benefits of Mammogram Worth the Risks?
The results of a mammoth 25-year-long Canadian study determined that “annual mammography in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination or usual care when adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is freely available.”
What’s more, the study found that, overall, 22% of mammography screenings that supposedly detected invasive breast cancers was determined to be an over-diagnosis, representing one over-diagnosis for roughly every 420 Canadian women.
American Cancer Society Made Changes to Mammogram Recommendations Just Last Year
As of October 2015, the ACS has changed their age recommendations for annual mammography exams. Instead of annual exams starting at 40, they now recommend the yearly procedure should begin at age 45. In addition, the ACS now recommends that women age 55 and over cut back to one mammogram every two years.
Is the American Cancer Society (ACS) finally admitting the possibility that mammograms can lead to increased cancer risk and spread? Possibly. The changed recommendations were prompted by a report from the well-established U.S. Preventative Task Force and most mainstream media at the time focused on the high number of false positives as the main ”harm” that can come from mammography.
The real risk, as discussed above, is long-term radiation exposure and risk of spread. In addition, mammography may be linked to higher rates of a condition called Ductal Cell Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), which is the proliferation of abnormal yet non-cancerous cells in the milk ducts. DCIS is considered to be “pre-cancerous.”
Many doctors may still recommend mastectomy if they find DCIS. Interestingly, the number of DCIS cases in the U.S. has risen from roughly 2 per 100,000 in the 1970’s to 33 per 100,000 in 2004. Prior to the 1980’s when mammograms went mainstream, the condition was considered rare. Increased radiation exposure, from mammogram and other low level radiation-emitting medical equipment as well as from the environment in general, is often cited as the reason for the rise of DCIS.
Three Safe, Easy Alternatives to Mammogram for Early Detection
Essential #7 of the 7 Essentials System™ is all about using safe ways to detect abnormalities in the breast area way before an actual lump or bump occurs. This can be done in several ways. Here are three of the most common:
- Breast Self-Exams: Self-exams are easy to perform and they cost nothing. In the mid-1980’s, just when the push for regular mammograms was gearing up, the ACS at the same time admitted that “at least 90% of women who discover breast carcinoma discover the tumor themselves.”
- Thermography: Thermography, also known as Digital Infrared Thermographic Imaging or “DITI,” is the use of heat to detect abnormalities and inflammation in the breast area. Thermography is completely safe, non-invasive and relatively inexpensive. What’s more, a thermography exam can detect possibly cancer cells sometimes up to 6-8 years before a tumor actually appears.
- Blood Tests: Finally, there are several very sensitive blood tests that can detect if cancer cells exist in your blood stream and what kind of cancer it may be. Conventional medicine offers the CA 15-3, CA 27.29 and CEA tests to check for lung, colon and breast cancer metastasis. These tests can be inconsistent, however, and will often only alert the patient that cancer exists in the later stages of the disease. More accurate tests include the Cancer Profile by American Metabolic Labs (which measures cancer cell enzymes and has roughly a 90% accuracy rate) and the Oncoblot test, which can detect a cancer tumor when it is the size of a pinhead.
According to the American Cancer Society, “By the time Breast Cancer is detected on a mammogram, a woman will have already had the disease for an average of 6-8 years.” Do you really want to wait that long to know if Breast Cancer is effecting you? Whether to get a mammogram or not is each woman’s individual choice, but it pays to know that you DO have options. You can be proactive with prevention when it comes to Breast Cancer and still stay safe. With the help of increasingly advanced methods of safe, early detection, mammogram does not have to be your only option.
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr. V”)
She is a best-selling author and specialist in Chiropractic, Bio-Energetics, Meridian Stress Analysis, Homeopathy and Digital Thermography. After 30 years in active practice, she decided to “retire” and devote her time to sharing her personal, non-toxic Breast Cancer healing journey with others. Her years of experience and research have culminated in “The 7 Essentials™”, a step-by-step coaching program that unravels the mystery of healing the body. Her website and personal healing journey have touched the lives of thousands of women around the globe. To get your F.R.E.E. 7-day mini e-course and to receive her weekly inspiring articles on the power of Natural Medicine, visit http://breastcancerconqueror.com/.