Do Mammograms Harm Women?
I've been arguing for years that mammograms may be doing women more harm than good. This point of view is based on hard research that is growing more compelling with each year.
Here are some of the articles I have written over the years on this topic
Xray Risks: http://blog.garymoller.com/search/label/x-rays
There have been many times over the years that women have sought my help. Typically, after she sits down, there is a flood of tears as she tells me she has had a suspicious mammogram. It is heartbreaking and sometimes infuriating for me. Especially when I know that there is a good chance that the mammogram has got it wrong, the lump may be benign (but they can't tell that from a mammogram), or else the diagnosis has been left a bit too late. She's on the cancer treatment conveyor belt.
Breast Mammography: Institutional Terrorism of Women
If the mammogram is not a false positive (or a false negative!), but correct, it has probably left things late, forcing the woman into invasive treatment beginning with biopsies and possibly chemotherapy, radiation therapy and mastectomy - and years to come of costly and exhausting treatment.
If we are really serious about winning the war on cancer then we would be dealing with what comes way before the cancer - not the cancer once it has appeared and of such an extent that it shows on a mammogram. Before getting the dreaded diagnosis of cancer there may be years - even decades - of quiet percolation/festering deep within before things finally get out of hand. If we know what comes before a cancer, then surely we have years in hand to prevent the cancer from developing? If not, then by the time the cancer has developed and is detected by a mammogram, it is possible that the horse has well and truly bolted.
We have known for a very long time what comes before cancer but little to nothing has been done about it by those in charge of our health care system and who control where and how the health dollar is spent.
What comes before most cancers?
Inflammation! Tissue must be constantly irritated, inflamed and damaged over a long period of time to create the conditions that are perfect for the flourishing of cancer cells.
Nutrient imbalances, toxic substances, drugs, gut dysbiosis, poor detoxification processes, sunburn, xrays and emotional stress all contribute to cell damage and inflammation. Even over and under-exercising can add to the problem!
Image: example of chronic, excessive tissue inflammation
What comes before breast cancer? Inflamed breast tissue most commonly fibrocystic breast disease, which eventually results in calcium shards forming in the breast that leads to the most common breast cancer, ductal carcinoma.
What comes before prostate cancer? Inflammation of the prostate such as from an infection or arsenic toxicity (farmers!).
What comes before ovarian cancer? Inflammation of the ovaries such as from PCOS.
What comes before skin cancer? Inflammation and genetic damage from sunburn (the sun does not cause skin cancer - sunburn does).
What comes before bowel cancer? You guessed right - chronic gut problems such as constipation, IBS, not to mention the damage and inflammation by prescription drugs and food additives such as nitrates.
What comes before cervical cancer? Inflammation from a chronic viral infection.
Xrays, including mammograms cause cancer. This is why people who have good teeth have more head and neck cancer than people with rotten teeth (people with bad teeth have fewer lifetime exposures to dental xrays because they have not been going to the dentist for their annual checkups!). The evidence is growing that low energy xrays that are used for procedures such as mammograms and dental xrays may be more damaging than high-energy xrays.
'Hidden Dangers' of Mammograms Every Woman Should Know About by Sayer Ji "Millions of women undergo them annually, but few are even remotely aware of just how many dangers they are exposing themselves to in the name of prevention, not the least of which are misdiagnosis, overdiagnosis and the promotion of breast cancer itself." Learn more.
Why is only lip-service paid to these cheap and effective prevention measures that really work?
Let's face it, we have been fooled into believing that early detection is prevention and that the 'cure' is just around the corner. All we have to do to win the war is donate more money than ever to the 'Pink' programme. I've been watching this go on for 40 years now. It's all lies and nothing less.
If there is not money to be made by an intervention, it will not get a look in.
Commercially, there is no real money in 'prevention'. There is no money in encouraging eating good food, or avoiding environmental toxins.
The really BIG money (billions of dollars) is in the detection and treatment of disease, including treating the additional ill health that follows the aggressive and corrosive treatments that are the norm. The big money is in illness - not health.
A healthy person is a financial liability to the 'sickness industry'
There is big money to be made by encouraging eating more sugar-saturated foods - not less. The money is in encouraging taking more and more toxic medications - not less.
There is even big money to be made by keeping New Zealanders out of the sun. The lucrative sunscreen industry sees to that. Sun deprivation increases the risk of most degenerative diseases, including cancer. Lack of sunlight drives up the incidence of depression.
All of these diseases are on the increase. So is their cost burden on the taxpayer. Where is all that money going?
New technologies such as the breast thermogram are not welcomed by the owners of the incumbent medical screening technologies, or those who own or profit through the current treatment paradigms.
The breast mammogram screening programme is worth millions of dollars to the agencies who hold the contracts. Their investment in breast screening equipment is in the millions. They must lease expensive premises and hire specialised staff to operate the equipment. The suppliers of the xray equipment for the breast screening have lucrative contracts to service what they sell. The universities rely on these screening programmes to justify their courses (in this case, training radiologists). If there were a reduction in the mammography screening programmes many investments would suffer and profits would decline, even the training institutions would be hurt. So, change comes slow in medicine.
The breast cancer industry relies on the detection of cancer - not on the prevention of it (reminder: early detection is not prevention). Billions of dollars are pumped into the downstream medical treatments that are fuelled by mammography screening programmes. Mammography is big business.
The breast thermogram service is a threat to the incumbent screening services and the huge cancer industry that it sustains. A breast thermogram service requires just one laptop, a special imaging camera and some special software. About $5-80,000 at the most all up. That is incredibly cheap for a medical screening service and it could make millions of dollars of equipment redundant. Such is the march of technology: yesterday's wonder is today's ho-hum dinosaur.
The person operating the camera can be a nurse needing only her basic training and, more importantly, great interpersonal skills. Thermograms require little more than a warm room to operate in. It is very portable and the lot fits into a suitcase.
The images and data that are produced by this technology are transmitted via the internet to a doctor trained in the system. That doctor can be anywhere in the world. The doctor interprets the data and produces a report which is then explained to the patient by her health professional and they plan preventive action to ensure she, the patient, remains in great health and remains cancer-free.
Ten things you can do right now for real prevention
Reduce stress and increase happiness and laughter.
Get 6-8 hours of restful sleep each night and have a restful nap during the day.
Have a whole foods diet cooked from fresh, raw ingredients.
Include super foods and nutraceuticals that are known to reduce inflammation.
Reduce or eliminate food additives - colourings, flavourings, preservatives, emulsifiers.
Avoid or reduce toxins in your environment, including chlorinated and fluoridated water (both are carcinogens).
Avoid medications unless absolutely necessary and not for long (this includes the Pill and HRT, and over the counter drugs).
Get sunlight on your torso for a light tan but do not allow sunburn.
No xrays unless absolutely necessary. In my opinion 80% of xray imaging, including at airports, are unnecessary.
Exercise 3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes at a time, preferably outdoors.
Two things you can do to take prevention to an even higher level
Complete a Interclinical Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis to establish your baseline nutrient levels and identify patterns that are consistent with conditions like chronic sub-clinical infections, inflammation and the presence of toxins like arsenic (common).
Have a safe and non-invasive breast thermogram that shows in intricate detail any areas of inflammation of the breast tissue.