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OK, it appears; I've been proven, right (correct) again... I've lived long enough to see the advent of mammography in our daily life and right from the start, I had my suspicions. It just didn't make sense that a yearly, (or any time) injection of toxicity into the breasts could be beneficial and not have, whatsoever, any harmful effects. Look at the below stats and come to your own conclusion. thinkingblue

80 percent, of breast lumps are NON-cancerous.

70 percent, of breast cancers are found through self breast-exams.

About 80 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of breast cancer.

The toxic effects of mammogram radiation are finally being acknowledged as a significant factor in the development of breast cancer. Several recent studies have clearly shown that breast cancer screenings may be causing women more harm than good.


PS: BTW, I've only had one in my life and that was one too many! If I had had one every year since age 20, that would be 50 mammograms instead of the one, (none of which I needed). thinkingblue

Article Here:

Risks and dangers of mammography in women younger than age 50:
Higher risk for breast cancer risk due to radiation exposure
Routine mammograms in young women increase the risk for future breast cancer due to direct radiation exposure to breast tissue. For young women who have a high risk of breast cancer because of genetic mutations, the radiation from yearly mammograms may make the risk even higher. It is quite possible that women who may never have developed breast cancer in their lifetime may get this disease in their 50s, 60s, or later, from having routine yearly mammograms in their 30s or 40s. We are exposing millions of young women to such radiation without fully understanding the future impact. Low-dose radiation from mammograms and chest X-rays increases the risk of breast cancer in young women who are already at high risk because of family history or genetic susceptibility. High-risk women, especially those under 30, may want to consider switching to an alternative screening method such as magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, which does not involve exposure to radiation.
    The annual mammograms gives a much higher dose of radiation than a typical chest x-ray. and it has accumulative effect on the body. In addition to exposing the body every year to radiation, many women must have additional screening when they receive a false-positive result, adding to further radiation exposure. Nobody knows exactly how much the risk for cancer is increased due to having regular mammograms in young women, but it is quite possible that the medical establishment and the American Cancer Society are not emphasizing this risk, or are not aware of it, as much as they should.The premenopausal breast is very sensitive to radiation, each rad of exposure increasing breast cancer risk by 1 percent, resulting in a cumulative 10 percent increased risk over ten years of premenopausal screening, usually from ages 40 to 50. Risks are even greater for "baseline" screening at younger ages, for which there is little or no evidence of any future relevance.
   Statistically, some women have approximately as much chance of getting breast cancer from repeated mammograms as they have of the testing finding earlier cancers. Yes, you might be one of those rare women whose life expectancy may be enhanced by early detection. But you might also be someone who develops breast cancer from the yearly radiation exposure.
   See this excellent article written by a respected university affiliated medical doctor that reviews the risk of radiation from mammography and exposes the profit motive of certain corporations and organizations, and forward this article to anyone who you think would benefit, including your doctor,

Article Here:

Who invented the first mammography machine?
X-rays were used until 1966 when the first mammography machine was developed. Albert Salomon is considered to be the inventor of breast radiology. Source(s):
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Comment Preferences

  •  But they made this expensive machine (9+ / 0-)

    how were they going to profit off of it if radiation exposure levels were taken into account?

    Until that machine came out anyone that said you need multiple X-rays every year would have been thought, rightfully so, a fool.

  •  They're saying the same thing about PSA tests. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye Nut Schell, Eyesbright

    The truth is, both save lives.  The real question, when you brush away all the confetti, is how many lives saved does it take to justify the cost?

    I happen to be one of those lives.

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 08:32:39 AM PST

    •  the big difference is that the PSA itself (4+ / 0-)

      doesn't involve irradiating the tissue -- a procedure known to be carcinogenic. i'm not jumping on the "don't screen" bandwagon here, but it's clear that x-ray mammography isn't a no-brainer.

      on the other hand, i don't know when, if ever, anyone was recommending routine annual mammograms for women under 40, so i'm puzzled by the diarist's "I'd have had 50 by now!" remarks.

      meanwhile, considerable progress is happening with using MRI to detect breast cancer. as far as we know, MRI's have no negative side effects.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 08:51:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not quite true. (3+ / 0-)

        breast MRI, just like PSA screening, has a huge false positive problem. That is, there are many 'abnormal' results that turn out not to be cancer. But the all the abnormals have to be 'ruled out' for cancer, leading to a cascade of interventions from further imaging to biopsies at great cost in both dollars and anxiety. MRI so far is felt to be useful for finding 'second primaries' in younger patients with new breast cancers; but it's not a useful screening test because it finds many, many abnormalities that turn out to be harmless.

        That's the problem with all screening tests in a nutshell: unless you can demonstrate a significant reduction in future mortality from the disease in question in the screened population compared to an unscreened 'control' population, you're buying a lot more medical cost/intervention/side effects without a compensating upside.

        •  as i said, "considerable progress" is happening. (0+ / 0-)

          i don't think it's really ready for primetime yet, at least not as the "main" screen, but that doesn't mean it won't get there.

          in general, i agree with your entire comment.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 10:21:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  oh, and by "negative side effects", i was (0+ / 0-)

          specifically referring to physiological effects of the test itself, not to downstream physiological and psychological effects of the test results.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 10:25:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  as a hs freshman I had to have a zero-dose (0+ / 0-)


        I believe that procedure has now been abandoned.
        I have a doc who's fine with every other year ...

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 04:54:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am thankful that this examination saved... (7+ / 0-)

      your life.  However, according to this study, it may have ended someone else's as well.

      There are also conflicting interests with the very peoplewho have recommended Mammograms over the years:

      The mammography industry conducts research for the Society and its grantees, serves on its advisory boards, and donates considerable funds. DuPont, a major manufacturer of mammography equipment (in addition to being a major petrochemical manufacturer), is a primary supporter of the ACS Breast Health Awareness Program. The company sponsors television shows and other media productions touting mammography; produces advertising, promotional, and informational literature for hospitals, clinics, medical organizations, and doctors; produces educational films; and lobbies Congress for legislation promoting access to mammography services. In virtually all important actions, the American Cancer Society (ACS) aligns itself with the mammography industry, failing to pursue viable alternatives to mammography.
      h/t to CcVenussPromise  for the link and quote

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 08:57:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But you have cases like my uncle (4+ / 0-)

      who had a bad PSA test and had the surgery and then got a staff infection and nearly died when maybe the cancer if there was cancer wouldn't have developed for decades.  

      I'm not saying people particularly people with bad family history shouldn't get tested but there are side effects and false positives as well.  

    •  No, that's not it. If a treatment both (3+ / 0-)

      saves lives and costs lives (due to irradiation), one must fully understand both factors in order to make a judgment on whether a treatment is justified. It's tricky. The decision on whether a treatment should be done every one year or two or ten is a complex one. We're still figuring this one out.

      •  Yes, and the problem is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doc2, Carol in San Antonio

        when a mammogram detects a cancer, you know it. But when  a mammogram causes a cancer, you don't know.

        Stupid people who don't understand statistics bleat, "I know someone whose cancer was detected by a mammogram!!!" without realizing that they might also know several people whose cancer was caused by mammograms.

        •  Well, sure (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doc2, Sunspots

          but at this point we don't have a very good way to determine what proportion of those detected cancers would actually have been indolent (just like many prostate cancers). If left alone, how many of these cancers would not have become killers?

          Those women underwent treatment which itself may be dangerous to their health. Necessary, if you have one of those aggressive breast cancers, but not if you don't.

          It's like bitter that old joke: the operation was successful but the patient died.

      •  That is the point right there... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sunspots, Carol in San Antonio

        It should be an individual choice and an informed choice can only be made if the patient is given both sides of the argument with all of the data available.

        I know my wife has had three Mammograms in the last year and a half because they detected a small lump and just wanted to take all necessary precautions.  She was not given any indication of the dangers of a mamogram and she just thought the doctor was being overly prudent.  

        She hates the procedure but I was under the impression that it was a risk free test so I encouraged her to put up with the discomfort and do it because I do not want her to get cancer and if she does, I want it treated as quickly as possible.  My concern for her well being and my ignorance to the safety issues with this test could possibly have put her in danger when her intuition was telling her not to do it.  

        Doctors should have a moral obligation to provide patients with ALL of the information so they can make an informed choice.  "First do no harm" and all...

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 10:54:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You think that instead of boards of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          medical professionals making their determination that instead patients should be given tons of raw data from years' worth of studies and learn about cancer biology, statistics, etc. enough to make their own determination?

          •  No, I think they should give them... (0+ / 0-)

            enough information to make an informed decision and point them to where they can learn more from a legitimate source.

            I would have liked to know that the benefit of the mammogram may not outweigh the risk of additional radiation to my wife.  I was unaware of the studies that show that the danger may be greater than the possible early detection.  I was trusting my wife's doctor to inform me of those risks on what I believed to be a common, precautionary, safe procedure.

            I am not sure where you practice but when was the last time a board of medical professionals looked at a single patient who's gynocologist had found a suspicious lump and determined whether a Mammogram was right for her specifically?

            Becoming an informed patient is the best way to protect yourself and it should be the least of a doctor's obligations to point a patient in the right direction to where they can learn.  If the doctor doesn't help them learn, patients who want to learn about their own health will be forced to learn from blogs, many of which are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies who encourage people to "Ask your doctor for celebrex" or whatever.  

            This same surgeon removed my gall bladder after my first flare up.  He gave me a horror story of the risks of not having it removed and I believed him.  It was only after the surgery that I found out there were risks involved that I did not know about (I almost didn't wake up) and that the more common practice now is to wait until multiple attacks.  Many times people only have one or two attacks and it does not need to be removed.

            All in all, a doctor should provide adaquate information and direction so that the patient can make an informed decision.  Maybe the patient is an idiot and maybe not but if there is a risk, it needs to be disclosed in a manner more seriously than the ten second drug risk, symphony background assisted, monotone blather given at the end of a pharmaceutical comercial.

            "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

            by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 02:23:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's not a treatment, though (0+ / 0-)

        What condition is it treating? Being a person with boobs? That's not a disease.

        It's a screening procedure. And its merit has to be determined by science.

    •  I wasn't aware that there was a potential (0+ / 0-)

      for PSA tests to actually increase your risk of developing cancer.

      How could this possibly be the case?

  •  As usual, the headline (0+ / 0-)

    is far less than the whole.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 08:34:24 AM PST

  •  Some caveats, though (7+ / 0-)

    The recommended age currently for getting a mammogram is now 50+ (raised from the previous 40), so younger women probably shouldn't be getting them anyway except on a physician's recommendation.  

    They've also changed it from recommending them annually to every 2 years, and ending routine mammograms after age 74.  So, every other year from age 50 to 74 amounts to 12 mammograms total based on the current recommendations.  A 20 year old shouldn't be getting a mammogram except on the direct advice of her physician.

  •  Mammogram's imperfections are well known. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, wilderness voice

    Here is the newest technique to minimize them:

    It's an interesting concept, however, it does deliver HIGHER amounts of radiation, but may decrease the requests for repeated exams, so we will see. . .

    "You don't have to be smart to laugh at fart jokes, but you have to be stupid not to." - Louis CK

    by New Jersey Boy on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 08:58:23 AM PST

  •  The comparison to PSA testing is telling. (9+ / 0-)

    Most folks don't know this (I suspect due to the highly successful efforts of the pink ribbon/'breast cancer industry'), but breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men are virtually mirror images of each other. The number of new cases and deaths every year is almost identical between the two diseases. The age distribution is also almost identical: heavily tilted toward older ages. Both have seen recent modest declines in mortality that has been ascribed to screening by its advocates, without compelling evidence that screening is the reason.

    The skepticism toward the utility of PSA screening is well founded, and most authorities feel that the recent modest decline in mortality rate from prostate cancer has more to do with improved treatment and epidemiologic factors than with PSA screening per se.

    Likewise, evidence for mammograms reducing mortality rate from breast cancer has largely been circumstantial and unpersuasive. A Finnish study from two years ago persuasively argued that reductions in mortality attributed to mammography were about 70-80% due to better treatment rather than screening. The end of routine estrogen replacement likely also explains a lot. This new study strongly implies that mammography has limited if any benefits for screening in low risk women. It'll probably take the medical world 5 years to digest this message and alter course, but it's going to happen eventually if the results are confirmed. And I strongly believe they will be.

    Here's an interesting corollary: part of the epidemic of breast cancer over past decades was driven by the widespread use of estrogen replacement for menopause, and the end of this practice explains much of the recent decline in rates. Yet BigPharma is pushing very hard to convince men to go on Testosterone replacement ("Do you have low-T? Ask your doctor!"). We know that testosterone makes prostate cancer grow like wildfire.

    As day follows night, the increasing use of testosterone replacement in middle aged guys longing for their lost youth is going to spike prostate cancer rates. And ten or twenty years from now, it'll be "what were they thinking?"

    •  my doc (0+ / 0-)

      recommended testosterone supplementation based on blood work yet I do not have any symptoms.  

      •  Be very skeptical. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice

        The nominal 'normal' testosterone range for men is something like 300 to 900, but that's quite misleading. Most 18 year olds typically run 800 to 1000 which is why we pick fights in the cafeteria and can't stop thinking about sex. The level normally declines with age and it's unremarkable to have a level of 150-250 at age 60. That's not pathological or abnormal; it's the usual age-related decline. Treating with replacement back to a teenage level will indeed make you feel perkier and more energetic. It will also make your prostate swell, increase your total and LDL cholesterol, and make you start picking fights at the shuffleboard court.

        Genuine hypogonadism, with testerone levels in the basement and symptoms like hot flashes may be worth treating, mostly to avoid osteoporosis, but I like to see a bone density level that's declining before I'd consider it, and you have to be informed that treatment will increase your risk of prostate cancer and worsen your cholesterol profile.

        One way to look at this: anabolic hormones like testosterone, human growth hormone and DHEA all decline with age. This may well be protective, in that all these hormones cause faster cell division/replication, and therefore teleologically are likely to increase the risk of cancer.

        'Anti-aging medicine' advocates often push treatment with all these hormones and growth factors because they will increase muscle mass/energy leven and make you feel perkier. But I feel strongly that this is wildly inappropriate without a lot more data supporting its safety and efficacy.

        Candidly, I think it's mostly a pathetic attempt by middle aged guys (and it's almost all guys) to feel younger. And I say this as a guy well into middle age.

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