Several years ago, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study that included 145 women who assessed their feelings about mammograms. The purpose of the study was to determine how women 40–50 years of age perceived their risk of breast cancer and how much they trusted the effectiveness of mammographic screening. Each woman was asked about her risk factors for breast cancer and asked to estimate what she thought her probabilities were of developing breast cancer and dying of it within 10 years, with and without a mammogram screening. The results were eye opening:
- > Women overestimated their probability of dying of breast cancer by more than 20-fold
- > Women overestimated the value of screening mammography to reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer by 100-fold
The study went on to conclude, “Women younger than 50 years substantially over-estimate both their breast cancer risk and the effectiveness of screening.”
In a different multinational large population-based survey that included four countries (2003), 57% of women believe that mammography prevents or reduces the risk of contracting breast cancer. (Truth is, mammograms detect cancer, they do not prevent it.)
Additionally, 62% of women believe that mammography reduces mortality from breast cancer by 50–75%. (Actually, if 1,000 women aged 50 and older have regular mammography every 2 years for 10 years, approximately 5 deaths will be prevented over the 10 years.)
Everywhere you look — in print, on TV, across the Internet and even at the cosmetic counters of department stores — mammogram advocates are pushing the procedure as if it was the ultimate cure for cancer. It is not.
While early detection may, in some instances save lives, screening mammograms do not prevent cancer. In the mid-1980s, by the time a woman found a lump, the tumor was advanced. Annual mammography came into wide acceptance around that time as a way to find a tumor before it could be felt. The idea for screening was to find it early so that treatments such as surgery, radiation and chemo could reduce the breast cancer death rate. By this measure, mammograms have had some success.
But how many “survivors” do we need before women wake up and demand a new meaning for “early detection?” Instead of running and marching and walking to find raise money for a Cure, we should scream for earlier detection, a method to stop the growth of abnormal cells before they mature into full blown cancer. Researchers stopped looking for the Cause a long time ago because we’re demanding the Cure. Does anyone see the problem with this? Do women — and men — realize they are simply raising money for the drug companies, which have more wealth than most countriee, to cure something we can avoid with the right tools and protocols?
In addition to research dollars for the Cause, we need to demand that a state-of-the-art infrared breast imaging be performed. It is more sensitive than breast exam and gives infinitely more information than a mammogram. We need to insist that insurance companies cover this test as readily as they cover breast xrays, biopsies and cancer therapies.
With infrared breast imaging (IRBI), areas of concern can be identified years in advance of a mammographic finding. Dietary and lifestyle changes, lymph drainage exercises, evidence-based vitamins and nutraceuticals can be used to heal the abnormality. Improvements can be followed by non-invasive, non-painful, non-radiating imaging. If the area of heat and inflammation goes away, the risk of progression, by definition, goes down, and can even goe completely away.
Think infrared breast imaging (IRBI). Ask about our new payment plans for the Breast Test.
Redefine the meaning of “Early Detection.” Find out more HERE.