Are Breast Screenings The Biggest Catastrophe In Women’s Health Today?
I believe that if you did have a tumor, the last thing you would want to do is crush that tumor between two plates, because that would spread it. – Dr. Sarah Mybill, General Practitioner (taken from the documentary trailer below)
I think if a woman from the age of 50 has a mammogram every year, or every two years, she’s going to get breast cancer as a direct result from that – Dr. Patrick Kingsley, Clinical Ecologist (take from the documentary trailer below)
Breast screening, also known as a mammogram, is a regular examination of breasts in order to detect breast cancer in its early stages. According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), it’s the most effective way to detect breast cancer, as opposed to a breast self examine – where you check your own breasts for lumps – or a clinical breast exam where a doctor or nurse will examine the breast for a lump.
In 2011 (latest year with available data) 220,097 women and 2,078 men in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 40,931 women and 443 men in the United States died from breast cancer. It has become the most common type of cancer among women.
Below is a trailer to a documentary entitled, “The Promise.” The film interviews various researchers, scientists, doctors (and more), all of whom are hoping to shed light on a practice which is turning out to be not only useless, but harmful to those taking part. There is more information below the video, but I highly recommend you watch the documentary.
The Science & Research
There is a wealth of scientific data concluding that mammograms are not, as the CDC claims, the most effective way to detect breast cancer. In fact, having a mammogram is likely the last thing you want to do if you have breast cancer.
Let’s take a look at some research that has many scientists, policy makers, and members of the medical community questioning the practice of breast screenings.
Starting off with recent research, a 2014 study published in The European Journal of Public Health titled “Trends in breast cancer stage distribution before, during and after introduction of a screening programme in Norway” found that breast screenings actually increase the incidence of localized stage cancers without reducing the incidence of advanced cancers. (1)
The study, which used a huge population sample of 1.8 million Norwegian women diagnosed with breast cancer from 1987 – 2010, found that:
“The annual incidence of localized breast cancer among women aged 50–69 years rose from 63.9 per 100 000 before the introduction of screening to 141.2 afterwards, corresponding to a ratio of 2.21 (95% confidence interval: 2.10; 2.32).The incidence of more advanced cancers increased from 86.9 to 117.3 per 100 000 afterwards, corresponding to a 1.35 (1.29; 1.42)-fold increase. Advanced cancers also increased among younger women not eligible for screening, whereas their incidence of localized cancers remained nearly constant.” (1)
This study outlines how Norway’s breast screening program has actually increased the chance of being diagnosed with early stage breast cancer by more than 200%, as well contributing to an increased chance of receiving advanced stage breast cancer diagnosis by 35%. This is the opposite of what mammograms are supposed to do; if they were useful then the incidence of cancers would be lower and not higher.
The study concluded that:
Incidence of localized breast cancer increased significantly among women aged 50–69 years old after introduction of screening, while the incidence of more advanced cancers was not reduced in the same period when compared to the younger unscreened age group.(1)
It’s important to note that, “although the study did measure the impact of Norway’s breast screening programme, a comparison of trends between participants and non-participants in the age group eligible for screening warrants further investigation. Also the causal link between stage distribution and mortality needs to be investigated in the context of screening.” (1)
A paper published in 2011 in the British Medical Journal set out to prove that breast screening by mammography is associated with a steeper fall in mortality cancer compared to other countries who were not offering this service. They did not expect to find the complete opposite; they found a drop in breast cancer mortality among women who were not screened. They concluded that the recent downward trend in breast cancer mortality had nothing to do with screening and everything to do with improvements in treatment and service provision. (2)
The new data published in the BMJ now suggests that none of the gratifying falls in breast cancer can be attributed to screening and that the very existence of a NHSBSP (national breast screening programme) should be questioned. Unless there is public pressure for an independent inquiry to challenge the status quo, it will be business as usual for the screening programme. Furthermore, the Department of Health has painted itself into a corner and it is no longer a question of scientific debate – the subject has become too politicized by those who like to avoid U-turns at all costs. – Michael Baum, Professor Emeritus of Surgery and visiting Professor of Medical Humanities at University College London, is a leading British surgical oncologist who specializes in breast cancer treatment (source)
This would be an asymptomatic woman walking along the high street, having a mammogram, and then two weeks later she’s told she has to have a mastectomy. This is so cruel that it should make you weep. (quote taken from the documentary trailer above)
As Sayer Ji, founder of Greenmedinfo.com points out, a National Cancer Institute commissioned expert panel concluded that “early stage cancers” are not cancer, they are benign or indolent growths. This means that millions of women were wrongly diagnosed with breast cancer over the past few decades and have been subjected to harmful treatment, when they would have been better off leaving it untreated or diagnosed; frighteningly, it is not uncommon for a breast cancer misdiagnosis to occur.
Another study that was recently published in the British Medical Journal concluded that regular mammogram screenings do not reduce breast cancer death rates. And they found no evidence to suggest that mammograms are more effective than personal breast exams at detecting cancer in the designated age group. The study involved 90, 000 Canadian women and compared breast cancer incidence and mortality up to 25 years in women aged 40-59.(3)
The study was conducted over a period of 25 years.
Many Studies Showing The Same Thing
The sheer number of studies that have been published on breast mammography examinations and their failure to produce a benefit in screened populations is overwhelming. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that these types of examinations have also been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer, and to have negative implications for both physical and mental health.
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