As usual, everything that we heard through tv or other media is completely false because when you analyze the statistics you can see how mammograms are useless because those don’t help prevent cancer and it definitely doesn’t save lives.

I’ve seen a lot of health campaigns on the tv and even some tv shows that talk about the benefits of doing mammograms and they even tell you that by doing mammograms you can save your life.

They say you should make these mammograms periodically so you can save your life but that’s not true. That’s why we are going to check what the studies and reports really say about this.

 

Mammograms are useless

I’m gonna quote several studies with their respective reference that I would be linking on the footnotes of this article so you can check them out by yourself. So, let’s start this analysis.

“National breast cancer screening programs in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Norway, Luxembourg, Germany, Finland, Denmark, and Belgium offer mammography screening every 2 to 3 years for women aged 50 up to 74 years.”

Ann Intern Med. 164(4):279-96

As you should already notice there are several parts of the world that already use mammograms as a standardized procedure which is kind of alarming once you get to know what we’re going to see on this article.

“The authors of the ACS – commissioned systematic review claim that similar reviews of the randomized trials, including our 2013 Cochrane systematic review, are in agreement that mammography screening is associated with an estimated reduction in breast-cancer mortality of around 20%.”

Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 13(3):139-40

This alone will make you think that mammograms can reduce the risk of breast-cancer mortality up to 20% but in the next paragraph, they themselves confirm that it is false.

“This assertion is misleading: in our Cochrane review although we calculated a 19% reduction in mortality when all trials were combined (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.74-0.87), we documented pronounced heterogeneity between the results of poorly and adequately randomized trials in our sensitivity analysis (I=78%). Importantly, trials with adequate randomization did not demonstrate a mortality benefit from mammography screening.”

Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 13(3):139-40

What they’ve found is that there’s actually no benefit related to mortality. So, mammograms do not reduce mortality. On another paragraph they state this more clearly:

“The available data certainly do not support the popular idea that screening saves lives.”

Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 13(3):139-40

They say that the ACS (American Cancer Society) is responsible for this misleading.

“The ACS is a political organization with financial ties to companies with interests in the multi-billion dollar breast-cancer-screening industry.”

Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 13(3):139-40

Now let’s see what that 2013 Cochrane review really say about this.

“The studies which provided the most reliable information showed that screening did not reduce breast cancer mortality.”

Cochrane Database Syst Rev (6):CD001877

This same study concludes their report by saying:

“We believe that the time has come to re-assess whether universal mammography screening should be recommended for any age group.”

Cochrane Database Syst Rev (6):CD001877

They are saying that everyone should reconsider if mammograms should be recommended and this is what the Swiss Medical Board did.

“We were struck by how nonobvious it was that the benefits of mammography screening outweighed the harms.”

N Engl J Med. 370(21):1965-7

Since they didn’t find a clear benefit of mammograms compared to their harm, they concluded:

“It is easy to promote mammography screening if the majority of women believe that it prevents or reduces the risk of getting breast cancer and saves many lives through early detection of aggressive tumors. We would be in favor of mammography screening if these beliefs were valid. Unfortunately, they are not, and we believe that women need to be told so. From an ethical perspective, a public health program that does not clearly produce more benefits than harms is hard to justify.”

N Engl J Med 370(21):1965-7

I completely agree and that’s why we need your help to share this information with everyone you know. I know this information can be very unsettling:

“Another argument was that the report unsettled women, but we wonder how to avoid unsettling women, given the available evidence.”

N Engl J Med 370(21):1965-7

Still, it’s very important for women to know this before they take a decision. Most women believe that mammograms cut the risk of breast cancer in half when that’s not true.

The actual stats say that only 1 woman out of a 1000 benefit of mammograms. That’s why the Swiss Medical Board said that the benefit wasn’t obvious.

Maybe you think that even though it’s just 1 woman per 1000, it’s worth it. Actually, there’s something else you should consider about that statistic:

“It acknowledged that systematic mammography screening might prevent about one death attributed to breast cancer for every 1000 women screened, even though there was no evidence to suggest that overall mortality was affected.

N Engl J Med. 370(21):1965-7

When they say that overall mortality was not affected means that actually nobody were saved which might seem to be a contradiction considering that they also say that 1 out of 1000 women is saved from breast-cancer death.

And this is not a mistake made by the research since here’s another one that says the same:

“No trial has ever shown an overall mortality benefit from screening mammography.”

J Clin Oncol 25(5):604

Now, let me explain why both claims are true when they seem to contradict each other.

It’s true that mammograms save one woman each 1000, but at the same time mammograms kill one woman each 1000, that’s why overall mammograms didn’t save anyone.

To understand how mammograms could kill someone we have to talk about overdiagnosis.

“Only recently has the detection of non-progressing early breast cancer that would not be found in the woman’s lifetime without screening —that is, overdiagnosis— gained serious attention and recognition.”

BMJ. 350:h867

I know it can be a little confusing but what they are saying is that there are some non-progressing breast cancers and actually women can live healthy without noticing they have breast cancer on a lifetime.

The problem is that with mammograms nobody knows when a breast-cancer is non-progressing so they always treat it like cancer when in most cases of non-progressive cancers those disappear by their own.

“The growth may also stop altogether, and many screen-detected breast cancers are harmless, as their normal fate is to regress and disappear.”

Cancer Causes Control 23(1):15-21

Nevertheless, most doctors follow the protocols even with those harmless cancers. The big problem here is that the treatment itself is very dangerous and can cause several health complications. For example, the treatment could cause cancer.

If you didn’t know, the modern medicine treatments in case of cancer are maim (surgery), burn (radiotherapy), and poison (chemotherapy).

“Treatment of an overdiagnosed cancer subjects a patient to the harms of treatment without benefits since the tumor would not have caused problems if undetected.”

JAMA 311(13):1327-35

Now that we know how harmful overdiagnosed cancers through mammograms can be, we need to know how common is overdiagnosis.

“For every life saved by mammography, around two to 10 women are overdiagnosed.”

BMJ 345:e5132

So the damage produced by mammograms is greater than it benefits.

“With more overdiagnosis comes increased mortality from the harms of radiotherapy and chemotherapy given to healthy women.”

Cancer Causas Control 23(1):15-21

No wonder why [modern medicine is considered the 3rd cause of death worldwide]. Now you can see why it’s so important to share this information. The concern is real:

“Radiotherapy of overdiagnosed women may kill at least as many as those who are spared dying from breast cancer by attending breast screening.”

Int J Epidemiol 44(1):278-80

So the same number of lives saved by breast screening are doomed by breast screening. It’s like playing the Russian roulette to see who dies and who lives.

“Radiation therapy as a treatment for breast cancer increases deaths from heart disease by more than 25% and from lung cancer by nearly 80% —a big risk for a woman who may not need to take it. The consequences are not just physical. Harris notes that being labelled as a ‘cancer patient’ can turn lives upside down.”

Nature 527(7578):S118-9

This is not all. A lot of women think that by having a mammography they will avoid mastectomy which is a surgery to amputate the breast. That too is false.

“We published the report mainly because we believe it is important for women to know that screening increases their risk of losing a breast. This finding contrasts with the information they get from screening advocates who generally say the opposite, but without reliable data to support their claims.”

Lancet 359(9304):442

The report confirms that when you get a mammography you are raising the risk of losing your breasts through a mastectomy. The screening advocates say otherwise without any data. So, in other words, screening advocates are total liars.

“Mammography screening has been promoted to the public with three simple promises that all appear to be wrong: It saves lives and breasts by catching the cancers early. Screening does not seem to make the women live longer; it increases mastectomies; and cancers are not caught early, they are caught very late. They are also caught in too great numbers. There is so much overdiagnosis that the best thing a women can do to lower her risk of becoming a breast cancer patient is to avoid going to screening, which will lower her risk by one-third.”

JR Soc Med 108(9):341-5

Through several media, you can see how mammograms are sold as an early detection method but that is also completely false.

“If we assume that the growth rate for a particular cancer is constant, then the women have harboured the cancer for 21 years on average before it is large enough to be detected by mammography screening.”

Int J Epidemiol 44(1):278-80

Most people think that the disease appeared overnight but that’s not true. It takes years after years through several factors as your lifestyle to produce a disease like this one.

“The small probability that a woman may avoid a breast cancer death must be weighed against the more likely scenario that she may have a false-positive result and possible unnecessary follow-up testing (including invasive testing); a false-negative result, with false reassurance or delayed diagnosis; or most critically, diagnosis and treatment of cancer that would otherwise not have threatened her health or even come to her attention.”

Ann Intern Med. 164(4)-279-96

In summary, what we can conclude with certainty is that:

  • Mammograms increase the chance of losing breasts.
  • Mammograms do not save lives overall.
  • Mammograms generate false positives that can alter mental health and physical health leading to death.
  • Mammograms do not detect cancer early, they detect it when it is very late.
  • Mammograms do not make you live longer.
  • Mammograms do not prevent cancer.

What I do recommend are [natural treatments for cancer] which are completely different than modern medicine because natural treatments don’t harm the body since those are focused on improving our health while modern medicine is focused on destroying diseases that are more abstract than noticeable.

Besides, instead of having periodically screening you should make a periodical evaluation of your daily habits because bad habits are the main source of cancer.

Just by improving your lifestyle time by time you can live better and reduce any chance of disease.

I will be sharing more studies about this topic so make sure to [subscribe on our newsletter] to receive the next publications.

Finally, don’t forget to Stay Healthy and to Subscribe.

See you in the next post. Tschüss!

 

Source

  • Do Mammograms Save Lives? | Michael Greger M.D. FACLM | NutritionFacts.org | [Link]
  • Screening for Breast Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. | Siu AL; U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. | Ann Intern Med. 2016 Feb 16;164(4):279-96. | [Link]
  • Breast cancer: Updated screening guidelines – much ado about small improvements. | Jørgensen KJ, Gøtzsche PC. | Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2016 Mar;13(3):139-40. | [Link]
  • Screening for breast cancer with mammography. | Gøtzsche PC, Jørgensen KJ. | Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jun 4;(6):CD001877. | [Link]
  • Abolishing mammography screening programs? A view from the Swiss Medical Board. | Biller-Andorno N, Jüni P. | N Engl J Med. 2014 May 22;370(21):1965-7. | [Link]
  • Potential hazards of mammography. | Atkins CD. | J Clin Oncol. 2007 Feb 10;25(5):604 | [Link]
  • Overdiagnosis in mammography screening: a 45 year journey from shadowy idea to acknowledged reality | Alexandra Barratt, professor of public health | BMJ 2015;350:h867 | [Link]
  • Why mammography screening has not lived up to expectations from the randomised trials. | Gøtzsche PC, Jørgensen KJ, Zahl PH, Mæhlen J. | Cancer Causes Control. 2012 Jan;23(1):15-21. | [Link]
  • A systematic assessment of benefits and risks to guide breast cancer screening decisions. | Pace LE, Keating NL. | JAMA. 2014 Apr 2;311(13):1327-35. | [Link]
  • How a charity oversells mammography | Steven Woloshin, Lisa M Schwartz | BMJ 2012;345:e5132 | [Link]
  • Commentary: Screening: a seductive paradigm that has generally failed us. | Gøtzsche PC. | Int J Epidemiol. 2015 Feb;44(1):278-80. | [Link]
  • Screening: Don’t look now. | Sohn E. | Nature. 2015 Nov 19;527(7578):S118-9. | [Link]
  • Rapid prenatal diagnosis of aneuploidies. | Voglino G, Marongiu A, Massobrio M, Campogrande M, Todros T. | Lancet. 2002 Feb 2;359(9304):442. | [Link]
  • Mammography screening is harmful and should be abandoned. | Gøtzsche PC. | J R Soc Med. 2015 Sep;108(9):341-5. | [Link]