cancer

The Data Behind the New Mammogram Recommendations - Explained

Monday, January 11, 2010 by: E. Huff, staff writer
Tags: mammograms, radiation, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads
Ben and Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women
Elliot Rodger, like nearly all young killers, was taking psychiatric drugs (Xanax)
Right to farm being stripped from Americans: Michigan to criminalize small family farms with chickens, goats, honey bees and more
Monsanto's seed imperialism halted in Canada thanks to massive protests
Delicious
(NaturalNews) Several years ago, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (PSTF) issued an updated set of recommendations about mammogram screenings, suggesting which and how often women should get them. Since the last time the group issued its recommendations in 2002, new study data emerged that has led to a few changes. Its new guidelines, suggesting that women over 40 only need a mammogram every two years, has led to a firestorm of criticism from professional and advocacy groups as well as politicians.

The American College of Radiology and the American Cancer Society were quick to condemn the new findings, ones that PSTF has explained made the best sense based on current published data. The group consulted the Evidence-Based Practice Center at the Oregon Health and Science University for all current, relevant information about breast cancer screenings and arrived at what it says is a well-informed conclusion concerning routine screenings for older women.

Dr. Heidi Nelson, the lead researcher at the university who compiled the information for the PSTF panel, and her team scoured all available data on the subject and constructed it for review. Fifteen outside scientists were tasked with reviewing the information prior to being presented to panel members.

One of the primary studies was a recent British study that compared 54,000 women who received routine mammograms beginning at age 40 with 107,000 women of the same age who did not receive them. The results of this comprehensive study revealed that there was virtually no difference in breast cancer death rates between the two groups.

A comprehensive analysis of all available studies, including a few that showed some benefit from routine mammograms and others that did not, led to the conclusion that there is only a minimal benefit to receiving routine mammograms.

What researchers have found is that for every 1,900 women between the ages of 40 and 50 that are screened yearly for breast cancer using mammography, one death is prevented in the following two decades. Five women would have died regardless of screenings, so out of six potential deaths, one would have been prevented.

On the other hand, the potential harm induced by mammography screenings includes excessive testing and over-diagnosis, including many false positives. Analysis revealed that women have a 10 percent change of being falsely diagnosed. A significant number of cancers detected are not even malignant, yet mammograms are unable to differentiate between harmful and benign cancers.

Over-diagnosis, which is a growing concern among medical professionals, was not properly assessed or understood in 2002 when the last recommendations from PSTF were published. Many women are needlessly undergoing invasive and harmful surgery, radiation treatment, and chemotherapy for cancers that are not even harmful.

Dr. Russell Harris from the University of North Carolina, one of the panel members, explained that mammography is only effective at diagnosing one type of cancer, the malignant, slow-growing kind that can be effectively treated when diagnosed early. This kind represents only 15 percent of deadly cancers.

Precise numbers of over-diagnosis were not easy to pinpoint since estimates ranged from six percent to upwards of 50 percent. Dr. Timothy Wilt from the University of Minnesota, however, estimated that about 30 percent of cancers detected by mammography are over-diagnosed, meaning that they were either benign or untreatable.

Statisticians from the Anderson Cancer Center in Maryland were tasked with assessing screening intervals. Based on an analysis of a large cross-section of women, the group determined that there is virtually no benefit from mammography screenings for women in their 40s. Thus they determined that these women could reduce their risk of harm from mammography by getting screened every other year rather than annually.

What do these findings ultimately reveal? First, mammography screenings come with a myriad of potentially negative side effects while offering scant benefits. Over-diagnosis being the primary concern among researchers, countless women have undergone and continue to undergo dangerous procedures needlessly. More often than not, benign tumors are improperly diagnosed at the expense of the woman's health.

The radiation involved in the screening process also contributes to increasing a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. By subjecting the body continually to low-dose radiation, otherwise harmless cancer cells are encouraged to multiply and spread.

The fact that even mainstream research is now proving that mammograms provide virtually no benefit should be a wake up call to physicians everywhere who embrace the practice. Safer screening methods like thermography confer the same benefits while eliminating radiation exposure.

Since screenings of any kind can still lead to a false diagnosis, a woman's best bet is to prevent breast cancer nutritionally. Anti-cancer foods and nutrients will prevent malignant cancer cells from ever developing in the first place. When combined with exercise and a healthy lifestyle, there is no reason why any woman should ever develop a deadly form of breast cancer.

Sources for this story include: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/23/health/23c...

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.