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Breast cancer

Women being conned about breast cancer screening

Thursday, February 18, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: breast cancer, screening, health news

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(NaturalNews) Western medicine relies heavily on convincing people that they need some sort of drug or surgery to remedy their ills and gain health. Studies often contain manipulated facts and skewed statistics that paint a favorable picture of some new procedure or treatment while shrouding the truth about the risks involved. The alleged benefits of breast cancer screenings are no exception as women are continually tricked into believing that mammograms will greatly benefit them when the facts show that they are largely ineffective.

Using an approach called mismatched framing, cancer studies will present side effects in absolute terms while exaggerating benefits in relative terms. When two different metric systems are used to present one set of findings, the results are deceptive albeit technically true.

One statistic says that regular breast cancer screenings reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by 25 percent. While this sounds like a large amount, the truth of the matter is that out of every 1,000 women who get regularly screened, only one extra life would be saved. Apart from screening, four out every 1,000 women will die from breast cancer; with screening, only three would die. The reduction from four to three represents the 25 percent statistic.

However the other half of the story is that 20 percent of those 1,000 women who get screened will be unnecessarily treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Up to 500 of them will undergo a needless biopsy due to an inaccurate screening. These monumental risks are never mentioned alongside the glowing endorsements that deceptively use the 25 percent reduction figure to lure women into continuing with screenings.

Drug behemoth Pfizer did the same thing with its Lipitor drug, claiming that those with multiple risk factors who take it will be 36 percent less likely to have a heart attack. When evaluated in absolute terms, two out of every 100 people who take Lipitor will have a heart attack; three out of every 100 people who do not take Lipitor will have a heart attack. The absolute increase in negative side effects among those who take Lipitor versus those who do not is not mentioned in context with the 36 percent reduction claim.

A study conducted by BMJ, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and The Lancet found that about 33 percent of papers published in medical journals fail to use consistent metrics when presenting study findings. The result is a misrepresentation of the truth by the illness industry, drug companies, and the doctors and journalists who aid them in their deception.

Sources for this story include: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-12...
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