Originally published November 18 2009
American Cancer Society admits mammograms and cancer screenings are over-hyped
by E. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, recently participated in an interview with the New York Times concerning a Journal of the American Medical Association analysis of breast and prostate cancer screening. The study questioned the legitimacy of such screenings in saving lives, a notion confirmed by Dr. Brawley as legitimate.
Adding that the supposed benefits of screening have been "exaggerated", Dr. Brawley's comments have fueled a firestorm of controversy since they fly in the face of what the organization has been saying and promoting for years.
Cancer screenings essentially have no benefit
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) cancer screenings are considered by many to be ineffective in identifying legitimate cancers and in reducing prostate cancer deaths. Eric Larson, a physician serving as executive director of the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle, is one such person.
Because there has been no demonstrated benefit to screenings (and they often lead to needless procedures and complications), Mr. Larson continually refuses to receive annual PSA cancer screenings until any alleged benefit can be proven scientifically. Since PSA screenings first began, the number of prostate cancer diagnoses have increased while advanced and late-stage cancers have remained roughly the same.
Breast cancer screenings, primarily in the form of mammography, have a similar track record of failure. The journal report notes that since screenings began, there has been a 40 percent increase in diagnoses and a near doubling of early-stage cancers with only a 10 percent decrease in late-stage cancers that spread throughout the body.
Screenings reveal far more incidences of both breast and prostate cancers but do virtually nothing to curb their promulgation and the outcome that ensues. Researchers note that, if screenings lived up to the promises made about them, late-stage cancers that were formerly incurable because they were found too late would now be discovered earlier when they could be cured. Unfortunately, this has not been the case.
Screenings fail to properly identify cancers resulting in unnecessary treatmentWhile some still see screening as essential and beneficial, despite evidence to the contrary, others recognize the potential dangers of screening.
Dr. Laura Esserman of the University of California, San Francisco, and Dr. Ian Thompson of the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, both believe that prostate and breast cancer screenings pose inherent problems that people must be aware of before getting them.
Cancer screenings often identify cancers that should not be identified due to the fact that, if left alone, they would never spread or cause harm. Dormant cancers that will never spread in the body are often pinpointed by screenings and treated as though they are harmful. Detection of these innocuous cancers can be attributed to the tremendous increase in diagnoses over the years.
Screenings are wholly unable to differentiate between innocuous and deadly cancers. Harmless cancers are often identified and aggressively treated. Malignant cancers are often missed or discovered too late, proving the point that screenings are largely useless.
Cancer industry generally refuses to admit a problem existsWhat astounds concerned doctors and researchers is the fact that analysis into how to properly differentiate between malignant and benign cancers when screening has never been performed and does not seem to be a priority for the cancer industry. Screenings are pushed despite their inability to properly diagnose with no effort being made to develop useful screening methods.
Objection to "overdiagnosis" using flawed screening methods is considered a major faux pas in mainstream cancer circles. Regardless of documented evidence citing flawed methodology, many in the industry refuse to accept that the existing screening procedure is both flawed and dangerous.
Mammography can actually cause cancerAside from unneeded treatments that may result from improper diagnoses, women screened for breast cancer using mammography undergo tremendous exposure to ionizing radiation every time they are screened. Exposure to this radiation is often implicated in causing the very malignant cancers that are meant to be detected. Continual exposure to excessive levels of radiation due to receiving annual mammograms greatly increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.
Mammograms have about a 70 percent failure rate, routinely detecting non-existent tumors. Consequently, many women undergo invasive biopsies needlessly.
Thermography preferable to mammographyWomen with a continued interest in breast cancer screening would do well to choose thermography rather than mammography. Thermography utilizes digital infrared imaging, a safe detection method that analyzes body heat levels in and around the breasts. By analyzing blood vessel circulation and metabolic changes that typically accompany the onset of tumorous growths, thermography is arguably the most effective, accurate, and safest breast cancer detection method.
A healthy, cancer-preventative diet is the best way to prevent the onset of malignant cancers. Keeping the body in an alkaline state by feeding it a diet rich in natural foods will safeguard the body from becoming an environment in which cancer can thrive and replicate.
Vitamin D, curcumin, chaparral, garlic, and aloe vera are a few of the many beneficial nutrients that will serve the body well in preventing cancer. Raw brazil nuts, rich in selenium, and saw palmetto are two superb nutrients for maintaining a healthy prostate.
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