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Originally published August 12 2010

American cancer society maintains close financial ties to mammography radiation device manufacturers

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The American Cancer Society (ACS) is involved financially with manufacturers of mammography devices, tainting its cancer screenings with conflict of interest, cancer prevention experts Samuel S. Epstein and Rosalie Bertell have charged.

Epstein is a medical doctor and the chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition. Bertell works with the organization International Physicians for Humanitarian Medicine.

"The mammography industry conducts research for the ACS and its grantees, serves on its advisory boards, and donates considerable funds," they said. "DuPont also is a substantial backer of the ACS Breast Health Awareness Program; sponsors television shows and other media productions touting ACS literature for hospitals, clinics, medical organization, and doctors; produces educational films; and aggressively lobbies Congress for legislation promoting the nationwide availability of mammography services."

The United States Preventive Service Task Force recently revised its breast cancer screening guidelines to recommend fewer mammograms, in part due to the fact that radiation from mammograms can actually increase cancer risk. According to Epstein and Bertell, a premenopausal woman could receive 5 rads of radiation exposure in 10 years from mammograms alone, equivalent to the exposure experienced by a woman standing one mile from the detonation of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Mammograms are also better at detecting non-threatening cancers that would never have required treatment than the more aggressive, lethal varieties. Yet an ACS ad published in a leading Massachussetts newspaper showed two women in their twenties (the federal government no longer recommends mammograms for most women under the age of 40) and promised that early detection cures breast cancer "nearly 100 percent of the time."

When questioned about the basis of this claim, an ACS communications director responded, "The ad isn't based on a study. When you make an advertisement, you just say what you can to get women in the door. You exaggerate a point. ... Mammography today is a lucrative [and] highly competitive business."

Based in part on the ACS's promotion of mammography, the "Chronicle of Philanthropy," concluded that the organization "is more interested in accumulating wealth than saving lives."

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