Sunday, February 19, 2012

What's Best for Your Breast?

Although mammography is considered the "gold standard" of breast cancer screening in America, women need to know that there are other viable options!  A healthy choice is one that is made based on balanced, unbiased information. 


Unfortunately,  literature in doctor's offices which is supposed to educate patients about certain medications and procedures often purposely omits certain vital information which if the patient knew about, might influence their decision negatively about the procedure (such as side-effects, complications, risks, relevant statistics etc).  By leaving this important information out, the patient is directed to respond the way the clinic wants them to. 

Today, politics and medicine are so inter-woven that it is often difficult to discern the potential conflicts of interest when it comes to optimal health choices. 

In the video below, Dr Mercola does a nice job explaining that thermography is an alternative means of breast cancer detection which, unlike mammography, is not uncomfortable, non-invasive, and does not expose the woman to radiation.  It is paradoxical that radiation can be a contributing factor to breast cancer yet is used to screen for it!  It is as if the breast cancer business is feeding itself more potential patients.  Think about it: if a woman has a genetic predisposition for breast cancer (the BRCA gene) and she is exposed to radiation every year during her mammography exam, how much of a greater risk does she have of developing cancer after 5-10 years of this "preventative" screening?





A study done in Denmark reported that: Screening led to 30% overdiagnosis and overtreatment, or an absolute risk increase of 0.5%. This means that for every 2000 women invited for screening throughout 10 years, one will have her life prolonged and 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be treated unnecessarily. Furthermore, more than 200 women will experience important psychological distress for many months because of false positive findings. It is thus not clear whether screening does more good than harm. To help ensure that the women are fully informed of both benefits and harms before they decide whether or not to attend screening, there are evidence-based leaflets for lay people available in several languages on www.cochrane.dk.  source:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21249649



The researchers concluded that: Avoiding getting screening mammograms reduces the risk of becoming a breast cancer patient by one-third.  from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22072221 and furthermore that:
Scientific articles tend to emphasize the major benefits of mammography screening over its major harms. This imbalance is related to the authors' affiliation. from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17537243

Additional options are currently being researched.  Please watch this video link below to see how Dr. Deborah Rhodes developed a new tool for tumor detection that is 3 times as effective as traditional mammograms for women with dense breast tissuehttp://www.ted.com/talks/deborah_rhodes.html


Get educated, investigate the pros and cons of all medical procedures before following conventional medical standards.  Go for second opinions but most of all, take charge of your health! 
Education is Power!
Learn about potential conflicts of interests here:





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