- (NewsTarget) -- An increasing number of doctors are contesting
the claim that annual mammograms decrease women's risk of dying from breast
- Danish researcher Dr. Peter Gotzsche first made this
claim in a study published in "The Lancet" in October 2006. Gotzsche
had re-analyzed the studies originally done on the benefits of mammograms
and found them unconvincing.
- Since then, other doctors have begun to assert that in
addition to failing to offer protection, mammograms - which involve exposing
patients to radiation -may actually increase women's risk of cancer.
- "The latest evidence shifts the balance towards
harm and away from benefits," said Dr. Michael Baum of University
College in London.
- According to Canadian columnist Dr. W. Gifford -Jones,
women between the ages of 40 and 49 who have regular mammograms are twice
as likely to die from breast cancer as women who are not screened.
- "Experts say you have to screen 2,000 women for
10 years for one benefit," he wrote recently.
- Gifford-Jones also points to other risks, from the physical
to the psychological. According to some authorities, the squeezing of women's
breasts during mammograms may rupture blood vessels, causing cancer to
spread to other parts of the body and actually increasing a patient's risk
- He also pointed to the trauma suffered by women who receive
false positives from their mammograms, and to the dangerous sense of security
felt by those who receive false negatives.
- Studies show that mammograms fail to detect cancer 30
percent of the time in women aged 40 to 49. In addition, it can take eight
years before a breast tumor is large enough to detect, by which time the
cancer could have spread to other parts of the body.
- "Mammograms actually harm far more women than they
help," said Mike Adams, author of "The Healing Power of Sunlight
and Vitamin D" a free report that teaches prevention strategies for
breast and prostate cancer. "They are used more as a recruiting tool
to ensnare women into a system of medical control based on false diagnosis
and fear tactics. Most women then give in to chemotherapy, surgery or radiation
treatments that may ultimately harm them or even kill them."
- First published 2-14-7