Breast Imaging – The Untold Story: Are mammograms safe and effective?
It seems like every week there is an article published in a prestigious medical journal questioning the value of mammography.
Fact: The compression of a mammogram is the equivalent of around 40 lbs of weight on the breast.
Fact: In 2005 The National Toxicology Program classified x-radiation (and therefore mammograms) as known human carcinogens.
Fact: A 2011 study published in Radiology Today stated: “because the digital breast tomosynthesis exam requires at least two additional exposures over a standard mammogram, the total radiation dose from the combined 2D and tomosynthesis examination is 3 times that of a standard mammogram.”
Fact: A former professor at The National Cancer Institute, Charles Simone, stated: “Mammograms increase the risk for developing breast cancer and raise the risk of spreading and metastasizing an existing growth.” He also stated that a mammogram results in one thousand-fold greater radiation exposure than a chest x-ray.
Fact: According to the Nordic Cochrane Study, “If 2000 women are screened regularly for ten years, one woman will benefit from the screening and ten healthy women will become cancer patients and be treated unnecessarily with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.”
Fact: Mammography has an inherent false negative rate of 20%. The false negatives increase in women with dense breasts (which is estimated to be at least 50% of all women) which has led to the passage of a National law requiring mammography centers to advise patients of this fact.
Fact: In July 2013 a group from the National Cancer Institute published an opinion that stated that DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ) should be renamed to exclude the word carcinoma. “DCIS is not cancer so why are we calling it cancer,” stated Dr. Laura J. Esserman, director of the Breast Care Center and Professor of Surgery in radiology at UCSF. Dr. Charles Simone a former professor at The National Cancer Institute stated: “since mammographic screening was introduced in 1983, the incidence of DCIS has increased 328% and 200% of this increase is due to the use of mammography. The increase for women screened mammographically under the age of 40 has gone up 3000%”
Fact: In the New England Journal of Medicine on November 22, 2013, a study that encompassed the years 1976 to 2008 stated that they “estimated breast cancer was overdiagnosed in 1.3 million US women is the last 30 years.”
Fact: An article in the February 2014 British Medical Journal stated, “Annual Mammography in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination or usual care when adjunct therapy for breast cancer is freely available.”
Now the good news…Thermography
Fact: The Department of Health Education and Welfare released a position paper stating: “The medical consultants indicate, that Thermography, in its present stage of developmental is beyond the experimental stage as a diagnostic procedure.”
Fact: In 1982, the FDA approved breast thermography as an adjunctive diagnostic breast cancer screening procedure.
Fact: In January 2003 a study published in the American Journal of Radiology concluded that “Thermography could help prevent most unnecessary breast biopsies. Infrared imaging offers a safe, non-invasive procedure that would be as valuable as an adjunct to mammography in determining whether a lesion is benign or malignant. The warning patterns seen by Thermography have been found to resolve and return to normal after only a few short months of healthy diet and lifestyle changes. Thus, Thermography is the first tool we have that shows promise at being able to pick up breast cancers so early-at a stage that involves only precancerous physiologic changes-that women can reverse these changes and avoid getting cancer by making a few simple and diet and lifestyle modifications.”
Fact: Thermography is a completely non-invasive breast health risk assessment test, utilizing FDA cleared infra-red imaging. It is done without compression or radiation and has no known adverse effects and/or contraindications.
Fact: Thermography detects the physiologic changes in the breast tissue at a cellular level that have been shown to correlate with cancerous or precancerous states. Because it is a physiologic study it has the potential to find breast abnormalities 8 to 10 years before anatomic studies. This allows for a proactive approach to breast health including diet and lifestyle changes which have been shown to forestall and prevent progression of diseases of the breast.
Fact: In the last 30 years there have been more than 800 reported peer-reviewed studies on thermography, with more than 25,000 women evaluated. Some of these studies, which have followed women over a 12-year time frame, conclude that breast thermography has been shown to be the single most important marker of detecting the development of breast disease and is more significant than family history.
Fact: Thermography has a 95% detection rate when used as part of a multifaceted approach; Thermography, self-breast exam, an exam by a healthcare professional and anatomic testing.
- Thermography allows women to maintain their dignity while empowering them to be proactive in their health and wellness concerns.
- The earliest possible indication of abnormalities allows for the earliest possible intervention.
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