Thursday, September 12, 2013



by Steven Ransom
Women who are con­cerned about breast
can­cer need facts, not myths, to make their
own deci­sions.” — Irwin D Bross

A report from the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Pre­ven­ta­tive Med­i­cine esti­mates that 185,000 women a year are diag­nosed with breast can­cer in the United States.1And the Royal Mars­den Hos­pi­tal 2002 web­page on breast can­cer reported that 28,000 women in the UK are diag­nosed with this dis­ease annually.

Before look­ing at the prac­tice of mam­mog­ra­phy in more detail, let’s look at the prac­tice of qual­i­fy­ing those sta­tis­tics pre­sented to us. There are more than enough doubts sur­round­ing con­ven­tional can­cer prac­tice and espe­cially diag­no­sis for us to pause a while and exam­ine this area more carefully.
While it may be cor­rect that 185,000 women in the United States and 28,000 women per annum in the UK are diag­nosed as hav­ing breast can­cer, how many of those breast can­cer diag­noses are cor­rect? And how dan­ger­ous is breast can­cer any­way? Before com­ing to any pre­ma­ture con­clu­sions as to the irresponsible-sounding nature of such a ques­tion, the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion on breast can­cer is pre­sented for the reader.

In a paper enti­tled “Dan­gers and Unre­li­a­bil­ity of Mam­mog­ra­phy; Breast Exam­i­na­tion is a Safe, Effec­tive and Prac­ti­cal Alternative”,the authors state that the wide­spread and vir­tu­ally unchal­lenged accep­tance of screen­ing has resulted in a dra­matic increase in the diag­no­sis of duc­tal carcinoma-in-situ (DCIS), a pre-invasive can­cer, with a cur­rent, esti­mated inci­dence of about 40,000 US cit­i­zens annu­ally. DCIS is gen­er­ally treated by lumpec­tomy plus radi­a­tion or even mas­tec­tomy and chemother­apy. How­ever, some 80 per­cent of all DCIS can­cers never become inva­sive, even if left untreated.2

A report in the Jour­nal of the National Can­cer Insti­tute, enti­tled “Over-diagnosis:an under-recognised cause of con­fu­sion and harm in can­cer screen­ing”, stated that mam­mog­ra­phy can detect can­cers that often don’t progress.3

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