Dangers of Mammograms

The dangers of mammograms are finally being talked about out loud. A study in the British Medical Journal in December 2011 confirmed that mammograms are causing harm. In a March 2017 Danish study “breast cancer screening was not associated with a reduction in the incidence of advanced cancer. It is likely that 1 in every 3 invasive tumors and cases of DCIS diagnosed in women offered screening represent overdiagnosis (incidence increase of 48.3%).“ In a study published in the British Journal of Radiology  researchers found compelling evidence that low energy X-rays used in mammograms are “approximately 4 times, but possibly as much as 6 times more effective in causing mutational damage than higher energy X-rays.” In other words, the low energy radiation is causing DNA damage that could result in an increased risk of developing Breast Cancer.

According to a mammogram screening study in the Netherlands, “About half of screen detected breast cancers would represent over-diagnosis.”

Let’s look at the stats. The incidence of breast cancer in the population is 2 out of 2,000. Mammograms have a false positive rate of 10%, and it’s been estimated that they only find one actual case of breast cancer per 2,000 people. So out of 2,000 women, 200 will get a false positive, and one of the two positive cases will be missed. So we are spending millions of dollars every year on mammograms and ad campaigns to get people to have mammograms, just so we can find one case of breast cancer, and expose the other 1,999 to harmful radiation and DNA damage. If there are only 2 cases per 2,000 women, and mammograms only find 1 out of 1,000, that means mammograms miss 50% of the positive cases of breast cancer.

What happens if you are one of the 200 that get a false positive? More extensive testing, surgery, and chemotherapy, even though you didn’t have breast cancer. Breast home self-exams find just as many cases of breast cancer as mammograms do.

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