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Mammograms have conventionally been touted as an effective means of detecting breast cancer. But some research and health experts are suggesting that mammograms may not be as useful as many think. In fact, they could bring you more harm than good.
Here are some reasons why.
Mammograms actually increase your risk of cancer
We know that radiation is a cause of cancer. And women are exposed to radiation when they undergo mammograms.
According to oncologist, brain surgeon and neuroscientist, Dr Russell Blaylock, the annual mammogram can increase breast cancer risk by 1 to 3% per year.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in July 2006 involving 1,600 women subjects found that the risk of breast cancer was increased by 54% in women who underwent mammograms, as compared to those who did not.
Mammograms can trigger spread of cancer, if you actually have them
During mammograms, the breast is literally compressed and flattened between two plates. This is done in order to obtain clearer images of the breast tissues.
Not only is this a painful exercise (ask the ladies who have gone through such a scan). If tumors are indeed present, such physical manipulation of the breast can actually promote the break away of tumors cells from the primary growth, promoting the spread of cancer if the tumor cells are malignant.
You could lose your breast for nothing
Many doctors have pointed out that mammograms are not that accurate when it comes to flagging out breast tumors. In fact, this method of screening and diagnosis has very high false positive rates.
For example, a Swedish study on 60,000 women that was published in the British Medical Journal found that the rate of mammogram-detected-tumor false positives was as high as 7 out of every 10 tumors “discovered” by mammogram.
This means that many women are putting themselves through unnecessary emotional turmoil, financial drain, as well as tormenting biopsies and cancer treatment (including mastectomies, chemotherapy and radiation) for Nothing.
After all that, mammograms still doesn’t lower death rate from breast cancer
Anyone would have thought that after all the trouble you have gone through to have a mammogram, it could help reduce your chance of dying from breast cancer.
Well, it seems research suggest otherwise. For example, a large Canadian study that followed 90,000 women for 25 years found that mammograms did not lower the overall death rate from breast cancer. While mammograms might have benefited and saved some women, it is probably harming many others.
A more accurate, safer and less expensive alternative to mammograms is thermography, which has been used by progressive physicians in Europe and US since 1962. It seems that this method of detection can flag out breast cancer many years earlier than physical examinations or mammograms.
Unfortunately, it is hard for such a relatively cheap alternative to replace costly mammograms in becoming the mainstream diagnostic tool.
For one very good reason as pointed out by Dr. James Howenstine – a “This (mammography) industry supports radiologists, x-ray technicians, surgeons, nurses, manufacturers of x-ray equipment, hospitals, etc, and will not be allowed to disappear by curing and preventing breast cancer.”
 Blaylock, Russell L, MD. Natural Strategies For Cancer Patients. New York, NY: Kensington Publishing, 2003. Print.
 Somers, Suzanne. Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place. NY, USA: Three Rivers Press, 2009. Print.
 Bollinger, Ty. Cancer: Step Outside The Box. 5th ed. USA: Infinity 510 510 Partners, 2011. Print.
Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.