I have long debated the sense in subjecting millions of healthy women to radiation in the form of mammography when the statistics don’t seem to stack up about them preventing deaths from breast cancer. Daily, I go from thinking it’s worth it to catch cancer early to the worry that thousands of women get false diagnoses, a dose of radiation and unnecessary worry. It’s a conundrum, not least because of the peer and medical pressure that comes as part of the screening programme.
John Briffa has recently written a good post about it, so check it out here: Researchers Give Mammography A Vote Of No Confidence. Others he has written are also worth checking out: BMJ piece asks serious questions about the effectiveness of mammography and Women kept in the dark about the facts about mammography.
If you search for ‘mammography’ at www.wddty.com too you will come up with a lot more info. Read too the article linked below written by a breast cancer surgeon who basically reckons mass screening is a very different ballgame to diagnostic screening when there is a suspicion of a problem rather than looking for one in healthy women.
It’s a toughie and you need to make your own mind up. For what it’s worth, I do know that the majority of cancers are said to be picked up by breast examination, so it pays to learn how to do this correctly and do it regularly. I would also think about checking for oestrogen dominance as this plays a big part in developing oestrogen-sensitive cancers like breast and endometrial. Ask me if you need more help on this, or check out the Cancer Factsheet on the site.
- The mammography wars heat up again (sciencebasedmedicine.org)