Kristi Whitley

Healthy Living

Mammography: ineffectiveness, consequences and alternatives

Last week I shared a little about the realities of the breast cancer charities and how women are actually preyed upon by them as much as they are helped. This week I will discuss the industry of breast cancer further and hopefully shed some light on the mammography controversy. 
As last week, please forgive me in advance for my bias against this procedure. My friend of 30 years who died of breast cancer at age 48 never had a positive mammogram. Even the last one she had which was three weeks prior to her diagnosis was negative. Mammography never detected her 3.5 cm tumor. (For the metrically challenged, that is about the length of my thumb from just below the first knuckle to the tip.) She was always told that she had dense breast tissue and that abnormalities would be hard to detect but was never offered an alternative. 
Follow the money
Familiar? According to a 2008 report by market analysts Medtech Insight, breast cancer screening is a $2.1 billion business including mammography, ultra sound and MRI. Be on the lookout for even more marketing and twisting of the facts regarding the effectiveness of mammography because after increasing by about 1% every year in the past, mammography rates fell by about 4% after new guidelines calling for a reduction in mammograms starting at age 40 were published in 2009. Medical corporations still have to pay for their expensive equipment and pay radiologists and technicians so they will be ruthless in their pursuit of your insurance company’s money. Watch for “free screenings”, “screening open houses”, “mother/daughter screenings”, etc. all complete with prizes and other incentives. Also, don’t forget that these corporations give giant donations to the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen Foundation to promote mammography. 
Mammograms are wrong 80% of the time, giving either a false positive or negative. In the 50% of women who have dense breast tissue or implants they are completely useless. 
The New England Journal of Medicine published an article in the September 2010 issue regarding the effectiveness of mammography. In a review of the literature the authors concluded that the actual reduction of death from breast cancer is 0.4 women out of 1,000, a 0.04% reduction in death from breast cancer due to mammography. That is, out of 2,500 women screened every year for ten years, 1 would be saved by mammography. It is estimated that the numbers of misdiagnoses, over treatments, etc. leave you with an increased risk of unnecessary trauma from a mammogram of 0.5%. You may want to carefully re-read that last statement. (See The Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, 2011) In fact past research shows that adding mammography to a careful physician screening of the breast does not increase survival either. 
Besides being told for decades that mammograms save lives, we have been led to believe that they preventcancer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Normally a cancer has been growing for 8-14 years before it is detected by mammogram. 
If you would like to read about the corruption in the FDA approval of mammography machines read here:
Dr. Russell Blaylock wrote in his March 2007 newsletter regarding the exposure to radiation from mammography:
“Studies have shown that mammograms increase the risk of developing breast cancer from 1-3% per year (depending on the technique used), which means that if you religiously have a mammogram every year for 10 years, you increase your risk 10% to 30%. Some radiation experts feel the danger is much higher.”
The emotional and physical traumas of misdiagnoses due to mammography are one thing. Needle biopsies risk spreading cancer if it is present. Unnecessary, disfiguring lumpectomies and mastectomies can also leave the immune system weakened and traumatized to the point of initiating cancer. Actual harmfulness of the mammogram is another thing. Compression of the breast causes trauma and may rupture an encapsulated cancer and cause it to spread. Radiation causes cancer, period. The technician will tell you that it is no more radiation than you would get from the sun. The benefits of sunshine in NO WAY compare to the harm from concentrated radiation to a small, single, vulnerable portion of your anatomy. 
There is a very viable alternative scan that has 0 danger and can detect cancer or the potential for cancer. It is called thermography or thermal imaging. It uses an infrared camera to detect levels of heat in the body. I have been getting it instead of mammography since 2010. I have been able to actually see fibrocystic breast disease healed in the past three years. The thermogram can detect other problem areas as well. A friend recently found that she had gall bladder issues and is able to treat them before they become acute. Please see and for more information on this inexpensive and completely harmless procedure. 
Self-examination and careful examination by a physician still remain good methods of detection. They shouldn’t be relied upon solely; again, cancer has been growing for years before it is large enough to be detected. 
The good news
Cancer is not a random F-5 tornado that comes out of nowhere or strikes those with the misfortune of some mysterious genetic code.  There is always a reason the immune system malfunctions and the body succumbs to cancer. If you have cancer and you haven’t identified the cause of the cancer and changed that part of your lifestyle, it will return. There is no such thing as going home and resuming your life after cancer treatment. It has been know since the 1930’s that cancer rates are largely due to lifestyle. The first wave of Japanese immigrants to the US left their low cancer rates behind and assumed ours in one generation of living in America. Their genes didn’t change but their diets did. Why so much emphasis on genetics? Pharmaceutical companies and recently, genetic coding companies, want you to believe it is genetic and there is nothing you can do except take their drug or have your genetic code deciphered (at a price, of course).  
Stay tuned for information on breast cancer (all cancers, actually) causes, prevention and cures that won’t cost you anything or harm you. In the meantime, read more here…
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer by John R. Lee
Breast Cancer: Reduce Your Risk with Foods You Love by Robert Pendergrast, MD
Many thanks to for giving us these resources as well:
Dr. Christine Horner, Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horner’s Program to Protect Against and Fight Breast Cancer.
International Academy of Clinical Thermography
Alan Cassels, Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease.
Screening mammography in women 40-49 years of age: a systematic review for the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine 146. 516-526. 2007. 
Effect of mammographic screening from age 40 years on breast cancer mortality at 10 years’ follow-up: a randomized controlled trial. Lancet 2006; 368:2.
Screening for breast cancer: systematic evidence review update for the US Preventive Services Task Force
National Cancer Institute, SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2009.
Proverbs 19:20-21
Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.