Study: Mammograms Do Not Decrease Mortality but Increase Over-Diagnosis

Holy Hormones Journal: According to the American Cancer Society in 2014,  more than 230,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.Mammogram 40,000 will die from the disease. Most of these women will follow their doctor’s recommendation and get a mammogram.  And many will get even more than one. According to the study cited below, 500 women died from breast even though their breast cancer was detected by mammograms. 505 women died from breast cancer who had done their monthly breast exams. The study made  World News with Diane Sawyer.

So what does this say about mammograms? I guess my real question is did these women die just from breast cancer or did the radiation from the mammograms affect their already compromised health?

The other disturbing part of this study is the high rate of misdiagnosis as a result of mammograms. Think of how many women have undergone chemo, radiation or mastectomies under that guise.

And lastly, this smacks of the HPV vaccine debate. Why get inoculated with a potentially dangerous vaccine, when pap smears – have done an excellent job of diagnosing cervical dysplasia and cancer for over 40 years?

Huge New Study Casts Doubts On Whether Women Should Be Getting Mammograms

Think Progress
By Sy Mukherjee on February 12, 2014 at 11:23 am

One of the most extensive studies on mammograms to date finds that the procedure isn’t any more effective in preventing breast cancer deaths than a traditional physical breast exam. In fact, according to the researchers from the University of Toronto, mammograms actually lead to significant over-diagnosis of the disease — which can result in unnecessary, costly treatments for cancers that may have receded without an intrusive intervention.

Mammograms are used to detect cancerous breast tumors that are too small to be seen by the naked eye or felt in a standard breast exam. The randomized control study was massive in scope, employing nearly 90,000 women aged 40 to 59 who were tracked over the course of 25 years. Approximately 45,000 of these women were told to get mammograms every year — as is recommended by the American Cancer Society for all women 40 and older — for five years. The other half were told not to get any mammograms at all.

The results were striking. Over the 25-year period, 3,250 women were diagnosed with breast cancer among the group that received the mammograms, while 3,133 women were diagnosed in the non-mammogram group. But 500 of the women diagnosed after a mammogram died of breast cancer, while 505 women who just had traditional exams died from the disease — a statistically insignificant difference of one percent in mortality rate.

“[O]ur data show that annual mammography does not result in a reduction in breast cancer specific mortality for women aged 40-59 beyond that of physical examination alone or usual care in the community,” concluded the study authors. “The data suggest that the value of mammography screening should be reassessed.”

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Related Article:
The New York Times February 11, 2014: Vast Study Casts Doubts on Value of Mammograms


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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.