• Barred From Breast Screening

    Under 50 … Younger women are missing out on breast screens. Source: The Sunday Telegraph

    ALMOST a quarter of breast cancers diagnosed in Australia occur in females under 50, so why is the Government recommending screening for older women only?

    Sitting in a drawer of a Canberra office is a report recommending significant changes to Australia’s breast-screening program.

    It’s been there since last June. It says the government should lower its target age range for routine mammograms from 50 to 45, and extend it at the other end of the age range, from 69 to 75.

    Such changes would have done little to help the likes of the late Jane McGrath. The wife of former fast bowler Glenn was only 31 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died in 2008. [Read More…]

  • Mammograms Over 40: Surprise? Half Of Women Over Are Skipping Them

    MARILYNN MARCHIONE | 12/ 9/10 11:07 AM |

     Read More: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Mammogram, Breast Mammogram, Breast Screening, Mammogram Over 40, Mammogram Over 50, Mammogram Recommendations, Mammogram Test, Mammograms, Health News

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    SAN ANTONIO — Remember the uproar last year when a government task force said most women don’t need annual mammograms? It turns out that only half of women over 40 had been getting them that often to start with, even when they have insurance that covers screening.

    The information comes from a review of insurance claims that show what women actually do – not what they say in surveys.

    “We all support many things – fast food isn’t what we should eat for dinner every night – but that isn’t what we do,” said Dr. Milayna Subar of Medco Health Solutions Inc., which manages benefits for many large insurers, including some Medicare plans.

    She did the study, using records on more than 1.5 million women, and reported results Thursday at a breast cancer conference.

    The finding is disturbing, said Dr. Judy Garber of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and president-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research, one of the conference’s sponsors. “Here’s an insured population where cost is not a barrier,” and yet many women are not getting tested. [Read More…]

  • Cruel Wait Not Breast Practice

    • Robyn Riley
    • From: Sunday Herald Sun
    • April 11, 2010 12:00AM
    • 18 comments

    I AM no doctor, but as someone who was a medical writer for many years, I consider myself reasonably well informed on medical matters.

    But I did not know that BreastScreen Australia provided a screening mammogram only – not a diagnostic mammogram.

    There is a big difference, as I found out last week.

    A screening mammogram is only for women who do not present with symptoms. So the first thing to remember is that anyone with symptoms – and that can be anything from a lump to a discharge or even changes in colour – should not use the free BreastScreen program.

    They should have a GP refer them for a diagnostic mammogram.

    Why? Because it can save you several weeks of worrying. A diagnostic mammogram is also more specific and the results can be returned within a day. [Read More…]

  • Christine O’Gorman Suffers Misdiagnosis at BreastScreen

    Cruel treatment … Cancer sufferer Chrsitine O’Gorman with her partner, Glen Fitzpatrick. Picture: Stephen Cooper Source: The Daily Telegraph

    CHRISTINE O’Gorman was lying in bed reading when she scratched an itch in her left breast and felt a lump “as hard as concrete”.

    For the 57-year-old single mum, the subsequent diagnosis last year of a cancerous tumour was at odds with every mammogram result she had ever received – and she had been diligently having her breasts screened every two years since 1994.

    Like thousands of women aged between 50 and 69, O’Gorman visited a government-funded BreastScreen clinic to have her mammograms. It was convenient, free of charge and she was able to fit a visit in during her lunch hour.

    To her immense relief, after every mammogram examination O’Gorman received a letter from BreastScreen stating “there was no visible evidence of breast cancer”.

    Shockingly, it now emerges that there was visible evidence. Those reassuring letters from BreastScreen turn out not to be worth the paper they were written on. [Read More…]

  • “Mammography Saves Lives” questioned by CANSA and UK and USA authorities.

    The USA website of Curves Health Clubs for women claims over 4 million members worldwide.  So it is has considerable outreach to women. But it is an exercise club.

    So it is disturbing when it engages in  highly controversial promotion of screening xray mammography of all asymptomatic older well women not at increased risk, the safety and utility of which has been increasingly questioned the past two decades.  Read complete story.

  • The Real Incidence Of Breast Cancer Risk Is Far Lower Than Claimed

    An authoritative new study from USA and Switzerland  “Breast Cancer in  Postmenopausal Women:  What is the Real Risk?”  has been published on line exposing the scaremongering mythology that the  risk of breast cancer is between 1:8 and 1:3.

     The risk is in fact probably closer  to 1:1000 per year post menopause, ie  over a lifetime far below 1:20 for average women world wide .

     Thus there is no substance for the slogan Mammography Saves Lives, which was designed by the massive Breast Cancer Industry to scare women into having dozens of unnecessary and harmful screening xray mammograms over a lifetime.  Read Complete Article.

  • Understanding the Role of DITI* in Breast Screening

    The benefits of DITI do vary between age and risk groups.

    With the pre mammogram age group (under 50) the benefits of screening to detect any findings or changes that justify additional testing or closer monitoring are simple. With any positive DITI findings in this younger age group, any mammogram and ultrasound sensitivity and specificity will be increased with the objective DITI findings targeting a dysfunction and location and providing decision making information in women that would not have otherwise been tested.

    It takes years for most cancers to develop to the stage that they can be detected with mammogram or ultrasound (dense enough for location and biopsy) so DITI is ideally placed as a screening tool to identify changes over time in the ‘early’ development stages, before there is more advanced pathology that can be detected with other tests.

    The major benefit in this group is in detecting early changes that precede malignant pathology that will become diagnosable at some stage.

    Early detection is aimed at prevention and if early changes are detected then we have an opportunity to intervene and change the outcome.

    The earlier an abnormality is detected the better the treatment options will be, resulting in a better outcome.

    Prevention may include treatment of inflammation, fibrocystic disease, lymph congestion, estrogen dominance and more specific conditions like angiogenesis. [Read More…]

  • Concerns About Recommending Routine Screening Mammograms for Women Age 40 to 49

    By Jacquelyn Paykel and William H. Wolberg 

    The controversy concerning the usefulness of screening mammography in younger-than-50 women continues. In general, two factors are consistently overlooked that should bear heavily on screening recommendations, particularly as they pertain to national policy. First, understanding why screening is more beneficial after as opposed to before age 50; second, assessing the societal cost of routine screening in younger women. 

    Pivotal to this discussion – and unavailable from any of the current studies – is the menopausal status of the patients being screened. Biological age is more important than is chronological age. At the time of menopause, the ovaries cease to produce estrogen. Lacking bodily estrogen, the breast glandular tissue involutes, and cancerous nodules become more apparent by mammogram. Therefore, screening is going to be as advantageous to a woman who is postmenopausal at age 48 as it is to a woman at age 55 or older. The reported screening studies have been conveniently designed based on the subjects’ date of birth (age), rather than on the appropriate standard which is the menopausal status of the subject. Furthermore, women who started to receive mammograms before age 50 continued to receive them after their fiftieth birthday. Not only was the menopausal status ignored, but any beneficial effect of screening before 50 could not be distinguished from that occurring after 50. 

    Some otherwise undetectable cancers are found by mammography in younger-than-50 women. Women in this age group who have been mammographically diagnosed become strong advocates for screening. However, the radiation given with mammograms undoubtedly causes some cancers particularly in younger women when the breast is under estrogen stimulation. What is unclear is whether mammograms result in curing more cancers than they cause in this age group. The available data indicate that there is a close trade off.  [Read More…]

  • What’s Best for Your Breasts?

    Thermograms vs. mammograms

    Published: October 5, 2010

     by CHRISTIANE NORTHRUP, M.D.

    Taking the sane approach for better breast health.

    TODAY, MANY WOMEN with a family history of breast cancer are opting for genetic testing to determine whether they carry the abnormal breast cancer genes one (BRCA1) or two (BRC2). When the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are healthy, the body is more likely to hinder breast cancer cell growth. When these same women test positive for the (mutated) breast cancer gene, many are opting for a preventative bilateral mastectomy (the removal of two, usually healthy, breasts). This is happening more and more, even though only five to ten percent of all new breast cancers occur in women who carry the gene!1

    Women wrongly conclude that if they carry these mutated genes, they are destined to develop cancer. Dr. Colin Begg, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and fellow researchers determined after studying 2000 women from different countries that breast cancer risk varies widely among women with mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Other factors contribute to a women’s risk, including family history, diet, and lifestyle choices.2 This means that testing positive doesn’t mean you will get breast cancer—and testing negative doesn’t mean you are protected from developing breast cancer! [Read More…]