• When a Train is not a Boat, and a Row Boat is not a Luxury Liner

    Why Mammography cannot be compared with breast thermography.
    Author: Dr. Hillary Smith

    I have recently seen the media go crazy with a study that was done at Bryn Mawr Hospital comparing mammography and thermography for breast cancer detection. The thermal images in the study failed to impress those conducting the study. And so we see multiple headlines about mammography being superior to thermography.

    Thermography and mammography are not the same. A train is not a boat.

    I wish the status quo would stop trying to put a train on the water and a boat on the tracks. Each vehicle has its own purpose and strengths.

    Thermography is a radiation free test of physiology looking at very early changes in the tissue. Mammography is an x-ray looking at structure or what has already developed. Only a biopsy can diagnose breast cancer.

    We need to change our thinking about breast screening and accept the addition of early, non toxic screening in order to give women the opportunity for lifestyle changes, very early intervention and safe screenings for all women including young women with dense breasts.

    As thermographers, we are on the health side. We need to take our honorable place in women’s health care. We are not mammograms. We are a boat, not a train.

    Now about boats. The thermography used in the “study” was a computer generated diagnosis with information garnered from industrial cameras.
    [Read More…]

  • Screening for Breast Cancer

    JAMA. 2005 Mar 9;293(10):1245-56.

    Screening for breast cancer.

    Elmore JG, Armstrong K, Lehman CD, Fletcher SW.

    Source

    Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, USA. jelmore@u.washington.edu

    Abstract

    CONTEXT:

    Breast cancer screening in community practices may be different from that in randomized controlled trials. New screening modalities are becoming available.

    OBJECTIVES:

    To review breast cancer screening, especially in the community and to examine evidence about new screening modalities.

    DATA SOURCES AND STUDY SELECTION:

    English-language articles of randomized controlled trials assessing effectiveness of breast cancer screening were reviewed, as well as meta-analyses, systematic reviews, studies of breast cancer screening in the community, and guidelines. Also, studies of newer screening modalities were assessed.

    DATA SYNTHESIS:

    All major US medical organizations recommend screening mammography for women aged 40 years and older. Screening mammography reduces breast cancer mortality by about 20% to 35% in women aged 50 to 69 years and slightly less in women aged 40 to 49 years at 14 years of follow-up. Approximately 95% of women with abnormalities on screening mammograms do not have breast cancer with variability based on such factors as age of the woman and assessment category assigned by the radiologist. Studies comparing full-field digital mammography to screen film have not shown statistically significant differences in cancer detection while the impact on recall rates (percentage of screening mammograms considered to have positive results) was unclear. One study suggested that computer-aided detection increases cancer detection rates and recall rates while a second larger study did not find any significant differences. Screening clinical breast examination detects some cancers missed by mammography, but the sensitivity reported in the community is lower (28% to 36%) than in randomized trials (about 54%). Breast self-examination has not been shown to be effective in reducing breast cancer mortality, but it does increase the number of breast biopsies performed because of false-positives. Magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound are being studied for screening women at high risk for breast cancer but are not recommended for screening the general population. Sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging in high-risk women has been found to be much higher than that of mammography but specificity is generally lower. Effect of the magnetic resonance imaging on breast cancer mortality is not known. A balanced discussion of possible benefits and harms of screening should be undertaken with each woman.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    In the community, mammography remains the main screening tool while the effectiveness of clinical breast examination and self-examination are less. New screening modalities are unlikely to replace mammography in the near future for screening the general population.

  • 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…]

  • 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.