• Topol: Time to End Routine Mammography

    Eric J. Topol, MD
    May 06, 2015

    Eric J. Topol, M.D.Mammography Is a Recipe for Net Harm

    The medical community prides itself on evidence to drive important decision-making. But when the evidence is contrary to entrenched medical practice, it has a hard time coming to terms. Such is the case for mammography recommendations. All of the data now available point to significant net harm—far more risk than benefit— for routine mammography. If this were a drug, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would never approve it. Last year, the Swiss Medical Board, after reviewing all of the data, recommended abolishing mammography.[1]

    But last week, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued new draft recommendations regarding who should undergo screening and how often. There was no support for routine screening in women younger than 50 or older than 74 years. But the recommendation for women aged 50-74 years is to undergo mammography every 2 years. There has never been a large study of mammography done every 2 years, so the basis for that periodicity of screening is questionable. But there are abundant data for annual screening and they are not at all supportive of continuing this practice. [Read More…]

  • USPSTF new breast screening recommendations ‘would result in thousands of breast cancer deaths’: ACR

    April 21, 2015

    by Lauren Dubinsky , Staff Writer

    Breast Cancer Word Cloud ConceptThe U.S Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released the draft update for its breast cancer screening recommendations on Monday — but not much has changed from the 2009 recommendations. The recommendations state that women between ages 50 and 74 should only undergo routine biennial screening and women in their 40s should discuss with their physician whether they need screening.

    On the their website, the Task Force gives screening women ages 40 to 49 a “C” recommendation and wrote, “Women who place a higher value on the potential benefit than the potential harms may choose to begin screening between the ages of 40 and 49 years.” The Task Force gave screening women ages 50 to 74 a “B” recommendation. [Read More…]

  • Mammography controversy needs greater participation to inform decisions

    Wednesday 7 May 2014 – 2am PST

    Doctors at the World Congress on the Menopause in Cancun, Mexico, have called for any decision to participate in mammography to be a based on an informed choice and consideration of all factors, rather than just be an automatic process.

    A major session at the World Congress on the Menopause has debated the benefits and risks associated with regular mammography. The potential benefit of mammography is earlier detection of breast cancer, but increasing evidence has shown that mammography also uncovers some cancers which would not go onto cause any problem, and many doctors believe that this over diagnosis can cause real harm through unnecessary treatment. The debate in the scientific press has led to confusion in the minds of many women, who hope for a definitive answer on whether or not they should undergo regular mammography.

    Now two prominent doctors from opposing sides of the debate have agreed that women need to be more involved in making decisions on whether or not mammography is right for them.

    Dr Eugenio Paci presented work from the EUROSCREEN working group, showing that over diagnosis is at the lower end of the estimates, indicating that mammography saves lives. This work indicates that screening 1000 women saves up to 7 lives, with only 4 over diagnosis. Professor Robin Bell presented an analysis showing that up to 40% of invasive breast cancer cases identified in women invited for mammography may be over diagnosed, and says that the total number of deaths in screened patients does not drop when measured against non-screened patients, indicating that screening has few benefits. [Read More…]

  • Health Canada protects mammogram racket by criminalizing thermography for breast cancer detection

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
    By Natural News

    (NaturalNews) The forces of evil are currently running wild in Canada, where the government-run healthcare machine and the mainstream media are currently engaged in a vicious assault on the safe and effective breast cancer screening tool known as thermography. A recent “investigative” report aired by CBC News that claimed to have uncovered the so-called “fraud” of thermography has prompted Health Canada to issue an arbitrary ban on the use of the procedure in several provinces throughout the country.

    Health Canada, which on its website claims to “respect individual choices and circumstances” as they pertain to healthcare, decided to play the hypocrite by issuing several cease and desist orders against clinics that offer thermography almost immediately after CBC News ran its hit-piece on the screening procedure on November 27. Quoting several Health Canada “experts” who arrogantly disregard thermography as “useless,” the biased CBC News report has generated considerable controversy among the health freedom community, as Canadians may no longer have access to the safe, painless, and radiation-free procedure.

    CBC News hatchet job on thermography serves interests of cancer industry

    It all started when CBC News, possibly with a little financial grease from both the radiology cartel and conventional cancer industry, suddenly decided to target the merits of thermography just weeks after news emerged about the dangers and ineffectiveness of mammograms. The news rag conducted an “undercover” investigation that did not actually reveal all that much, other than the fact that thermography is a viable and preferable alternative to mammograms for many women.

    But because the procedure is not officially approved by the Canadian version of “Obamacare,” CBC News saw an opportunity to grovel at the feet of their medical overlords by “exposing” the procedure publicly. Repeatedly insinuating that women are simply unable to make informed decisions for themselves without the government telling them what is safe and what works, the CBC News report suggests that thermography is some kind of deceptive marketing scam that tricks women into avoiding having their breasts crushed inside a mammogram machine and blasted with cancer-causing, ionizing radiation.

    CBC News report filled with complete lies about thermography

    Such claims are utterly insane and false, of course, as there have literally been hundreds of published studies conducted on thermography over the years showing that it is a highly effective way to detect breast cancer early without the need for radiation. Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D., a board-certified ob/gyn and bestselling author, wrote a detailed piece for the Huffington Post back in 2010 that explains the science behind thermography, and why it works better than mammograms at safely detecting breast cancer. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com)

    But CBC News ignored all this, and blatantly lied to its viewers and readers about thermography, effectively tainting the validity of the procedure in the minds of potentially millions of people. And as a result, the tens of thousands of Canadian women who currently rely on thermography as a safe alternative to mammograms suddenly no longer have access to the procedure, thanks to the blatant pandering of CBC News to the multi-billion dollar cancer industry.

    Government, please save us!

    What is perhaps most sickening about the CBC News report; however, is the fact that it screams of a mindset that believes the government knows all, and is some kind of societal babysitter that people can use to tattle on those who do not agree with them, and who actually think for themselves. Like good little sheep, the CBC News reporters that conducted the piece, and apparently a sizable chunk of the station’s viewership, have been brainwashed into the idea that, if the government does not officially approve of a treatment, then it must be a fraud. Such thinking is dangerous and, as illustrated by the actions of CBC News, leads to the elimination of other people’s health freedom.

  • The Benefits and Harms of Breast Cancer Screening: An Independent Review

    The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 30 October 2012

    doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61611-0Cite or Link Using DOI

    The benefits and harms of breast cancer screening: an independent review

    Original Text

    Independent UK Panel on Breast Cancer Screening

    Summary

    Whether breast cancer screening does more harm than good has been debated extensively. The main questions are how large the benefit of screening is in terms of reduced breast cancer mortality and how substantial the harm is in terms of overdiagnosis, which is defined as cancers detected at screening that would not have otherwise become clinically apparent in the woman’s lifetime. An independent Panel was convened to reach conclusions about the benefits and harms of breast screening on the basis of a review of published work and oral and written evidence presented by experts in the subject. To provide estimates of the level of benefits and harms, the Panel relied mainly on findings from randomised trials of breast cancer screening that compared women invited to screening with controls not invited, but also reviewed evidence from observational studies. The Panel focused on the UK setting, where women aged 50—70 years are invited to screening every 3 years. In this Review, we provide a summary of the full report on the Panel’s findings and conclusions. In a meta-analysis of 11 randomised trials, the relative risk of breast cancer mortality for women invited to screening compared with controls was 0·80 (95% CI 0·73—0·89), which is a relative risk reduction of 20%. The Panel considered the internal biases in the trials and whether these trials, which were done a long time ago, were still relevant; they concluded that 20% was still a reasonable estimate of the relative risk reduction. The more reliable and recent observational studies generally produced larger estimates of benefit, but these studies might be biased. The best estimates of overdiagnosis are from three trials in which women in the control group were not invited to be screened at the end of the active trial period. In a meta-analysis, estimates of the excess incidence were 11% (95% CI 9—12) when expressed as a proportion of cancers diagnosed in the invited group in the long term, and 19% (15—23) when expressed as a proportion of the cancers diagnosed during the active screening period. Results from observational studies support the occurrence of overdiagnosis, but estimates of its magnitude are unreliable. The Panel concludes that screening reduces breast cancer mortality but that some overdiagnosis occurs. Since the estimates provided are from studies with many limitations and whose relevance to present-day screening programmes can be questioned, they have substantial uncertainty and should be regarded only as an approximate guide. If these figures are used directly, for every 10 000 UK women aged 50 years invited to screening for the next 20 years, 43 deaths from breast cancer would be prevented and 129 cases of breast cancer, invasive and non-invasive, would be overdiagnosed; that is one breast cancer death prevented for about every three overdiagnosed cases identified and treated. Of the roughly 307 000 women aged 50—52 years who are invited to begin screening every year, just over 1% would have an overdiagnosed cancer in the next 20 years. Evidence from a focus group organised by Cancer Research UK and attended by some members of the Panel showed that many women feel that accepting the offer of breast screening is worthwhile, which agrees with the results of previous similar studies. Information should be made available in a transparent and objective way to women invited to screening so that they can make informed decisions.

  • Rebuttle to No-Touch Study ~ Misleading Media About Thermography

    The recent plethora of articles reporting a study published that compares a certain type of infrared imaging for breast cancer with mammography has been taken out of context and perspective by some journalists and by certain self interest groups within the medical profession.

    The ‘No touch breast scan’ product was tested alongside mammography for the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer in the misguided hope of getting a favorable outcome to assist in the generation of investment for their ‘No touch’ company.

    Mammograms Beat Thermography for Breast Cancer Detection: Study
    U.S. News & World Report

    By Kathleen Doheny FRIDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) — Thermography — a breast cancer detection method touted by some as a substitute for mammography — is an unreliable cancer screen, according to new research. In a study of about 180 women, …
    See all stories on this topic »

    Infrared Thermography Fails to Predict Breast Malignancy
    The Oncology Report

    Infrared thermography did not accurately predict malignancy and produced an unacceptably high false-positive rate in women with radiologic abnormalities requiring breast biopsy in a 2-year prospective study. The No-Touch Breast Scan (NTBS) is a …
    See all stories on this topic »

    The No Touch product, methodology and claims made in this study are NOT representative of the well established and professional practitioners of clinical thermography or the way that thermography is reported and used by medical doctors.

    As responsible clinical thermographers know well, the role of thermography is not to detect cancer but simply as an adjunctive screening test to provide additional information and to detect suspicious changes over time which can help the patients doctor with decision making and improve the use of other diagnostic tests such as mammograms, ultrasound or MRI.

    The findings that thermography provide ARE NOT COMPARABLE OR COMPETITIVE TO MAMMOGRAPHY.

    The ‘No Touch’ system claims a different technique, protocol and expectation than the standard breast screening thermography that is widely used around the world.
    The basic concept being promoted by ‘No Touch’ is the use of two FLIR industrial cameras scanning simultaneously to produce additional data, this data is then processed by software that claims to provide a diagnosis.

    Over 1000 previous peer reviewed studies over the past 20 years and the history and evolution of thermography in breast screening has taught us that :

    1, Patients personal variants will cause unacceptable false positives unless a stable baseline is established.

    2, Reports cannot be generated by software alone. Interpretation of thermogram results by an experienced and qualified medical doctor who will take into consideration all history and symptoms is fundamental to a useful report.

    3, Strict standard protocols for taking images are essential for repeatability and the comparative analysis for changes over time. This is where software analysis can assist a doctor with an opinion.

    4, Thermography is most sensitive and specific in the early stages of developing pathology (pre-cancerous) before there are findings that can be easily detected by structural tests such as mammogram and ultrasound. Again, THERMOGRAPHY CANNOT SEE TUMORS, CYSTS, CALCIFICATIONS, OR ANY OTHER STRUCTURAL PATHOLOGY.

    5, Thermography is LIMITED to detecting physiological abnormality and physiological (functional) changes over time. Thermography can detect vascular abnormality, inflammation, lymphatic abnormality, hormonal abnormality and other non structural indications of change that justifies additional testing, clinical correlation or close monitoring.

    Above all early screening of dysfunction or abnormality gives the patient and her doctor the opportunity for intervention (preventative).

    Any controversy relating to breast thermography is generally due to unrealistic or false claims being made about it.

    For more information a useful source is : http://acct-blog.com/

    Background to the role of Thermography: http://acct-blog.com/2009/07/07/understanding-the-role-of-diti-in-breast-screening-2/

  • Suzanne Somers Admits She Has a Controversial Viewpoint on Mammograms

    Suzanne Somers Discusses Mammogram Alternatives

    Suzanne Somers admits she has a controversial viewpoint on mammograms. Watch as she explains the risks she sees behind mammograms and offers her alternatives to breast cancer screenings.

  • Dense breasts may need more screening

    United Press International
    11-01-11

    Women with dense or non-fatty breast tissue may need additional breast cancer screening, a U.S. researcher says.

    Dr. Roshni Rao, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said one woman’s personal battle with breast cancer was the inspiration for Henda’s Law — a Texas law named for Henda Salmeron that requires women to be informed about their breast tissue’s density and the limitations of mammography in certain cases.

    Rao, Salmeron’s breast surgeon, said radiologists use a grading system to describe the density of breast tissue based on the amount of fat (non-dense) and connective (dense) tissue. Research is under way into why some women have denser breast tissue, but as women age, their breast tissue generally becomes more fatty, Rao said.

    “Breast tissue that has minimal or no fat may appear white, or dense, on a mammogram. This sometimes makes it difficult to identify cancers, which also typically appear as small white spots,” Rao said in a statement. “Many factors contribute to a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Having dense breast tissue may be one of them, but your doctor considers other factors — age at which a women had her first child, family history of cancer or age at the onset of menstruation, among others — when evaluating your risk and tailoring your screening program.”

    Digital mammograms may be best at finding cancer for women with dense breast tissue. Other tests, including breast magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound and breast thermography, may be helpful, but only in addition to mammograms, Rao said.

    Copyright United Press International 2011

  • 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…]

  • “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.