I am going to show you a study which will blow your mind. A study that shows, in plain English, that our coveted mammograms just don’t work. I am going to contend that mammograms are a big, for-profit, machine that do nothing to help women evade the dark clutches of cancer.
Mammograms are almost the medical world’s most no-brainer ritual. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and are found to have never received a mammogram, you are almost surely to be considered a woman who got what she had coming to her. It’s the sad fear-based marketing that puts breast in the machine, money in the machine maker’s pockets – with women being left out in the cold with an ineffective expenditure and false sense of security.
First, let’s begin with a study which occurred over 1 year ago. This is based on a 25-year-old follow up on breast cancer incidence and mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screen Study.
Women aged 40-49 in the mammography arm and all women aged 50-59 in both arms received annual physical breast examinations. Women aged 40-49 in the control arm received a single examination followed by usual care in the community.
So what were the results and the conclusion?
Results During the five year screening period, 666 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed in the mammography arm (n=44?925 participants) and 524 in the controls (n=44?910), and of these, 180 women in the mammography arm and 171 women in the control arm died of breast cancer during the 25 year follow-up period. The overall hazard ratio for death from breast cancer diagnosed during the screening period associated with mammography was 1.05 (95% confidence interval 0.85 to 1.30). The findings for women aged 40-49 and 50-59 were almost identical. During the entire study period, 3250 women in the mammography arm and 3133 in the control arm had a diagnosis of breast cancer, and 500 and 505, respectively, died of breast cancer. Thus the cumulative mortality from breast cancer was similar between women in the mammography arm and in the control arm (hazard ratio 0.99, 95% confidence interval 0.88 to 1.12). After 15 years of follow-up a residual excess of 106 cancers was observed in the mammography arm, attributable to over-diagnosis.
Conclusion Annual mammography in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination or usual care when adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is freely available. Overall, 22% (106/484) of screen detected invasive breast cancers were over-diagnosed, representing one over-diagnosed breast cancer for every 424 women who received mammography screening in the trial. (source)
So after 25 years, the results of women who got mammograms and those who didn’t were almost exactly the same in terms of those who died from breast cancer. That’s as clear of a study as there ever could be. But then why, if this study has been out for over a year, would anyone remain a believer in the mammogram?
Breast cancer awareness month. This movement is huge. They even provide hosting for women in need to get mammograms. Any time we see charitable organizations dishing out “medical advancements,” we are subconsciously subjugated into believing that if we also don’t do the same, we are pompous and unfazed of our blessed lives. Breast cancer awareness month now has the support of the NFL. Which means they now influence men to persuade women into getting mammograms. The NFL is one of the largest TV contracts in the history of the world. Its influence is immeasurable. They change the player’s uniforms and cleats. They do promo spots. In addition to the NFL, all major television talk shows are involved in the campaign. It is a month of inescapable marketing.
What’s worse? The NFL campaign doesn’t fund breast cancer cures, it funds breast cancer marketing!
This is how it works: The NFL donates proceeds from its awareness campaign, auctions, and the NFL Shop to the American Cancer Society (ACS), which in turns uses that money to increase awareness, education, and screenings for women over 40.
“The money that we receive from NFL has nothing to do with our research program,” ACS spokeswoman Tara Peters told VICE Sports. All NFL donations go to ACS’ CHANGE program, through which the organization awards grants to “community based health facilities” located within 100 miles of an NFL city for educating women about breast health. The ACS could not provide the names of any of these health facilities, but it says that these centers have answered questions about early detection of the disease for at least 72,000 women in the last three years and screened 10,000 women at little or no cost. (you should do yourself a favor and read more from Vice here)
The study you just read above threatens the mammogram revenue machine. Just think about it for a moment, the volume of women getting mammograms; the absurd amount of profits from those visits. That’s not something that the mammogram industry intends to lose. But hopefully women can begin to share this information with other women and counter the mammogram marketing beast which for now, presides over us all.
Breast thermography is a radiation free way to look for issues inside of the breast region. Of course, we hear little about it. In fairness, it isn’t available everywhere (but that’s probably part of the overall protection of mammogram profiteering).
I would encourage everyone to read, Alkalizing Nutritional Therapy in the Prevention and Treatment of Any Cancerous Condition, which is available on Amazon. It is a good read that could change your life.
Photo by themozhi’s pixel displays
The pope wants everyone to stop freaking out about breastfeeding in church, according to a new translated video on Mic Media this week.
Why should anyone take issue with a woman and a baby acting holistically in their natural state? The fact is, this is how man evolved. Breast are, in essence, for feeding the child. For those who are constantly offended, the time might be now to loosen the heck up. Even the pope doesn’t care anymore!
By the way, breastfeeding is incredibly healthy for both mother and baby. While not every mother is able to breastfeed, we’d highly recommend those who are able to breastfeed to do just that! You and your baby’s ultimate health will thank you later in life!
Angelina Jolie did it. In fact, she’s the face of it in some ways having done it only due to her carrying what modern medicine considers a “genetic disposition” to it. The mastectomy, a procedure used to remove the breast after an aggressive breast cancer diagnosis, or in the more controversial “preventative” action, is ever-popular. And the amount of mastectomies are rising, according to a study from last year.
In the past decade, there have been marked trends toward higher proportions of BCS-eligible patients undergoing mastectomy, breast reconstruction, and bilateral mastectomy. The greatest increases are seen in women with node-negative and in situ disease. Mastectomy rates do not yet exceed current American Cancer Society/American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer accreditation benchmarks.
I noted that final sentence because, well, it needs to be noted. Many women subjected to mastectomies either did so due to carrying the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes which are touted as massive precursors to breast cancer, or due to misdiagnosis (like this woman). The credibility of preventive mastectomy has been called into question, as you can imagine. The American Cancer Society paints the picture of the disfiguring surgery in almost a heroic way (see justifications above in high benchmarks). Believe me, I respect and empathize with any woman who has had to go through it, but I do think we need to question how needed it actually is.
The main reason to question it is because mastectomies are simply dangerous. In fact, they are the most dangerous breast cancer treatments available. When you combine mastectomies with breast reconstruction, you risk serious financial gloom and health complications surpassing all other treatments. A recent study examined the burdens of mastectomies. The study used 100,000 women with early-stage breast cancer. The researchers analyzed 10 years of medical claims within two divided groups: Over / Under 65 years of age. The under 65 group of women who had a mastectomy followed by reconstruction ended up having complications. In the latter half (over 65), the number was 70%.
And the cost are no joke either. You can see a graph here directly from the study itself.
image credit: http://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=2644818-SABCS-v2
For those who do end up with complications, the complication ends up tallying an average cost of $10,000. That’s in addition to the treatment’s initial cost of $1,400 to $3,600.
With mastectomy rates increasing, there is really no indication that the financial and health related complications will do anything but scale in growth. It is important that women understand that they do have options and should seriously research and consider everything. When a Doctor recommends a mastectomy, do your research, particularly if you don’t have breast cancer in the first place. These procedures are very serious surgeries which aren’t without serious risk, as the study shows.
Photo by KOMUnews
So why aren’t more people talking about it?
Alternatives to chemo therapy aren’t exactly popular talk these days. The chemo business is a robust, money-making machine. And the FDA has its back. Whenever any sort of alternative treatment arises, it is met with great criticism and public backlash. As is the case with the Graviola (also known as Soursop).
The Graviola is a tree found in the Amazon basin of South America. They can range from 15 to 30 feet in height and are well known in the area to be extremely nutrient dense. It appears from the exterior to be a watermelon with spikes on it. It has a soft and smooth flesh. But it is the tree bark and the leaves, when consumed, that are supposed to offer people incredible healing benefits. The natives of the amazon make tea with it. It is supposed to be an incredible immune system boost. A natural, viable healer to the human race.
The noted benefits:
Increased immune function
Better overall circulation
Soursop / Graviola is loaded with vitamin C and a handful of B vitamins, such as thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. It contains good amounts of calcium, phosphorus and a bit of iron. As an herbal remedy, it is given to help people with stomach issues, fevers, coughs and asthma. It is also believed to be antiviral.
Many people drink it daily as tea, or in canned products, as you can see below.
But its ability to kill cancer cells is what is being called into question by Government agencies. Soursop has been associated with many unsubstantiated claims, says Daniel Kellman, Clinical Director of Naturopathic Medicine at our hospital outside Atlanta. And the rabbit hole goes even deeper. In two separate studies (here) and (here), this same Clinical Director pushed the idea that merely consuming the fruit could lead to Parkinson’s disease and potentially neurotoxicity.
A study published by the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in 1997 suggested otherwise, though. When Graviola was tested on breast cancer cells in cultures, they were more effective than chemotherapy (source). But the data is considered to be unsubstantiated due to not having a Government backing. This was published on SFGate’s health section regarding the fruit and it’s effects on cancer.
Soursop’s acetogenins are the compounds that have been most studied, especially for their potential to prevent or slow the growth of cancer. The Cancer Center also says that some compounds in soursop may be naturally antiviral and antiparasitic, and may also suppress inflammation. (source)
So is Graviola a true natural healer that’s considered a rival to a booming chemotherapy industry? The dilemma here is, as always, the Government shuts out any experimentation which could legitimize such a science. Anything that challenges the Pharmaceutical industry is an enemy of the state. It’s an unfair shake for a fruit that clearly has some merit in the game. And this is the case with most alternative health treatments, unfortunately. Without being able to take part in real, unbiased studies, alternative concepts such as this have no chance to garner merit. We have to believe at this point that solutions exist outside of Chemotherapy treatments, which are harsh and destructive.
Photo by John Loo