Last year, one of the largest and longest investigations into mammography was published.8
It involved 90,000 women who were followed for 25 years, and it sent shockwaves through the medical industry when it reported that the death rates from breast cancer were virtually identical among women who got annual mammograms and those who did not.Moreover, it found that mammography screening had harmful effects. As reported by The New York Times:“One in five cancers found with mammography and treated was not a threat to the woman’s health and did not need treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation.”
At the outset of the study, the women, aged 40-59, were randomly assigned to receive either five annual mammography screens, or an annual physical breast examination without mammography.Over the course of the study, 3,250 of the women who received mammography were diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to 3,133 in the non-mammography group.
Of those, 500 women in the mammography group, and 505 in the control group, died from the disease. However, after 15 years of follow-up, the mammography group had another 106 extra cancer diagnoses, which were attributed to over diagnosis.
According to the authors:“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 percent 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.”
The rate of over diagnosis (22 percent) is virtually identical to that found in a 2012 Norwegian study,11 which found that as many as 25 percent of women are consistently over diagnosed with breast cancer that, if left alone, would cause no harm. Other studies that have come to similar conclusions include the following:
• In 2007, the Archives of Internal Medicine12 published a meta-analysis of 117 randomized, controlled mammogram trials. Among its findings: rates of false-positive results are high (20-56 percent after 10 mammograms)
• A 2009 meta analysis by the Cochrane Database review13 found that breast cancer screening led to a 30 percent rate of overdiagnosis and overtreatment, which increasedthe absolute risk of developing cancer by 0.5 percent. The review concluded that for every 2,000 women invited for screening throughout a 10 year period, the life of just ONE woman was prolonged, while 10 healthy women were underwent unnecessary treatment.
Optimize Your Vitamin D for Breast Cancer Prevention
While detection and diagnosis of breast cancer is certainly important as early treatment has a greater chance of success, prevention is really key, and here you can wield a lot of power over your own destiny. In the largest review of research into lifestyle and breast cancer, the American Institute of Cancer Research estimated that about 40 percent of US breast cancer cases could be prevented if people made wiser lifestyle choices. I believe that is a very conservative estimate.
It’s likely that 75 percent to 90 percent of breast cancers could be avoided by strictly applying the recommendations below, especially when done in combination, as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Optimizing your vitamin D level alone has been shown to reduce your chances of breast cancer by at least 50 percent and double your chances of surviving breast cancer should you receive a breast cancer diagnosis.
Vitamin D influences virtually every cell in your body and is one of nature’s most potent cancer fighters. It’s actually able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis (cell death). Vitamin D also works synergistically with every cancer treatment I’m aware of, with no adverse effects. The average vitamin D level found in American breast cancer patients18 is 17 ng/ml, a far cry from a more optimal 40-50 ng/ml.
So please, be sure to regularly monitor your vitamin D levels and take whatever amount of vitamin D3 you need to maintain a clinically relevant level
Shaklee makes a Vitamin D3 product called Vita D
Don’t forget that 20 minutes of sun exposure preferably before noon is great for your Vitamin D levels.
Theremography a Healthy alternative to Mamograms
Real Early Detection: Thermography
One of the best tools we have for spotting inflammation is thermography – and detecting it early could save your life! Inflammation is a precursor to many diseases – arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, just to name a few.
What Is Thermography?
Thermography is a “temperature map” of your body. It’s made by taking a series of scans with a state-of-the-art digital infrared camera. Just as radiologists read x-rays for abnormalities, thermographic images are read by licensed medical specialists.
Thermography is painless and radiation-free. There’s no contact with your body like the squeezing for mammograms. There are no confining spaces like those used for MRIs and CTs.
In addition to detecting inflammation, thermography is extremely useful for identifying neurological, vascular and circulatory dysfunction, and revealing injury to muscles and bones.
Normal images show symmetrical patterns: temperatures will be the same on both sides of the body. Differences in temperature tell us that something is wrong.
Because the images are digital, there’s no guesswork involved. Cursoring over any part of the image gives the doctor its exact temperature. Archiving allows a doctor to follow conditions over time, with older images compared to new, pixel to pixel.
An Alternative to Mammograms
That ability to compare in such detail is crucial to breast cancer prevention. In the early stages of inflammatory breast cancer, self-exams or mammograms may fail to find even a single lump. Yet thermography will show the irregular heat patterns associated with this condition. It can also give a better view of anatomical changes within dense breast tissue – changes nearly impossible to view on a mammogram.
Because there is no radiation, monitoring for optimal prevention can safely start at any age. Because there is no contact with the body, there’s no risk of breast implant rupture. The screening is virtually risk-free.