The Cancer Test that’s a Death Trap…
Posted By Dr. Mercola | September 02 2010
Dr. Samuel S. Epstein, chairman of the Cancer
Prevention Coalition, warns that the American Cancer Society has close financial ties to
the makers of mammography equipment. Five radiologists have served as presidents of the American Cancer Society
In its every move, the ACS promotes the interests of the major manufacturers of mammogram machines and films, including
Siemens, DuPont, General Electric, Eastman Kodak, and Piker.
This bias hypes mammography, which Dr. Epstein and Dr. Rosalie Bertell emphasize is an avoidable cause of breast
According to World Wire:
“Routine mammography delivers
an unrecognized high dose of radiation,
warn Drs. Epstein and Bertell. If a woman follows the current guidelines for premenopausal screening, over a 10 year period she would receive a total dosage of about 5 rads. This approximates
the level of exposure to radiation of a Japanese woman one mile from the epicenter of atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima
Wire November 24, 2009
There is no solid evidence that mammograms save lives. In fact, research demonstrates that adding an annual mammogram
to a careful physical examination of the breasts does not improve breast cancer survival rates over getting the
Yet, most physicians recommend mammograms to women as the go-to method of breast cancer screening, and the American Cancer Society advises women age 40 and
older to have a screening mammogram every year,
and continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.
This is a recommendation they kept, despite
updated guidelines set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which state that women
in their 40s should NOT get routine mammograms
for early detection of breast cancer!
So why is ACS so gung-ho on mammograms, despite a lack of strong evidence to back up their use?
American Cancer Society Has Financial Interests
Samuel S. Epstein, M.D.
Dr. Epstein Bio
|Dr. Epstein, M.D., professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational
Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, and chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition,
has been speaking out about the risks of mammography since at least 1992. As for how these misguided mammography
guidelines came about, Epstein says:
“They were conscious, chosen, politically expedient acts by a small group of people for the sake of their own power,
prestige and financial gain, resulting in suffering and death for millions of women. They fit the classification
of "crimes against humanity."
And what better spokesperson to tout mammography’s benefits than the American Cancer Society itself, an agency
that is supposed to be devoted to preventing and curing cancer for the American public? But as Dr. Epstein points
out, ACS’ role in the promotion
of mammography is far from altruistic, as the Society has numerous ties to the mammography industry itself:
Five radiologists have served as presidents
ACS commonly promotes the interests of mammogram machine and film manufacturers, including Siemens, DuPont, General
Electric, Eastman Kodak and Piker
Dr. Epstein and Rosalie Bertell, Ph.D. of the International Physicians for Humanitarian Medicine stated:
"The mammography industry conducts
research for the ACS and its grantees, serves on its advisory boards, and donates considerable funds. DuPont also
is a substantial backer of the ACS Breast Health Awareness Program; sponsors television shows and other media productions
touting ACS literature for hospitals, clinics, medical organization, and doctors; produces educational films; and
aggressively lobbies Congress for legislation promoting the nationwide availability of mammography services."
The close ties also help explain why ACS commonly runs advertisements urging women to get mammograms, even going
so far in one ad as to promise
that early detection leads to a cure “nearly
100 percent of the time.”
But as World-Wire reported, an ACS communications
director even admitted that the statement was not based on science, but marketing potential. She said:
“The ad isn't based on a study.
When you make an advertisement, you just say what you can to get women in the door. You exaggerate a point ...
Mammography today is a lucrative [and] highly competitive business."
Unfortunately, what the American Cancer Society is not making clear in their heavy mammography marketing material
are the risks involved, some of which may actually
raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
Mammogram Risks You Probably Haven’t Heard
A mammogram uses ionizing radiation
at a relatively high dose, which in and of itself can contribute to the development of breast cancer. Mammograms expose your body to radiation that can
be 1,000 times greater than that from a chest x-ray, which we know poses a
According to Epstein and Bertell in World-Wire:
“If a woman follows the current guidelines for premenopausal screening, over a 10 year period she would receive
a total dosage of about 5 rads. This approximates the level of exposure to radiation of a Japanese woman one mile
from the epicenter of atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima or Nagasaki.”
Interestingly, in a study by Dr. Robert M. Kaplan, the chairman of the department of health services at the School
of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues, they found 22 percent more invasive breast tumors in the group who had mammograms every
two years compared to the group who had just one mammogram over a six-year period.
Could it be that the mammograms themselves contributed to these results?
I would certainly not discount it, or
the fact that mammography also compresses your breasts tightly, which could lead to a dangerous spread of cancerous
cells, should they exist.
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