KOSA Acupuncture is pleased to share the true information about mammography screening. Switzerland has abolished it since 2014.
The alternative to mammography screening may be available.
- Why Switzerland has abolished the mammography screening
- Mammography screening is harmful and should be abandoned
- The Promise – Documentary movie about the harms of the routine breast cancer screening program
- Thoughts about Angelina Jolie’s preventive double mastectomy
- Breast thermography may be the alternative to mammography screening
- Important notes
Why Switzerland has abolished the mammography screeningSubscribe
3 Primary Reasons the Swiss Medical Board Recommended No More Systematic Mammograms
1. Outdated Clinical Trials
The ongoing debate over mammography screening is based on a “series of re-analyses of the same, predominantly outdated trials.” The first mammography trial began more than 50 years ago and the last trial was in 1991.
The mammography benefits that were supposedly found during these trials were prior to the era of modern breast cancer treatment, in which the prognosis of women with breast cancer has improved significantly from even two decades ago. The expert panel questioned:
“Could the modest benefit of mammography screening in terms of breast-cancer mortality that was shown in trials initiated between 1963 and 1991 still be detected in a trial conducted today?”
2. The Benefits Did Not Clearly Outweigh the Harms
The experts noted they were “struck by how non-obvious it was that the benefits of mammography screening outweighed the harms.”
They cited a recent study published in British Medical Journal (BMJ) — one of the largest and longest studies of mammography to date — involving 90,000 women followed for 25 years. It found that mammograms have absolutely NO impact on breast cancer mortality.
Over the course of the study, the death rate from breast cancer was virtually identical between those who received an annual mammogram and those who did not, while 22 percent of screen-detected invasive breast cancers were over-diagnosed, leading to unnecessary treatment. The experts noted:
“This means that 106 of the 44,925 healthy women in the screening group were diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer unnecessarily, which resulted in needless surgical interventions, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or some combination of these therapies.”
A Cochrane Collaboration review also found no evidence that mammography screening has an effect on overall mortality, which, taken together, seriously calls into question whether mammography screening really benefits women. According to the authors of the Cochrane review:
“If we assume that screening reduces breast cancer mortality by 15% and that overdiagnosis and overtreatment is at 30%, it means that for every 2000 women invited for screening throughout 10 years, one will avoid dying of breast cancer and 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be treated unnecessarily.
Furthermore, more than 200 women will experience important psychological distress including anxiety and uncertainty for years because of false positive findings.”
3. Women’s Perceptions of Mammography Benefits Do Not Match Reality
The experts also said they were “disconcerted” by the profound discrepancy between women’s perceptions of mammography benefits and the actual benefits.
In one survey, most women said they believed mammography reduced the risk of breast cancer deaths by at least half and prevented at least 80 deaths per 1,000 women screened. In reality, mammography may, at best, offer a relative risk reduction of 20 percent and prevent in absolute terms only one breast-cancer death per 10,000 women. The experts asked a long overdue question:
“How can women make an informed decision if they overestimate the benefit of mammography so grossly?”
The sad reality of course, is that they can’t. Many women are still unaware that the science backing the health benefits of mammograms is sorely lacking. Instead of being told the truth, women are guilt-tripped into thinking that skipping their yearly mammogram is the height of irresponsibility. It can be hard to stand your ground against such tactics. After all, you expect health professionals to know what they’re talking about, and to give you the best advice possible.
When it comes to cancer prevention, however, many doctors are just as confused and manipulated as the average person on the street because of the relentless industry and media propaganda that downplays or ignores research that dramatically contradicts their profit-based agenda.
Indeed, mounting research shows that more women are being harmed by regular mammograms than are saved by them. In light of such facts, avoiding an annual mammogram is hardly an irresponsible act.
Ditto for saying “no thanks” to 3D tomosynthesis, which exposes you to an even greater amount of cancer-causing radiation for virtually no additional benefit. Please understand that there are other screening options, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and you have a right to utilize those options. Also remember that in order to truly avoid breast cancer, you need to focus your attention on actual prevention and not just early detection.
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Mammography screening is harmful and should be abandonedSubscribe
A carefully conducted systematic review and other observational studies have found that screening does not decrease the incidence of advanced cancers, whether defined as those larger than 20 mm or belonging to higher stages. One study reported an 8% decline in late-stage cancer over 30 years, but that could easily have been caused by greater breast cancer awareness. In Denmark, for example, the average tumor size decreased by 9 mm in just 10 years, which was before screening was introduced.
Many papers claiming that screening works have used relative rates, which is seriously misleading. Since screening adds many overdiagnosed, localised cancers to the screened group, the percentage of advanced cancers invariably goes down, but this cannot tell us anything about the possible benefit of screening.
A study that compared three pairs of very similar neighbouring countries that had introduced screening 10–15 years apart found no relation at all between start of screening and the reduction in breast cancer mortality. The fall in breast cancer mortality started around 1990 in all countries, which was when effective treatments were introduced, and the rate of decline was about the same in all countries and also in the United States, where screening started as early as in Sweden, in the mid-1980s.
Many studies have used statistical modelling that incorporates an estimate of lead time. The problem with all of these studies is that they have used far too long estimates of lead time, several years. This overcompensation has had the effect that virtually all the overdiagnosis has been ‘modelled away’. The fundamental error with these models is that they do not distinguish between clinically relevant cancers, which would have appeared at a later time if there had not been screening, and the overdiagnosed cancers that would never have appeared. The models include all of them, but in actual fact, the lead time of clinically relevant cancers is less than a year.
Breast cancer mortality is the wrong outcome. Not only because it is biased in favour of screening but also because the treatment of overdiagnosed, healthy women increases their risk of dying. Radiotherapy, for example, may cause deaths from heart disease, lung cancer and other cancers, and these iatrogenic deaths are not counted as breast cancer deaths.
If we take into account the cardiac and lung cancer deaths caused by radiotherapy and rather generously assume that screening reduces breast cancer mortality by 20% and results in 20% overdiagnosis, in accordance with the Independent UK Panel, there appears to be no mortality benefit. This result can be discussed, e.g. modern radiotherapy may be less harmful, but considering that screening does not reduce the rate of advanced cancers and therefore cannot work, it seems likely to me that screening increases total mortality. It is also noteworthy that the randomised trials did not find a trace of an effect on total cancer mortality, including breast cancer mortality (relative risk 1.00), although this was expected given the claimed effect on breast cancer mortality.
Generic questionnaires cannot capture fully the psychological consequences of breast screening. A Danish study was therefore based on a specially designed questionnaire that was developed using focus groups. Even after three years, women who had experienced a false-positive diagnosis had an anxiety level and other psychological problems that fell between that for women with breast cancer and women who were told they did not have cancer.22 Thus, the psychological harms of screening are substantial and long-lasting, and they affect a huge number of women, as the cumulative risk of a false-positive result after 10 mammograms is in the range of about 20% to 60%.1 Added to this comes the psychological harms inflicted on all the overdiagnosed women who do not know they are overdiagnosed but think they suffer from a fatal disease.
Mammography screening has been promoted to the public with three simple promises that all appear to be wrong: It saves lives and breasts by catching the cancers early. Screening does not seem to make the women live longer; it increases mastectomies; and cancers are not caught early, they are caught very late.9 They are also caught in too great numbers. There is so much overdiagnosis that the best thing a women can do to lower her risk of becoming a breast cancer patient is to avoid going to screening, which will lower her risk by one-third.13 We have written an information leaflet that exists in 16 languages on www.cochrane.dk, which we hope will make it easier for a woman to make an informed decision about whether or not to go to screening.
I believe that if screening had been a drug, it would have been withdrawn from the market long ago. Many drugs are withdrawn although they benefit many patients, when serious harms are reported in rather few patients. The situation with mammography screening is the opposite: Very few, if any, will benefit, whereas many will be harmed. I therefore believe it is appropriate that a nationally appointed body in Switzerland has now recommended that mammography screening should be stopped because it is harmful.
The Promise – Documentary movie about the harms of the routine breast cancer screening programSubscribe
Thoughts about Angelina Jolie’s preventive double mastectomySubscribe
Angelina Jolie’s “Diary of Surgery” can be found at The New York Times.
|Diary of Surgery||Thoughts should have been considered|
TWO years ago I wrote about my choice to have a preventive double mastectomy.
A simple blood test had revealed that I carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. It gave me an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. I lost my mother, grandmother and aunt to cancer.
The number of risks of a certain cancer is just a number and it can vary depending on diets, lifestyle and etc.
Even though she had an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer, nobody knows if she would fall in the group of 87% or 13%.
|I wanted other women at risk to know about the options. I promised to follow up with any information that could be useful, including about my next preventive surgery, the removal of my ovaries and fallopian tubes.||She was not informed that the mastectomy will not prevent breast cancer from relapsing or the preventive mastectomy cannot perfectly eliminate the chance of breast cancer.|
|I had been planning this for some time. It is a less complex surgery than the mastectomy, but its effects are more severe. It puts a woman into forced menopause. So I was readying myself physically and emotionally, discussing options with doctors, researching alternative medicine, and mapping my hormones for estrogen or progesterone replacement. But I felt I still had months to make the date.||The fact that the preventive mastectomy puts a woman into menopause means it damages the liver. Because the liver is in charge of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, vision, eyeballs, reproductive organs and anger there is a good chance that she has suffered lots of physical pains and emotional difficulties.|
|I did not do this solely because I carry the BRCA1 gene mutation, and I want other women to hear this. A positive BRCA test does not mean a leap to surgery. I have spoken to many doctors, surgeons and naturopaths. There are other options. Some women take birth control pills or rely on alternative medicines combined with frequent checks. There is more than one way to deal with any health issue. The most important thing is to learn about the options and choose what is right for you personally.||Having the gene mutation does not necessarily mean that they have to suffer and/or have the pains and discomforts due to that mutation.|
Breast thermography may be the alternative to mammography screeningSubscribe
Thermography is a painless, non-compressive, non invasive, state-of-the-art clinical test of physiology without any exposure to radiation. This test visualizes heat and activity vs. mass and structure. It is used as part of an early detection program which gives individuals the opportunity to increase their chances of visualizing an abnormality at an early stage. It is a valuable risk assessment tool for alerting your doctor to abnormal patterns that may indicate early stage disease.
Breast Thermography can detect vascularity, inflammatory and asymmetrical patterns that are visualized by the subtle physiologic patterns and changes that accompany breast pathology. When activity is found early, your doctor can plan accordingly and lay out a careful program to further diagnose and /or monitor you during and after any treatment.
Not all masses in the breast are cancerous (in fact 8 out of 10 are fibroids and fluid filled cysts.) Breast tissue is fatty and generally exudes cool temperatures in normal findings. Abnormal breast screenings on a thermal scan have a few things in common.
Asymmetry: One breast is a different temperature than the other (more than 2 degrees).
Hot Spots: Random areas of intense heat.
Vascular blood supply: Which are visible and generate heat as they feed & grow.
The benefit of breast thermography is that it offers the opportunity of earlier detection of breast disease than has been possible through breast self examination, doctor examination or mammography alone. Thermography’s role in breast cancer and other breast disorders is to help in early detection and monitoring of abnormal physiology and the establishment of risk factors for the development of disease. It can be used with other procedures for the best possible evaluation of breast health.
Our body’s self-healing power is very powerful.
KOSA Acupuncture understands that breast cancer is a phenomenon of the unhealthy stomach and liver.
Preventing breast cancer seems to be easy as long as you avoid those that can harm organs.
It is the patient’s job to eliminate the root causes by following KOSA Acupuncture’s advice.
We walk patients through so that they can easily change their lifestyle so that they can minimize or eliminate the root causes.
This will expedite the patient’s healing progress by making responsible organs healthy and healthy organs treat conditions. It is our job to educate patients with true information and treat all responsible organs so that all the conditions can be treated at once.
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Nevertheless, each condition would show different improvements in progress.
KOSA Acupuncture’s persistent goal is to lose patients ASAP.
Patients become so healthy that they don’t have to take drugs (or medicines) and see any medical practitioners anymore. We have successfully achieved this goal with a very high success rate.
Patients have nothing to lose other than pains, discomforts, drugs, and excessive weight.
Your body’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe.
Listen to your body, which knows how to heal itself.
Numbers on the test cannot judge if you are a patient or not.[elfsight_testimonials_slider id=”1″]