Interesting Information: May 25, 2013
Mammograms: Yes or No?
I don’t get mammograms any more.
I’m more afraid of the danger the smashing of my breasts and the x-rays pose for my body than I am of the fear-mongering that might make me want to get a mammogram.
It’s not that I’m not afraid of getting cancer. It’s that I don’t think mammograms are useful for either detecting or dealing with breast cancer.
And that’s because for the past five years, I’ve been seeing a lot of information that questions this whole practice.
For instance, the authors of a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2012; 367:1998-2005) conclude that “nearly one-third of the women who received a diagnosis of breast cancer would never have developed the full-blown disease if left untreated.” Apparently cancers come and go in our bodies all the time and may be connected to how our bodies deal with and cure illness.
Here’s a further synopsis of this study, taken from The Weston A. Price Foundation’s journal, Wise Traditions (winter 2012, pg. 14)–all of which is available for free online:
Nevertheless, in such cases [seeing possible cancer] patients typically undergo dangerous and invasive procedures such as surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, and chemotherapy. H. Gilbert Welch, author of the study, speculated that as mammography technology has become more advanced, doctors are discovering breast lesions in such an early stage of development, it is virtually impossible to distinguish them from the benign cell clusters. Even worse than the false positives is the fact that the mammograms “fail to catch forms of breast cancer that develop rapidly, explaining why the more widespread use of screenings has done so little to curb the rate at which late-stage breast cancer is found.” According to Welch, “The sad fact is that there’s a subset of women who develop such an aggressive form of cancer it literally can’t be caught early.” No one is voicing the thought that the mammograms themselves may be causing these virulent tumors.
In other words, as I’ve read in numerous places elsewhere, mammograms don’t statistically affect the outcome of bona-fide breast cancer.
The same is apparently true for prostate cancer testing. All the terrible, stressful procedures don’t affect the outcome of the disease. John and I often thought that we wished we had never known about the disease, that we had just lived our lives in bliss until some part of the disease made itself felt in a way that we sought out pain relief.
And doctors are still pushing failed dietary practices that cause diabetes (low fat, high carb, no red meat), are concerned with “high” cholesterol figures when that whole line of thought has been debunked, are still suggesting statins for treatment of a non-disease, are still pushing vaccines without adequate science to support them, will give antibiotics that wipe out all your gut flora and fauna at the drop of the hat, etc., etc., etc. No wonder they have lost, at least, my confidence.
Truth in writing: I come from a family of doctors and nurses. They are all good, caring people. I know a lot of doctors who are good caring people and who were wonderful to us when John was sick. They are good people caught in a bad system. Some of them are more willing to buck the system than others. And am I glad they are there if I’m in a car wreck? You betcha. But for ongoing health care–I’ve taken to saying “stay away from them; they will kill you if you let them.”
Let’s call modern medicine what it really is: an industry.
What I would like to see is a change in the medical paradigm where the focus is on treating disease from a holistic paradigm, not just treating symptoms, which usually means drugs, surgery, radiation, hormones, and chemotherapy. These protocols are not working well, if at all.
For instance, the MONTH of radiation John had turned out not to have been needed at all (a suspicious spot on an x-ray was not suspicious after all). Not surprisingly, his PSA began to rise radically. My own take is that the month of radiation significantly weakened his body, which made him sicker. The next treatment up in the standards of care was hormone therapy. But hormones degrade the bones, so guess what? The cancer showed up in John’s bones next. The oncologist also wanted to do chemotherapy, in spite of the fact that statistics clearly showed it would not prolong life. The best she could do was to say that “it might make you feel better.” Really? Flooding your body with a terrible poison every three weeks might make you fell better? And bless her heart, for she was a caring person and wanted to help, she offered the hope card: miracles happen, why not you? And the treatment for degraded bones? A drug that basically turns bones into cement, which makes them brittle, and which has horrific side effects. We stopped the cancer ride at the hormone therapy stop. But how many desperate people don’t stop?
We do not have another mainstream paradigm than these failed standards of care–crafted by Big Pharma and not science. And doctors who stray from the “standards of care” are penalized or lose their licenses. That’s how industry works. Industry does not care about science; it cares about money. Practitioners within it are, simply, workers. All freedom has been lost for them.
AND, the amount of $$$$ involved in treating symptoms is, simply, mind boggling, so the industries involved will fight change tooth and toenail. The only component that can create change is the grassroots understanding of the problem and a consequent refusal to participate in practices that cause harm and do not work. We have to take the $$$$ out of the mix. Do you have any idea what a month of useless radiation costs?
Healing disease is going to have to involve cleaning up what’s causing disease (bad food and a degraded habitat). The notion that we can degrade the world and create a technological fix to the disease that occurs has to be understood as a nonstarter.
Cancer will strike 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 2 men. (Or it’s the other way around.)
Contrary to hype, most will not survive to live out their lives. Five years is not “survival.”
Cancer is a plague.
Isn’t it time for us to insist on cleaning up the mess we have made?
If not for ourselves, for our children and grandchildren.