New harm found from mammograms

New harm found from mammograms

According to a groundbreaking study published last November in the New England Journal of Medicine, 1.3 million U.S. women were over-diagnosed and over-treated in the past 30 years. These are the false positives that were not discovered to be incorrect, resulting in the unnecessary irradiation, chemotherapy and surgery of approximately 43,000 women each year.

According to a groundbreaking study published last November in the New England Journal of Medicine, 1.3 million U.S. women were over-diagnosed and over-treated in the past 30 years. These are the false positives that were not discovered to be incorrect, resulting in the unnecessary irradiation, chemotherapy and surgery of approximately 43,000 women each year.

by Mary Budinger — 

A new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine, titled “Long-term Psychosocial Consequences of False-positive Screening Mammography,” spotlights an underreported harm of mammography breast screening — the very real and lasting trauma associated with a false-positive diagnosis of breast cancer.

Researchers found that “Six months after final diagnosis, women with false-positive findings reported changes in existential values and inner calmness as great as those reported by women with a diagnosis of breast cancer.” Even after being cleared of cancer, the measurable adverse effects of the trauma of diagnosis were equivalent to actually having breast cancer. The effects include negative impacts on sleep and sexuality, and continued anxiety about breast cancer.

False-positive results also create unnecessary invasive treatments. According to a groundbreaking study published last November in the New England Journal of Medicine, 1.3 million U.S. women were over-diagnosed and over-treated in the past 30 years. These are the false positives that were not discovered to be incorrect, resulting in the unnecessary irradiation, chemotherapy and surgery of approximately 43,000 women each year.

Add to that the millions of false-positives that are caught as erroneous but still resulted in producing traumas within those women.

The dangers of X-ray mammography also may be causing an epidemic of mostly unacknowledged radiation-induced breast cancers. A 2006 paper published in the British Journal of Radiobiology stated, “Recent radiobiological studies have provided compelling evidence that the low energy X-rays as used in mammography are approximately four times — but possibly as much as six times — more effective in causing mutational damage than higher energy X-rays. Since current radiation risk estimates are based on the effects of high energy gamma radiation, this implies that the risks of radiation-induced breast cancers for mammography X-rays are underestimated by the same factor.”

Chemotherapy and radiation enlarge cancer stem cell populations, which are at the root of breast cancer malignancy and invasiveness. Last year, the journal Cancer, a publication of the American Cancer Society, published a study showing that even when radiation kills half of the tumor cells treated, the surviving cells that are resistant to treatment, known as induced breast cancer stem cells, were up to 30 times more likely to form tumors than the non-irradiated breast cancer cells. In other words, radiation treatment lowers the total population of cancer cells, generating the false appearance that the treatment is working but actually increases the ratio of highly malignant to benign cells within that tumor, eventually leading to the treatment-induced death of the patient.

Sources: GreenMedInfo.com, greenmedinfo.com/blog/hidden-dangers-mammograms-every-womanshouldknowabout ?utm_source and GreenMedInfo.com&utm_campaign =dd73e00641Greenmedinfo&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_193c8492fb-dd73e00641-86770469

 

Mary Budinger is an Emmy award-winning journalist who writes about integrative medicine. 602-494-1999.

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Reprinted from the AzNetNews archives.

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