Early detection through mammography is often touted as the best way to prevent breast cancer. Women are constantly barraged with pink ribbon reminders that they need to get their mammography done, as it could potentially save their lives. It is recommended that women get a mammogram every second year after age 50, that being said, a mammogram cannot prevent cancer, but it can detect cancerous lumps.
Mammograms can also cause breast cancer.
Doesn’t this seem a bit backward? That we would use a method so regularly which can cause cancer to “prevent” cancer? There are much better prevention methods that we could be utilizing.
Yes, in many instances mammograms have detected cancerous tumors, but there are many other methods can do the same thing that aren’t carcinogenic, so why aren’t we using those methods? Oh right, because we are living in topsy turvy land where everything is is upside down. Cancer is a serious money making industry.
Mammography Contains Ionizing Radiation
Radiation is a known carcinogen and using it to discern breast tumors is a risk factor for the development of breast cancer. Additionally, if you do have a malignant tumor, the crushing compression of your breast from the machine could potentially cause it to spread.
None if this information is readily available to the public as we never hear about the potential risks of mammography coming from the numerous pink washing campaigns. It’s similar to what we see with that little pink ribbon on many products containing known carcinogenic chemicals, like chewing gum containing aspartame, antiperspirants containing aluminum, and buckets of KFC — the list goes on. In fact, the Pink Ribbon campaigns do little to raise awareness about potential cancer-causing substances having women avoid them. You’d think there would be more of a push to have these chemicals banned rather than to promote them using that little pink ribbon, but unfortunately, women buy these products feeling as though they are contributing to a genuine charity which is aimed at finding a cure and helping those in need. In reality, this charity is a huge, money making business and very little is done to actually fix the issue. For more information on the pink ribbon marketing scam, I highly recommend the documentary, Pink Ribbons Inc.
I also recommend checking out the list of articles linked at the end of this one. They go into detail with examples and the science behind this issue.
Detection Is Not Prevention
The idea that detecting breast cancer early is in some way preventative is, in my opinion, complete and utter nonsense. Detection is not prevention and shouldn’t be advertised as such. There are many factors that a woman should consider in her life in order to prevent breast cancer — avoiding many cancer-causing products, foods, and certain lifestyle habits can prevent breast cancer —but a mammography is absolutely no way whatsoever a tool to prevent breast cancer. This is an idea that we definitely need to get out of our heads.
The important thing to consider here is how much mammography is promoted, while things like a healthy diet consisting of an abundance of fruits and vegetables is extremely downplayed. On the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s website, if you type in the word “carcinogen” nothing will come up. Not a single page of the website has any information on the role of carcinogenic chemicals and their relation to the development of breast cancer.
On the Susan G. Komen website, the search term “carcinogen” yields one study on an ingredient in an antidepressant medication. This word cannot even be found in the breast cancer glossary.
This is absolutely crazy because researchers have identified a number of cancer causing chemicals that definitely do increase your chance of getting breast cancer. Now, doesn’t avoiding toxic exposures of known carcinogenic substances sound like a much more rational approach to preventing breast cancer?
Why are these big corporations that are claiming to “find a cure” and help to “prevent cancer” focusing on the important factors that your diet and lifestyle play in the development of cancer? These massive organizations collect billions of donations every year all in the name of “finding a cure.” Maybe, we need to stop focusing on finding a cure, and start putting more awareness towards what is causing the cancer in the first place, and avoiding these things.
Below is a trailer to a documentary entitled, “The Promise.” The film interviews various researchers, scientists, doctors (and more), all of whom are hoping to shed light on a practice which is turning out to be not only useless, but harmful to those taking part. There is more information below the video, but I highly recommend you watch the documentary.
“I believe that if you did have a tumor, the last thing you would want to do is crush that tumor between two plates, because that would spread it.” – Dr. Sarah Mybill, General Practitioner (taken from the documentary trailer below)
“I think if a woman from the age of 50 has a mammogram every year, or every two years, she’s going to get breast cancer as a direct result from that” – Dr. Patrick Kingsley, Clinical Ecologist (take from the documentary trailer below)
22% of screenings 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 doctors explained: “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.”
Given the overwhelming amount of research showing the ineffectiveness of mammograms, the board recommended completely abolishing mammogram screenings. In addition, approximately 50 percent of women have dense breast tissue, meaning that it’s difficult for mammographs to even process. Both dense breast tissue and cancer appear white on an X-ray, thus it’s extremely difficult and practically impossible for a doctor to detect cancer with this type of tissue.
A study published in the British Medical Journal in 2012 proved that women carrying the BRCA 1/2 mutation are extremely susceptible to developing radiation-induced cancer, meaning that mammograms are much more harmful to them. Women with this mutated gene who were exposed to diagnostic radiation before the age of 30 were found to be twice as likely to develop breast cancer in comparison to women without that mutation.
The study also found that the radiation-induced cancer was dose-responsive; in other words, the higher the dosage, the greater their risk of developing cancer. The authors stated, “The results of this study support the use of non-ionizing radiation imaging techniques (such as magnetic resonance imaging) as the main tool for surveillance in young women with BRCA 1/2 mutations.”
The list goes on and on.
The following video is taken from The Truth About Cancer, in which Ty Bollinger interviews Dr. Ben Johnson on the correlation between mammograms and breast cancer:
Alternatives To Mammography
One important factor to consider in regard to mammography is the instance of false positives. Sometimes the machine gives a false positive suggesting that the woman does indeed have a cancerous tumor when in fact she doesn’t. These women sometimes opt for aggressive treatments such as mastectomy, radiation and/or chemotherapy after a false positive diagnoses they also undergo physical pain and suffering, “for nothing.” They then believe that their lives were saved by mammography, and thus continues to perpetuate that mammograms are they only way to “prevent” cancer.
An article that was recently published in Forbes titled, “Has Mammography Created An Epidemic Of Pseudo Survivorship?” addresses the fact that there are many women who believe that they’re breast cancer survivors even though they may not have even had a life-threatening tumor in the first place. They are not survivors of breast cancer; they’re survivors of breast cancer treatment.
What Are The Best Ways To Prevent Breast Cancer
There are many things to be aware of in regard to preventing breast cancer, and the following is a list compiled by Dr. Mercola.
Eat real food; avoid processed foods and sugars, especially processed fructose. All forms of sugar are detrimental to health in general and promote cancer. Fructose, however, is clearly one of the most harmful and should be avoided as much as possible.
- Stop eating AT LEAST three hours before going to bed. There is quite compelling evidence showing that when you supply fuel to the mitochondria in your cells at a time when they don’t need it, they will leak a large number of electrons that will liberate reactive oxygen species (free radicals), which damage mitochondrial and eventually nuclear DNA. There is also evidence to indicate that cancer cells uniformly have damaged mitochondria, so the last thing you want to do is eat before you go to bed. Personally, I strive for six hours of fasting before bedtime.
- Optimize your vitamin D. Vitamin D influences virtually every cell in your body and is one of nature’s most potent cancer fighters. Vitamin D is actually able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis (cell death). If you have cancer, your vitamin D level should be between 70 and 100 ng/ml. Vitamin D works synergistically with every cancer treatment I’m aware of, with no adverse effects. I suggest you try watching my one-hour free lecture on vitamin D to learn more.
- Limit your protein. Newer research has emphasized the importance of the mTOR pathways. When these are active, cancer growth is accelerated. To quiet this pathway, I believe it may be wise to limit your protein to one gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass, or roughly a bit less than half a gram of protein per every pound of lean body weight.
- Avoid unfermented soy products. Unfermented soy is high in plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, also known as isoflavones. In some studies, soy appears to work in concert with human estrogen to increase breast cell proliferation, which increases the chances for mutations and cancerous cells.
- Improve your insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity. The best way to do this is by avoiding sugar and grains and restricting carbs to mostly fiber vegetables. Also making sure you are exercising, especially with high-intensity interval training.
- Exercise regularly. One of the primary reasons exercise works to lower your cancer risk is because it drives your insulin levels down, and controlling your insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks. It’s also been suggested that apoptosis (programmed cell death) is triggered by exercise, causing cancer cells to die. Studies have also found that the number of tumors decrease along with body fat, which may be an additional factor. This is because exercise helps lower your estrogen levels, which explains why exercise appears to be particularly potent against breast cancer.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating right for your nutritional type and exercising. It’s important to lose excess body fat because fat produces estrogen.
- Drink a pint to a quart of organic green vegetable juice daily. Please review my juicing instructions for more detailed information.
- Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.
- Use curcumin. This is the active ingredient in turmeric and in high concentrations can be very useful adjunct in the treatment of cancer. For example, it has demonstrated major therapeutic potential in preventing breast cancer metastasis. It’s important to know that curcumin is generally not absorbed that well, so I’ve provided several absorption tips here.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, or at least limit your alcoholic drinks to one per day.
- Avoid electromagnetic fields as much as possible. Even electric blankets can increase your cancer risk.
- Avoid synthetic hormone replacement therapy, especially if you have risk factors for breast cancer. Breast cancer is an estrogen-related cancer, and according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer rates for women dropped in tandem with decreased use of hormone replacement therapy. (There are similar risks for younger women who use oral contraceptives. Birth control pills, which are also comprised of synthetic hormones, have been linked to cervical and breast cancers.)
- If you are experiencing excessive menopausal symptoms, you may want to consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy instead, which uses hormones that are molecularly identical to the ones your body produces and do not wreak havoc on your system. This is a much safer alternative.
- Avoid BPA, phthalates, and other xenoestrogens. These are estrogen-like compounds that have been linked to increased breast cancer risk
- Make sure you’re not iodine deficient, as there’s compelling evidence linking iodine deficiency with certain forms of cancer. Dr. David Brownstein, author of the book Iodine: Why You Need it, Why You Can’t Live Without It, is a proponent of iodine for breast cancer. It actually has potent anticancer properties and has been shown to cause cell death in breast and thyroid cancer cells.
- For more information, I recommend reading Dr. Brownstein’s book. I have been researching iodine for some time ever since I interviewed Dr. Brownstein as I do believe that the bulk of what he states is spot on. However, I am not at all convinced that his dosage recommendations are correct. I believe they are too high.
- Avoid charring your meats. Charcoal or flame broiled meat is linked with increased breast cancer risk. Acrylamide — a carcinogen created when starchy foods are baked, roasted, or fried — has been found to increase cancer risk as well.