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Confirmed: The More Mammograms You Get The More Harm They Do
Mammograms are in the news again, and it doesn’t look good for those who continue to advocate using them to “detect cancer early” in asymptomatic populations. The science increasingly runs directly counter to the screening guidelines produced by both governmental and nongovernmental health organizations claiming to be advocates for women’s health.
Remember that only last November, the New England Journal of Medicine published a shocking analysis of the past 30 years of breast screening in the US, finding that 1.3 million women were overdiagnosed and overtreated for breast cancer – euphemisms for misdiagnosed and mistreated.1
This finding, released cunningly from scientific embargo to the media on the eve of Thanksgiving, was so devastating in its implications that many either did not understand its meaning, or could not bear to accept the truth that the quarter of a century clarion call of breast cancer awareness month – get your annual mammogram or lose your life! – caused more unnecessary suffering, pain and harm to women than it is possible to calculate. The only calculable dimension of this world-historical failure is the billions of dollars that were made in the process of converting healthy, asymptomatic women into “patients”, and if fortunate enough to make it through treatment, “survivors”.
Now, a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, finds that those women who follow the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer, namely, annual screening for women 40 or older, are not only receiving no additional protection against aggressive breast cancer, but are experiencing greater harm through increased rates of false positives and unnecessary biopsies.