Mammographic screening increases risk of breast cancer mortality in premenopausal women.A Canadian study of 90,000 women (published in Lancet, November 1992) showed a 36-52 percent increase in mortality from breast cancer in women 40-49 who had annual mammograms.
The Swedish Malmo Screening Trial (as reported in The British Medical Journal, 1988) which also included tens of thousands of women, showed 29 percent greater mortality from breast cancer in women under 55 who were regularly screened with mammograms. (Studies of women 50-59 showed no difference in breast cancer mortality between women who did and women who didn't have regular screening mammograms.)
Critics of these studies claim that newer mammographic equipment uses less radiation. This belies the point that mammograms are inherently dangerous. Orthodox medicine tells me again and again to overlook the harm that it has done to women and promises a future where the machines will be better calibrated and safer. But what of the harm that's been, and is now, done?
Mammographic screening is not and never will be a safe way to find breast cancer. Although safer after menopause than before, mammography is never without risk entirely.
Why I haven't had a baseline mammogram: The idea behind having a baseline mammogram-that there will be a norm to refer back to-is erroneous. Breast tissues are constantly changing as menstrual, ovulatory, pregnancy, lactational, and menopausal hormones change. Science, the constant straight line, meets woman, the ever-changing spiral. And younger breast tissue is especially sensitive to radiation. According to J. W. Gofman (M.D., Ph.D., authority on dangers of radiation exposure), a 35-year-old woman whose normal risk of developing breast cancer is 1 in 1500 increases it to 1 in 660 by exposing herself to the radiation of a baseline mammogram. The National Women's Health Network says baseline mammograms should be abolished.
If you've already had a baseline mammogram and now feel worried, make yourself a soup of lentils (to restore damaged DNA to normalcy), seaweed (to remove radioactive isotopes), and carrots (to support your immune system). Season with miso and tamari (to stop the promotion of cancer cells), and thyme, rosemary, and garlic (to further strengthen the immune system). Breathe in, relax, don't worry.
Susun Weed, Copyright 2012
LEARN HOW TO PREVENT ILLNESS AND HEAL YOURSELF safely and easily the Wise Woman Way. Women's health forum, FREE womenâs forum, weblog, and email group. Topics include menopause, breast health, childbearing, fertility, disease prevention, nutritional advice, and cancer prevention. Visit the Wise Woman Web
Susun Weed, green witch and wise woman, is an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of herbs and health. She is the voice of the Wise Woman Way, where common weeds, simple ceremony, and compassionate listening support and nourish health/wholeness/holiness. She has opened hearts to the magic and medicine of the green nations for three decades. Ms. Weed's four herbal medicine books focus on women's health topics including: menopause, childbearing, and breast health.
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