Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Benefits of Mammograms Questioned

In order to reduce mortality, a procedure must detect a tendency towards a life-threatening illness early enough so that the treatment alters the course of the disease. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine put mammograms to that test over the last 30 years. The surprising conclusion was that “screening (mammograms) is having, at best, only a small effect on the death rate from cancer.” It was found that 122 excess cases of early breast cancer were detected for every 100,000 screened, but only 8 of those were expected to progress to advanced disease that was life-threatening. On the other hand 1.3 million women were incorrectly diagnosed with breast cancer in those 30 years due to mammography. Not mentioned by the authors was that thermography is an alternative way to screen for the tendency to develop breast cancer before a cancer has a chance to form. Aggressive nutritional management might then prevent breast cancer. Thermography does not utilize radiation or compression, and is the preferred screening option for most women at our clinic. See A Bleyer and HG Welch, N Engl J Med 2012;367:1998-2005 or for more information on thermography or

No comments: