Academics from Harvard Medical School have recently found what many other scientists and researchers are pointing out — that breast cancer screenings are being performed at a rate far above what is necessary. Thousands of women undergoing various breast cancer procedures including chemotherapy, radiation, and even breast removal surgery, are doing so unnecessarily and suffering in turn.
Breast Cancer Over-Diagnoses Rampant
Studying results from 40,000 women screened in Norway, the Harvard academics found that for every 2,500 women being screened, one death stemming from breast cancer would be prevented, while 6-10 women would be treated for a non-threatening cancer which would never actually cause symptoms. The researchers estimated that between 1,169 and 1,148 were over-diagnosed and received unnecessary treatment. In cancer medicine, the term over-diagnosis refers to tumors which would never actually cause any harm if left alone
“The truth is that we’ve exaggerated the benefits of screening and we’ve ignored the harms. I think we’re headed to a place where we realize we need to give women a more balanced message: Mammography helps some people but it leads others to be treated unnecessarily,” said Dr H. Gilbert Welch of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, who was not part of the research.
While over-diagnoses are known to be quite prevalent in other nations, the amount occurring in the United States is thought to be even greater due to the early age women begin undergoing screenings. Even mainstream health officials are now admitting that breast cancer screening methods are not only ineffective, but are leading to improper diagnosis and unnecessary treatments at around 7,000 per year. Many of these have to do with the reliance on specialized ”CAD” computer software to target potentially-cancerous areas in patients. A large study on the software found that CAD was not able to improve breast cancer detection, and led to many women wrongfully believing that they are potentially affected with cancer.
Research has also shown that mammograms may be contributing to the development of breast cancer. One study examined the radiation-induced DNA damage in epithelial breast cells that occurs as a result of mammogram screenings and found that women with a higher risk of developing breast cancer were at a significantly greater risk to suffer irreparable double-strand DNA breaks as a result of mammogram radiation.
Looking at all of this research, along with 33% of breast cancer surgeries being completely unnecessary, why are mammograms and other breast cancer procedures still being pushed on woman?
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