Did you know there is a much safer alternative to the mammogram? Mammograms are actually not considered safe or effective.
Thermogram testing is a safe alternative when it comes to your breast health. It has been said that mammograms actually promote the growth of cancer cells when considering the large amount of radiation involved in their procedure. One single mammogram can expose you to the same amount of radiation as one thousand chest x-rays!
According to Dr. Samuel Epstein the breast (premenopause) is overly sensitive to radiation. Each exposure increases the breast cancer risk by at least one percent.One study from September of 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine actually found that mammograms only reduced the death rates from cancer by .4 deaths for every 1,000 women who partook in annual testing.
Thermogramming is not often suggested by doctors, but is a much better alternative. It is a scan for heat levels in the body that detects inflammation. It is very safe and does not even pose a threat to pregnant women. Thermograms are also much more effective when it comes to differentiating between real cancer and false positive scans. This cutting back on the unnecessary treatment of cancer.
According to Dr. Mercola:
Certain Risk Factors, i.e. Dense Breasts and Genetics, Make Mammograms Even Riskier:
Under normal circumstances, the Swiss Medical Board reported that for every breast-cancer death prevented in US women over a 10-year course of annual screening beginning at 50 years of age:5
- 490 to 670 women are likely to have a false positive mammogram with repeat examination
- 70 to 100, an unnecessary biopsy
- Three to 14, an over-diagnosed breast cancer that would never have become clinically apparent
This lack of clear benefit, and evidence of apparent harm, was enough for them to recommend abolishing mammography-screening programs. You might be surprised to learn, however, that for some women the effectiveness of mammograms is even less… or poses an even greater risk of harm. Up to 50 percent of women have dense breast tissue, which makes mammograms very difficult to decipher. Dense breast tissue and cancer both appear white on an X-ray, making it nearly impossible for a radiologist to detect cancer in these women. It’s like trying to find a snowflake in a blizzard.
Breast density laws have now been passed in California, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, and Texas, making it mandatory for radiologists to inform their patients who have dense breast tissue that mammograms are basically useless for them. A law is now being considered at a federal level as well.
Some radiologists already provide density information to their patients, and encourage them to utilize other options like thermography, ultrasound, and/or MRI. I believe it reasonable for a woman to trust that her radiologist is not withholding vital breast density information. Unfortunately, many have kept this potentially lifesaving data from women for decades, and our government agencies have failed to protect them from this unethical, albeit profitable practice.
Another at-risk group are women with BRCA 1/2 mutation, which is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Results published in BMJ in 2012 showed that women carrying this mutation are particularly vulnerable to radiation-induced cancer.6Women carrying this mutation who were exposed to diagnostic radiation before the age of 30 were twice as likely to develop breast cancer, compared to those who did not have the mutated gene.
They also found that the radiation-induced cancer was dose-responsive, meaning the greater the dose, the higher the risk of cancer developing. The authors concluded that: “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 BRCA1/2 mutations.” Despite these findings, the National Cancer Institute reports that some expert groups recommend women with BRCA 1/2 mutation have a mammogram every year starting as young as age 257 – the exact scenario that the BMJ study found may double their breast cancer risk!
This means of testing is not usually covered by insurance providers but is worth paying for out of pocket when considering the alternative option. It costs about 250 dollars and will help you in many ways.