Since October and Pink are in full swing, let’s take a look at the mammogram effectiveness and think before you go pink.
One of the rally points behind all the pink hoopla is that mammograms save lives…or do they? The Cochrane Collaboration did a systematic review of 7 very large studies already performed looking at rates of breast cancer and death for those that got mammograms and those that did not.
This review included over 500,000 women from the US, UK, Canada, and Sweden. The conclusion was pretty evident…there was no change in death rates between those that had regular mammograms and those that did not.
What I found interesting was one of the studies done by the University of Copenhagen and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (essentially their version of the US’s NIH). They looked at deaths due to breast cancer between the years of 1997-2006. For those in the age category of 35-55, there was a 5% decrease in deaths due to breast cancer that got regular mammograms. For the age group 55-74, there was a 1% decrease in deaths.
That’s pretty compelling evidence that mammograms save lives…until you look at the women that did NOT get mammogram screenings. In the age group of 35-55, there was a 6% decrease in deaths and a 2% decrease in deaths in the older age group.
If less people die in the group that did not get mammograms, you can have 2 conclusions. 1. Mammograms don’t save lives. 2. Mammograms actually kill 1% of the population. Science isn’t just about the results reported, it’s about the conclusions reported.
[bctt tweet=”What’s worse that heading in the wrong direction? Heading in the wrong direction…ENTHUSIASTICALLY!”]
Why are mammograms so highly relied upon by the medical community? It’s because they operate in a reactive model. You might think, ‘No, you’re wrong. Mammograms are used to early detect and prevent cancer.’ My point exactly.
Mammograms can’t prevent breast cancer. Only you can do that. Early detection is not prevention either. If there’s something detected, that means you already have it. It wasn’t prevented. If you get a negative scan, you get told to ‘continue doing what you’re doing.’ So you do what you have always done and then a couple years later, oops, cancer is spotted.
“We don’t know how this happened. You had clear scans prior to this. It must be genetic. Did your mom have breast cancer? You must have the BRACA gene.” Fear based care is then dictated from uncertainty, reactive care. And we start painting anything and everything pink in the name of women’s health.
What drives cancer? Inflammation, insulin resistance, immune system imbalances, hormone imbalances, autonomic imbalances, deficiencies, and toxicities. Your routine mammogram won’t pick up on any of those; only possibly detect something after you already have it.
Yes, women going through cancer need support but all this pink washing does nothing but feed a system that’s already broken and statistically is a waste of a lot of time and money. What’s worse that heading in the wrong direction? Heading in the wrong direction…ENTHUSIASTICALLY! Think before you go pink.