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Cancer Experts Cast Doubt on Breast Cancer Screening Benefits.

Cancer Experts Cast Doubt on Breast Cancer Screening Benefits. | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

Researchers study original Swedish trial data, which provided evidence for UK’s and other screening programmes, and claim benefits were vastly overestimated

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Leading cancer epidemiologists have gone back to the original trials carried out in Sweden in the 1960s and 1970s, which provided the evidence on which the UK and other screening programmes were based. Those trials found that screening could prevent 20-25% of breast cancer deaths.

In a paper in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the experts say the methodology of the study was wrong and that figure is far too high. They believe that any reduction of deaths is probably less than 10%.

“Contrary to expectations, numerous studies in North America, Europe and Australia have shown that the rates of advanced breast cancer have not declined in countries where most women regularly attend mammography screening,” said the lead author, Prof Philippe Autier.

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Hong Kong Considering to Roll Out Breast Cancer Screening Scheme.

Hong Kong Considering to Roll Out Breast Cancer Screening Scheme. | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

Research will examine whether government should lead screening amid 'controversy', health minister Dr Ko Wing-man says

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Amidst the controversy of whether routine mammography screening for breast cancer is more harmful or beneficial, with some countries discontinuing the practice, the Hong Kong government is considering to commence such a routine screening facility for women.

Let’s hope those involved with the Hong Kong study carefully consider the pros and cons of why other countries and medical professionals believe such a scheme is not beneficial.

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Mammography Screening Program for Breast Cancer is More Harmful than Beneficial According to the Swiss Medical Board’s Review

Mammography Screening Program for Breast Cancer is More Harmful than Beneficial According to the Swiss Medical Board’s Review | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Perspective from The New England Journal of Medicine — Abolishing Mammography Screening Programs? A View from the Swiss Medical Board
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

There are many ‘experts’ who believe that the practice of systematic mammography screening reduces the risk of getting breast cancer and saves many lives through early detection of aggressive tumors. However there is an increasing number of ‘experts’ who believe that this practice does not bring the benefits that are attributed to it.

The basis of the argument in favor of systematic mammography screening is founded on old and outdated clinical trials up to 50 years old. The question is “Could the modest benefit of mammography screening in terms of breast-cancer mortality that was shown in trials initiated between 1963 and 1991 still be detected in a trial conducted today?”

The Swiss Medical Board put together a team of specialists and experts to answer that question as part of their review of the practice of mammography screening. An important part of the team’s realization was that the harms of mammography screening outweighed its benefits – in particular false-positive diagnoses.

After 25 years of follow-up, they found that 106 of 484 screen-detected cancers (21.9%) were over-diagnosed. This means that 106 women in the screening group were diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer unnecessarily, which resulted in needless surgical interventions, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or some combination of these therapies. They were also quite concerned about the discrepancy between women's perceptions of the benefits of mammography screening and the benefits to be expected in reality.

As a result of the study and its report, the Swiss Medical Board recommended that no new systematic mammography screening programs be introduced and that a time limit be placed on existing programs.

The report, which was made public in February, has been rejected by a number of Swiss cancer experts and organizations, some of which called the conclusions unethical. One of the main arguments used against it was that it contradicted the global consensus of leading experts in the field. Another argument was that the report unsettled women.

Change is always difficult for many people to accept. Particularly those with vested interests in the status quo.

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Mammography Helps Some People But May Lead Others to be Treated Unnecessarily

"...screening review shows startling over-diagnosis and lack of truthful information:

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

This article brings to attention the often discussed topic of ‘over-diagnosis’ - http://www.naturalnews.com/040655_mammograms_breast_cancer_over-diagnosis.html

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MRI Can Detect 90% of All Breast Cancer Compared to Only 37.5% for Mammography and Ultrasound Combined.

MRI Can Detect 90% of All Breast Cancer Compared to Only 37.5% for Mammography and Ultrasound Combined. | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Around 90 per cent of all breast cancers can be definitively diagnosed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), researchers report. This compares to the combined methods of mammography and ultrasound which yielded a detection rate of just 37.5 per cent.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

It is known that the use of mammography and ultrasound cannot detect all types of cancer.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology done in Vienna “clearly shows the superiority of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) over mammography and breast ultrasound examinations," says Thomas Helbich, who led the study with Christopher Riedl.

The study involved 559 women at increased risk of breast cancer, and performed 1,365 screening examinations. It revealed that 90% of all breast cancers can be clearly detected by MRI compared to the combined methods of mammography and ultrasound which yielded a detection rate of just 37.5%. None of the cancers were detected by ultrasound alone. The results were similar for non-invasive cancers and for benign breast lesions.

The results of the study should encourage the increased use of MRI for breast screening.

According to OECD 2011 published information Austria has 18 MRI scanners per million inhabitants -- putting the country above the EU average (10 scanners / million inhabitants). If MRI is to be used more frequently, Italian or Greek ratios would be better: in these countries, there are 23 and 22 MRI scanners per million inhabitants respectively. In the USA there are 31 MRI scanners per million population, and in Japan 46. Whereas in Australia and the UK each have only 5, and New Zealand has 11.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publishes the number of MRI units per million population of each of its 34 member countries. See details here - http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/health_glance-2013-en/04/02/index.html?itemId=/content/chapter/health_glance-2013-33-en&mimeType=text/html

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Mammograms Discontinued in Switzerland Based on Conclusion They Do More Harm Than Good.

Mammograms Discontinued in Switzerland Based on Conclusion They Do More Harm Than Good. | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

Mammography screening is the general, worldwide accepted way to conduct breast cancer screening - .except Switzerland.

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, states why the Swiss Medical Board has recommended to discontinue systematic mammograms.

The ongoing debate over mammography screening is based on a “series of re-analyses of the same, predominantly outdated trials.” The first mammography trial began more than 50 years ago and the last trial was in 1991.

The Swiss Medical Board state that the benefits of mammograms do not outweigh the harms. They noted they were “struck by how non-obvious it was that the benefits of mammography screening outweighed the harms.”

They cited a recent study published in British Medical Journal (BMJ) — one of the largest and longest studies of mammography to date — involving 90,000 women followed for 25 years. It found that mammograms have absolutely NO impact on breast cancer mortality.

The Swiss Medical Board said they were “disconcerted” by the profound discrepancy between women’s perceptions of mammography benefits and the actual benefits. How can women make an informed decision if they overestimate the benefit of mammography. The reality is that the science backing the health benefits of mammograms is sorely lacking.

Mounting research shows that more women are being harmed by regular mammograms than are saved by them.

When it comes to cancer prevention many doctors are just as confused and manipulated as the average person on the street because of the relentless industry and media propaganda that downplays or ignores research that dramatically contradicts their profit-based agenda.

Mammography screening is big business. And big business usually means an implied false sense of security and a misappropriation of information. That’s just how things are. Breast cancer reduction has been shown to be effective when there are dietary changes, such as much lowered fructose intakes, lowered protein intakes and increased Vitamin D. Eat high fiber vegetables, don’t smoke, don’t drink too much, get sleep. These are the things your body is craving.

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A Breast Cancer Screening Test That Finds Three Times More Breast Tumors

Working with a team of physicists, Dr. Deborah Rhodes developed a new tool for tumor detection that's 3 times as effective as traditional mammograms for women with dense breast tissue. The life-saving implications are stunning. So why haven't we heard of it? Rhodes shares the story behind the tool's creation, and the web of politics and economics that keep it from mainstream use.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Mammograms are one of the most complex of all radiology studies to interpret. Mammography relies on differences of appearance of the tumor compared to the background tissue. However both tumors and dense breast tissue appear white on a mammogram and the x-ray often can’t distinguish between the two. Mammograms find over 80% of tumors in fatty breasts but as few as 40% in extremely dense breasts.

Mammograms have been used since the 1960s with very few changes or innovations until digital mammography was approved in 2000. Digitial mammography is still an x-ray of the breast but the images can be stored and manipulated digitally in a similar way to a camera. However a study revealed that digital mammography was found to be generally no better than the traditional method. Although for women with dense breasts it did offer some advantages.

A few years ago another screening method was developed by a physicist and called molecular breast imaging (MBI). MBI analysis uses very light pain-free compression to do the test and exploits the different molecular behavior of tumors and it is therefore impervious to breast density. BMI can also detect tumors as small as 3mm in size.

In 2004 a research grant was approved to study 1,000 women with dense breasts, comparing the results of a screening mammogram to an MBI. The results were astonishing. Mammography found only 25% of the tumors. Whereas MBI found 83%. Apart from its effectiveness, the MBI technology uses only one-fifth of the radiation dose that is used in other technology.

MBI is as accurate as MRI and far less complex to interpret. It generates 4 images per breast. An MRI generates over 1,000 images. MBI is only a fraction of the cost of MRI. After achieving these remarkable results from the study it was rejected from publication in the medical journals.

It is evident that there are forces within the breast imaging world, and indeed the broader medical world, which prefer the status quo and are closed to important and potentially life-saving innovation.

Please watch Dr. Deborah Rhodes’ 21-minute video and decide for yourself. Dr. Deborah Rhodes is an expert at managing breast-cancer risk.

 

For your information, I understand that MBI is available at Capital Health System in Hopewell, New Jersey.

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