“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
As more and more studies reveal the sad truth about mammograms, many women are left wondering what to do.
We all want better, safer and more conclusive ways to find tiny invasive breast cancers while also avoiding cumulative radiation harms, false scares, overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
The Downside Of Mammograms: What Your Doctor May Not Be Telling You lists studies as well as experts speaking out against mammography. A Danish study debunking mammograms in January 2017 concluded:
“Breast cancer screening was not associated with a reduction in the incidence of advanced cancer. It is likely that 1 in every 3 invasive tumors and cases of DCIS diagnosed in women offered screening represent overdiagnosis (incidence increase of 48.3%).”
The day this study went public, physicians and reporters alike said, “We need better technology!” One reporter on CBS Morning News said, “Mammograms are barbaric.”
I couldn’t agree more.
I’m so grateful my journey led me to meeting Dr. Kevin Kelly, a radiologist of 34 years, who said he was passionate about improving ultrasound technology in an effort to find the tiniest cancers often missed by mammography (especially in dense breast tissue).
In 2015, I was stunned and thrilled to learn a better breast imaging technology already exists. It’s called SonoCiné Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (AWBUS) and it was invented by Dr. Kevin Kelly. Please listen to his Ted Talk:
Not only does SonoCine find the earliest of invasive cancers in extremely dense breast tissue, there is no squishing, no pain, no radiation, no IV, and no contrast dye.
Breast imaging should be a personal choice.
Since personally meeting Dr. Kelly in 2015, I have only done annual SonoCine ultrasound for breast imaging. Prior to this, I was doing annual dedicated breast MRI and thermography. I stopped doing mammograms in 2011. To hear more of my reasons, see My Choice for NO RADIATION & NO MORE MAMMOGRAMS
Here’s what women can do NOW to #be W I S E and be the change needed for better, safer, more conclusive breast imaging…
Ask your primary care doctor or OB/GYN to order a SonoCine ultrasound!
- Watch Exam video and find out all about SonoCiné here.
- Find a SonoCine location here.
- SonoCine FAQ
- Read Dr. Kelly’s published paper: Breast cancer detection using automatedwhole breast ultrasound and mammographyin radiographically dense breasts
- Read Transcript: #152 Detect Breast Cancer Sooner than Mammograms with Sonocine with Dr. Kevin Kelly
*** Please Sign and share this petition:
Inform Women about Mammography Harms Too / Insurance for Automated Ultrasound Needed!
While SonoCiné is officially marketed as a supplement to mammograms and not as a replacement, I believe there is enough evidence to say bye-bye to mammograms forever!
- My mammogram missed my breast cancer
- A Mammogram Was Not Enough For Me
Detecting more cancer in ‘dense breasts’ with automated ultrasound screenings
- More Stories
“When her doctor found a suspicious ridge during a manual exam eight years ago, she had a mammogram and an ultrasound on the same day. The mammogram again spotted nothing amiss, but an ultrasound found a tumor the size of a quarter. Her breast cancer had also spread to 13 lymph nodes.”
- Read More: Wall Street Journal – The Latest Mammogram Controversy: Density
- Review: Are You Dense and brochure
- Watch: Happygram the movie featuring Dr. Kelly
What if my doctor insists on a mammogram?
If you have decided you do not want a mammogram (like me), stay strong. You can say, “I have done a lot of research. I have dense breast tissue. Studies show mammograms miss invasive breast cancer in up to 50% of women with dense breast tissue. I don’t want to keep having false alarms or having biopsies for DCIS while potentially missing real invasive breast cancer.”
Never succumb to pressures, intimidation or bullying from anyone. One of the best things you can do for your long-term health is to have a doctor who is supportive of your highly educated views and choices. Remember, you hire and fire doctors! They work for you!!
More Must Watch Films and Videos:
- 3D Investigates: Breast screening – the truth
- The Dark Side of Mammography
- The Promise – about the harms of the routine breast screening program.
*SonoCine Testimonial on Facebook:
Half Truths are Lies in my eyes.
Case in point. Big media coverage today over a CNN interview with Otis Brawley of American Cancer Society regarding mammograms, women under 45 and false positives.
This is only part of the truth, please bear with me.
First issue is the reference to under 45 breasts appearing white and cancer as well appearing white. The suggestion being after 45 less white on white. Reality is many of us have Dense Breast Tissue, always white. The Dense Breast notification issue has been slowly wending its way State by State, legislature by legislature, and insofar as California was concerned, the American College of Radiology lobbied against passage.
Humans, even women deserve to know when there is a potential harm. Once you know, you then have a choice, act or ignore. Action insofar as breast cancer is concerned would be additional screening. Some will, some won’t. Choice.
For me, I had a friend well aware of an alternate screening, arranged it for me, and I took that opportunity. I drove to Los Angeles, over 100 miles one way to have SonoCine, an AWBUS, automated whole breast ultrasound. Dr. Kevin Kelly identified my never seen on mammograms, invasive ductal cancer.BTW, at that time I was 80 stillk white on White. Cancer grows in stages, before my cancer became invasive, it was “in situ.” Mammography never saw this developing cancer, I finally, post surgery was allowed to know my breast density.
I will never again trust mammograms, I drive the 100 + miles for re-screening.
Dr Kevin Kelly will make a presentation in San Diego county to hopefully find an open minded physician, not bound by machine maker lobbyists, research funds, and everything else keeping this simple, less expensive, no radiation, no 45 pounds of pressure, method from being available as an additional screening to all of us living here. Insurance already has the CPT codes for coverage. I’m still being forced to pay out of pocket, and driving 200 miles, why? Dense breast notification should be Federal, it is part of Health. Men, 10% of breast cancers are in men! You are not exempt.
So much more to this. Please just open your eyes, recognize paternalistic half truths. Let us have a chance of identifying breast cancers before they reach terminal stages. Please.
Thanks to Terrie, SonoCine is now available at Tri-City Hospital in San Diego.
Thank you so much for sharing and for your advocacy Terrie!
Blessings of love and light,
*** Please Sign and share this petition:
Inform Women about Mammography Harms Too / Insurance for Automated Ultrasound Needed!
What are your thoughts on this versus the aurora rodeo MRI?
I did the Aurora Rodeo MRI for 4 years in a row. I was concerned about the contrast dye and really wanted to find something else that I could feel would be just as good at finding a small INVASIVE cancer. Dr. Kelly is amazing — and he is very confident that his technology and his reading of it will find the tiniest cancers (as small as 4mm). I still believe the RODEO MRI or dedicated breast MRI is excellent at finding INVASIVE cancer, but again, there is the unknown risk and question of contrast dye being left in the brain. The SonoCine is also a lot cheaper and easier. MRIs are hard to endure the physical test. I’m thankful I had clear MRIs for 4 years, but I think I will stick with SonoCine going forward. Good question. Thank you! 🙂 Donna
I found another automated whole breast ultrasound, Invenia, assuming it is just another “brand”. I understand that micro calcifications are the pre cancerous that are shown on mammos causing false positives and women getting biopsies, etc. Do they not then show up on the awbus? I think I am confused on this. I had a mammo years ago that showed them but then had a dedicated breast mri that showed nothing, is this because the micro calcifications are indeed not cancer? Thank you!
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HI Tara Tara,
I have seen some info about Invenia but have not heard anything about and I have not researched it. I’m sure it’s similar. Dr. Kelly told me SonoCine was a bit different than GE AWBUS and I’m sure they are all slightly different and who really knows which is best until a study is done comparing!
The microcalcifications often seen an mammograms are the indicators to potential DCIS or invasive cancer…there is no conclusive way to know for sure unless the suspicious area is biopsied. Dedicated breast MRI and AWBUS are better at seeing high grade DCIS and invasive cancer (which is what we would really want to be screening for, not low-risk DCIS or other abnormalities. Dr. Kelly, inventor of SonoCine told me he can see DCIS and also the tiniest invasive cancers often missed on mammograms especially in dense breast tissue. Mammograms are really a poor test. There is only 1 reason this is still being called the “gold standard.” Too much $$$$ and training has gone into this industry. It’s riddled with conflicts of interest. There is no way I would ever trust this technology to save my life!!!! Women deserve better!
I was finally able to get in for the awbus! But, they are pushing a mammo and aren’t sure they will read it without it. Is there a radiologist, etc. that will read these reports without the mammo?
Save lives and is it safe to say not have unwarranted biopsies on every micro calcification picked up on a mammo? That is my huge concern as I have seen family have biopsy after biopsy, I too had a micro calcification on a mammo, my only one, and then went to have a dedicated MRI and it showed no areas of concern and I was comforted to not get the biopsy after the mammo, I am hoping the AWBUS is a similar experience!
Any thoughts on how to get it covered by insurance…
Probably need a clinical trial to provide evidence, but now that we are becoming seasoned advocates maybe we should collaborate with Dr. Kelley to fund and execute one.
Yes Desiree!! Dr. Kelly needs our help as well as help from other physicians! There are insurance codes and they can provide a bill for you to submit to insurance. Every insurance company is different so need to inquire. Here is some info on the website under FAQ regarding price and insurance: http://www.sonocine.com/faq/
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Got Dr to order, but clinic said insurance would not cover and my cost is $1000. Too expensive, will do thermograms which I can afford and MRIs which insurance will pay for.
$1,000 doesn’t sound right. It’s $250 in Pasedena, CA and if you want a private consultation with Dr. Kelly it is $100 extra. No clinic should be charging that amount of $$. If you do MRI, be sure to ask if it is a “dedicated breast MRI” meaning the machine is only used for breast imaging and not other body parts. Read why here:https://dcisredefined.org/choices/imaging-and-monitoring/rodeo-mri/
Also, be aware that the contrast dye used for MRI can potentially stay in the brain….so doing this annually may be problematic long-term. I would try to find another whole breast ultrasound center near you. Thermograms are questionable depending on the place and camera — with not a lot of quality control and regulation. More info here: https://dcisredefined.org/choices/imaging-and-monitoring/thermography/
Where do you live? Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Donna
How in the world have you been able to bypass mammograms? I have been fighting, pleading, begging, offering to sign waivers, etc. and no one will do an ultrasound without a mammogram. I am open to suggestions. I am desperate.
I have heard this from others. My Primary Care Dr. orders it for me and gets a copy of results…..but with SonoCine you don’t even need a Dr. order. Just make an appointment. Where do you live? Can you take a vacation and fly to LA to see Dr. Kelly? I asked my PCP why she orders it for me and doesn’t force mammo like others….she said, well…you could sue me if you get invasive cancer. So there you go.
Thank you for your response. And here is the really messed up part…my doctor did write me an order for JUST an ultrasound including axilla (which mammograms cannot image!!) and the imaging centers STILL WON’T do it! There is a clinic in Northern VA that I am going to try to go to…I’m crossing my fingers that they will not require mammogram since they also do those there. Thank you for the suggestion! I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this fight against mammograms!
I am having the same issue, even with a script, they want a mammo first in NJ, it is infuriating. I even offer to pay out of pocket, I don’t care about the insurance coverage. Please post if the VA option works out because I will be taking a drive down there if so.
Sounds like harassment to me. You can not be forced to have a mammogram! You are the consumer. You have a choice in where you get your health-care….and if, when and how you want to be screened for cancer. take back your power!!!
Jen, same thing happened to me. Dr ordered an ultrasound without mammogram and both local places turned me down even though I offered to pay out of pocket. So i did thermogram which was not exact and even though it showed warmer on one side, did not alert the reader that I already had DCIS.. An MRI due to family history was ordered and picked it up. Otherwise, I still would not know I had it.
Jen, this part is crazy. After I finally did get the MRI, the radiologist insisted I have a mammogram to use as a comparison to MRI, EVEN THOUGH THE REPORT SAID mammogram probably would not be effective due to dense breast tissue. I refused. They finally agreed to do the ultrasound, but no point then as I already had my answer on the MRI. BUT when I went for the biopsy, they INSISTED on doing BOTH mammogram & ultrasound in an effort to use them for guiding the needle, both failed, and so they had to do a MRI guided core needle biopsy.
Well, I got an ultrasound but it was a horrific experience. The radiologist lectured me about how I needed a mammogram…I would get more radiation flying to California…just take an Advil for the pain from my painful dense breast tissue and get the mammogram. She said she would have to mark the report as incomplete without it. Then she said “It just depends on how much you really care about having breast cancer. Now excuse me while I go do a biopsy.” So rude! She came in after the technician did the ultrasound and did her own exam – she pushed really hard on the area that is very painful (she knew it was the painful area in question) and I was screaming. Yeah like I could have put that boob in a squish machine…right. Now my OB is saying I have to have the mammogram too. I am going to try to lobby for an MRI due to my dense breast tissue but not sure I am considered high risk. Good luck you guys…it is terrible out there! Next step is finding a Sonocine location and going there. Crossing fingers.
I am so sorry you had to have this experience. Why when we are feeling the most upset and vulnerable and just need help and support we are not getting it where and when we need it most. Just because of one archaic, popular, money making exam. Please just remember we are our biggest and only advocates, hold onto your believes and don’t let them bully you. Sometimes it just seems easier to give in, especially when we need answers and the other way is taking so much longer. I wish you luck and take comfort in knowing you aren’t alone and there are others who agree with you.