Did you know…
In this must-read article, science writer, Christie Aschwanden lists key points (see below) of some of the “little known” harms of screening. She encourages women to review a chart on “Benefits and Harms of Screening Mammography.”
Key points from article:
- While 61 percent of women who have annual mammograms will have a callback for something ultimately declared “not cancer,” this isn’t the most damaging problem.
- Here’s the bigger problem: screening mammography has failed to reduce the incidence of metastatic disease and it’s created an epidemic of a precancer called DCIS. The premise of screening is that it can find cancers destined to metastasize when they’re at an early stage so that they can be treated before they turn deadly. If this were the case, then finding and treating cancers at an early stage should reduce the rate at which cancers present at a later, metastatic stage. Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happened.”
- participation in screening mammography increases the rates of lumpectomy by 30 percent and mastectomy by 20 percent.
- Mammography also leads to the treatment of cancers that never threatened the patient’s life, and these treatments can increase mortality.
- If you find a lump or something weird in your breast, absolutely get it checked out. In those instances, a mammogram is a necessary diagnostic tool. But screening mammograms — those done when you have no symptoms — have never been shown to decrease overall mortality and may cause tangible harms. For these reasons, I’ve chosen to opt out of mammography, and I based my decision on statistics and science.
Be sure to read the entire article and review the chart: It’s Ok to Opt Out of Mammograms
For anyone interested in a better, safer, more accurate way of imaging dense breast tissue, read my blog post: Bye-Bye Mammograms: Hello SonoCiné Ultrasound
Thank you thank you thank you Christie for taking the time (yet again) to write such an important EDUCATIONAL article!