Breast Cancer? Breast Health!
The Wise Woman Way

by Susun S. Weed
Paperback - 380 pages
Published by Ash Tree Publishing
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Chapter 5.

Mammograms -Who Needs Them?

Excerpt from Breast Cancer? Breast Health! By Susun S. Weed


Screening mammograms don't increase your chances of being cured . . . or of surviving longer

Early diagnosis of breast cancer by mammographic screening produces higher rates of cure and longer survival times without actually increasing the number of women cured nor lengthening their lives. How can that be? It's sleight of hand with numbers.

Survival, when it comes to breast cancer statistics, is defined as being alive five years after the diagnosis of cancer. Cure is defined as being disease-free five years after diagnosis. A women who dies of breast cancer more than five years after her diagnosis can still be included in statistics as a "cure."

A woman with a slow-growing metastasizing breast cancer will live, on the average, 15 years after the cancer's inception.15 A mammogram can detect a slow-growing breast cancer when it is about eight years old. (15 - 8 = 7 more years to live.) If this woman dies seven years after her diagnosis, she will be counted as "cured" because she lived for more than 5 years.

The same slow-growing metastasizing breast cancer will be 11 or 12 years from its inception when noticed by a woman who neither touches her breasts regularly nor has mammograms. (Women who do regular breast self-exam or breast self-massage usually notice a slow-growing cancer nine years after its inception, just one doubling bigger than visible to a mammogram.16) This woman will live as long as the woman whose cancer was discovered by screening mammogram, but won't be "cured" because she didn't live for five more years. (15 - 11 = 4 years).

The cure is only a statistic. There is no difference in the number of years lived after the inception of the cancer, no difference in the length of life, only a difference in number of years lived after diagnosis.

Read the rest of Chapter 5 (click on any section below)

Mammograms - Who needs them?
All mammograms are x-rays.
Mammograms are inaccurate.
Mammograms can't tell if there's cancer.
Mammograms don't replace breast self-exams.
Mammographic screening increases risk of breast cancer mortality in premenopausal women.
Why I haven't had a baseline mammogram.
Mammograms aren't safe.
Screening mammograms lead to overtreatment.
Screening mammograms don't increase your chances of being cured . . . or of surviving longer.
Mammograms don't find cancer before it metastasizes.
Aren't mammograms life saving for women over 55?
Yearly screening mammograms aren't cost effective to society nor are they safe environmentally.
Is there a less risky way to participate in screening mam-mography?
Mammograms distract us from the need for societal commitment to true prevention.
Are there other ways to find early-stage breast cancers?
Mammograms don't promote breast health.
If You Decide to Have a Mammogram.

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