Surgeons Admit That Mammography Is Outdated and Harmful to Women

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Every year, millions of women flock to their doctors to get their annual mammograms, a breast cancer screening procedure that involves pressing a woman’s breasts between two metal platforms to scope out tumors. But surgeons everywhere are starting to question the controversial practice, which studies show isn’t even an effective screening tool, and is actually harmful to the bodies of women who receive it.

The public is told that mammograms are the only way to catch breast cancer early, but a review of eight scientific trials evaluating the procedure, found that mammography is neither effective nor safe. After looking at data on more than 600,000 women between the ages of 39 and 74 who underwent the procedure on a routine basis, researchers found that many women are misdiagnosed. Many of these same women are consequently mistreated with chemotherapy, resulting in their rapid demise.

As published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the review concluded that mammography causes more harm than good, because many more women end up being misdiagnosed and mistreated than those actually avoiding the development of terminal breast cancer. Thus, the procedure known as mammography is an outdated scourge that belongs in the history books of failed medical treatments, and not at the forefront of women’s medicine.

“If we assume that screening reduces breast cancer mortality by 15% and that overdiagnosis and overtreatment is at 30%, it means that for every 2000 women invited for screening throughout 10 years, one will avoid dying of breast cancer and 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be treated unnecessarily,” the authors concluded.

Group of top medical experts admits mammography does more harm than good

One year after this review was published, a second one published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) came to a similar conclusion. A team of medical professionals that included a medical ethicist, a clinical epidemiologist, a pharmacologist, an oncologic surgeon, a nurse scientist, a lawyer and a health economist, decided that the medical industry’s claims about the benefits of mammography are essentially bunk.

They found that for every 1,000 women screened in the U.S. over a 10-year annual screening period beginning at age 50, one breast cancer death would be prevented, while a shocking 490 to 670 women would have a false positive, while 70 to 100 would undergo an unnecessary biopsy. Between three and 14 of these women, the study found, would also be over-diagnosed for a non-malignant form of cancer that never even would have become “clinically apparent.”

This study out of Switzerland corroborates another out of Canada – the 2014 Canadian National Breast Screening Study – which concluded in lockstep with the others that mammography screenings do not reduce mortality rates from breast cancer any better than a simple physical examination. In other words, the procedure is completely unnecessary, and in many cases exceptionally harmful.

And on and on the list goes, with data out of Norway and elsewhere confirming that mammography isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. U.S. data spanning the course of nearly 40 years shows that more women are over- or misdiagnosed with breast cancer because of mammograms than are successfully early-diagnosed with breast cancer in such a way as to protect against metastasization. This represents an exceptionally poor track record that calls into question why mammography continues to be used when it clearly doesn’t work.

“I believe that if you did have a tumor, the last thing you would want to do is crush that tumor between two plates, because that would spread it,” says general practitioner Dr. Sarah Mybill, as quoted in the documentary film The Promise.

 

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Breast Reconstruction: Get the Facts Before You Decide

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If you have had a mastectomy for breast cancer or are considering one, you may also be considering what to do afterwards.  As you explore your options, you owe it to yourself to learn the facts about breast reconstruction surgery as well. This is a very personal decision so take your time in weighing the cost, both emotional and physical. Always make an informed decision when it comes to your body and health.

What Does Reconstructive Surgery with Mastectomy Entail?

A mastectomy is a surgery that removes all tissue from the breast. In conventional medicine, it is done to prevent cancer spread (although this is somewhat of a misnomer since mastectomy does not remove breast cancer stem cells).

Never the less, more women are opting to get mastectomy each year. And in total, over 300,000 American women annually get breast augmentation, either because of mastectomy or for strictly cosmetic reasons.

Reconstructive surgery after mastectomy can be done either at the time of mastectomy (called an “immediate” reconstructive surgery) or “delayed,” which means the surgery will occur at a later date. The materials used to recreate the breast vary and include silicon, saline or the person’s own tissue.

While reconstruction may help a woman feel more like “herself” after Breast Cancer, there are also quite a few risks associated with it, especially concerning the substances used.

Complications with Silicone Implants

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Remember that ANY surgery is an invasive procedure that could increase complications from infection.

In 1992, the United States Food and Drug administration announced a moratorium on silicon implants because of their possible link to rheumatic disease and Breast Cancer. However, as of 2013, certain kinds of silicone implants have been re-approved for use in the United States.

Part of why silicone implants are so harmful is because they don’t just contain silicon. In fact, there are dozens of other chemical substances that may be found in some gels, including formaldehyde and acetone. Silicon-caused nervous system disorders, especially neuropathy on the side where the implant is located, can occur when there is a rupture of the implant or leakage of the material.  Silicon leakage can lead to inflammation, fibrosis, and “foreign body reaction,” according to a 2007 study published in Hong Kong Medical Journal. Leakage is so common that many experts recommend either removing or replacing the implant every 8 to 10 years.

Silicone can also be carcinogenic. According to the research, silicon leakage can increase your riskof other kinds of cancer, including lung, colon and pancreatic.

“It’s a neurotoxin,” said  Dr. Susan Kolb M.D., F.A.C.S., A.B.I.H.M., an Atlanta-based holistic plastic surgeon and author of the book The Naked Truth About Breast Implants: From Harm to Healing, in arecent interview on Mercola.com.  Kolb knows firsthand about the dangers of silicone implants.  She was once diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome as a result of silicone implant leakage. “Many of the chemicals that Dow Corning [maker of silicone implants] identified in the trials … are carcinogens, and many are neurotoxins. Oddly enough, the plastic surgeons don’t know the list of chemicals that are actually in the gel.”

All is not lost if you are experiencing the negative side effects of silicone implants. “Explantation surgery” can remove implants. In addition, immune system and detox protocols have a good track record for healing side effects once they are removed.

Complications with Saline Implants

Sadly, there are virtually no studies that have critically looked at complications associated with saline implants. According to many experts as well as anecdotal evidence, the problem with saline is not so much with the substance, but what could happen if the valve that is used to fill the implant is damaged through trauma to the chest, like in a car accident or other injury.

If valve malfunction occurs, certain bacteria and mold fungus can get into the implant. There, foreign substances can create biotoxins that can become neurotoxic and even carcinogenic.  Symptoms can be similar to those who contract “sick building syndrome” caused by water-damaged buildings.

Another complication of both saline and silicone implants is called “capsular contracture.” This occurs when scar tissue forms around an implant and pulls at it. According to studies conducted at theUniversity of Ontario and others, capsular contracture happens in silicone implants roughly twice as much as it does in saline implants.

Complications with Autologous or “Flap” Reconstruction

Using your own tissue—usually from the belly, buttocks, and/or upper thighs—to reconstruct a breast is called autologous or “flap” reconstruction. Many individuals prefer this kind of reconstruction because the tissue feels most like a regular breast and, according to conventional medicine, it supposedly “lasts a lifetime.”

Complications can arise with flap reconstruction as well, however. According to Cancer Research UK, complications of autologous reconstructive surgery include infection, flap failure, fluid under the surgery wound, hardening, leakage, unequal breasts if weight changes, and abdominal hernia.

Some Final Thoughts

Now that you know some of the risks of breast reconstructive surgery, you can make your own decision about how you want to go forward. Remember that any kind of surgery  comes with its own cancer metastasis risks.  Most women we have coached who have had reconstructive surgery regret going down that road in the long run. I believe that the the best course is always the most natural one, and that means staying away from any kind of invasive procedure whenever possible.

And, if you are a reconstructive surgery candidate, don’t be afraid to consider no reconstruction.  I encourage you to read this wonderful article , “Going Flat: Choosing No Reconstruction” posted on BreastCancer.org’s website.  It encourages you to learn to be comfortable with your body if you choose no reconstruction. “I don’t care what they take from you as long as I can see your face,” is a common sentiment from partners of Breast Cancer Conquerors.

Written by Dr. Veronique Desaulniers. To see the original article, click here.


Are Implants Worth the Risk?

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The breast implant market is booming. Women worldwide are spending $820 million a year on breast augmentation and the demand is growing. While 80% of breast implants are for cosmetic reasons and the remainder for reconstructive reasons, each presents risks to your health.

I realize this is a touchy subject. I am not here to judge but simply to inform you about some facts. Women who have breast implants because of Breast Cancer have been through a lot of pain and agony going through the surgeries and treatments.  Others simply chose to have them in order to touch up their breast shape and size. In all cases, the decision has an impact physically and many times emotionally.

Think of an implant like a sliver underneath your skin. It is a foreign substance that the body naturally wants to reject and this may cause stress to your Immune System.  However, for some women, reconstruction after a mastectomy is important to them. They want to regain what they feel they have lost as a result of the surgery.

It’s important that you are aware of all risks even though some may be associated with a particular type of implant or surgery. Knowledge will result in a healthier discussion with your doctor and an improved ability to better manage your overall well-being.

The risks linked to breast implants

An implant is designed using a strong silicone elastomer shell that’s filled with either a saline or silicone gel solution. According to The Mayo Clinic, saline and silicone gel, which is used for breast reconstruction, both pose similar risks:

  • Pain
  • Potentially permanent changes in nipple or breast sensation
  • Infection
  • Scar tissue that distorts the shape
  • Leakage or rupture
  • Need for additional surgery

 

According to the National Cancer Institute, women with implants  were three times more likely to die from respiratory tract cancer, two to three times more likely to die from brain cancer, and four to five times more likely to die from suicide”. NCI researchers also found an increased risk of certain connective tissue diseases, such as a doubling in rheumatoid arthritis, and even greater increases in lupus and Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Some other risks you should know about

  1. Your body’s potential rejectionCapsular contracture is the most common complication associated with implantation. Basically, the body looks at the silicone elastomer shell as a foreign implants 1object and scar tissue forms around it. It is rejected by the immune system in 11% of all cases and surgical intervention is required in the majority of them. Capsular contracture may also indicate low-grade bacterial infections related to the implant procedure or the implants themselves.
  1. A rare but treatable cancer. Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare cancer involving the immune system that may be associated with implants. In the known cases linked to implants, the lymphoma grew in the capsule of scar tissue around the implant and was treated by removing the implant and scar tissue. Some women also underwent chemotherapy and radiation.This type of lymphoma in the breast is normally found in three in 100 million women without implants. In comparison, it has been found in 60 in the 5-10 million women with implants. Even though the FDA has acknowledged the heightened risk, any association between breast implants and cancer is concerning.
  1. Psychological impacts. A study looked at five large epidemiologic mortality studies and found that the suicide mortality rate doubled among women with cosmetic implants. While the study noted the pre-implant psychiatric disorders among this group of women often include body image issues, depression and eating disorders, it makes sense that anyone suffering with a body image issue would benefit from emotional support.
  2. High levels of Platinum – Platinum is used to turn silicon into a softer, honey-like liquid which makes the implants feel softer.  The problem is that Platinum is highly toxic and women with implants had three times the levels of  platinum compared to women without implants. This metal can cause respiratory and skin allergies.
  3. Breast Implants may make it more difficult to detect future cancers. Although Mammography is routinely used, the good news is that Thermography may also help detect inflammation in the area of concern.
  4. According to the FDA, and the manufacturers’ own data, nearly ALL implants fail sooner or later. Many women, therefore, require corrective surgery within a few years. Patients with failed implants report and increase in joint and muscle pain as well as chronic fatigue.

Where do you go from here?

If you are considering breast implants, I highly encourage you to do your own research, ask lots of questions of yourself and your caregivers, and make an informed decision that will make sense for you over the long-term. And, if you are a reconstructive surgery candidate, don’t be afraid to consider no reconstruction.  I encourage you to read this wonderful article , “Going Flat: Choosing No Reconstruction” posted on BreastCancer.org’s website.  It encourages you to learn to be comfortable with your body if you choose no reconstruction. “I don’t care what they take from you as long as I can see your face,” is a common sentiment from partners of Breast Cancer Conquerors.

Embrace your magnificence and your scars – you are beautiful inside and out.

No matter what path you choose, be sure that you have a plan on how you will incorporate reducing your toxic exposure and healing your emotional wounds.  Balance of body, mind and spirit is the bottom line for good health.

“Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, better known as Dr. V, is the founder of The 7 Essentials System ™, a step-by-step guide that teaches you exactly how to prevent and heal Breast Cancer Naturally. To get your F.R.E.E. 7 day mini e-course, and to receive her inspiring articles on the power of Natural Medicine, visit http://breastcancerconqueror.com/.”

 

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