Unfortunately the options and criteria for screening can seem ambiguous and a bit daunting. At what age should a woman get her baseline screening, what should be the on-going screening schedule, and perhaps most importantly, what type of screening should be done.
Most everyone has heard of the mammogram. Current guidelines recommend the baseline screening to be done between the ages of 40 and 44. Women age 45 to 54 are recommended to be screened on an annual basis while women over the age of 54 should switch to screening every 2 years.[i]
The mammogram is a specific type of breast screening that uses x-rays to detect cancer. Although not always the case, the intent is to detect cancer early, when it is most treatable. Recent advances in mammography include digital mammography, computer aided detection, and breast tomosynthesis (3-D). Because detection of small breast cancers may be hidden on a conventional mammogram, it is thought that tomosynthesis may result in clearer images of abnormalities and prevent unnecessary biopsies.[ii]
Should you consider tomosynthesis? While mammograms are touted as the best way to prevent breast cancer death, studies may suggest otherwise. In fact, breast cancer has become big business with routine mammograms being one of its primary profit centers.
Two of the greatest mammogram risks are high radiation exposure and compression of breast tissue, which potentially causes cancer cells to spread. 3D tomosynthesis does not reduce nor eliminate either of these risks! In fact, the “new and improved” technology creates radiation exposure that is even greater, perhaps 3 times greater. In addition, the 3D mammogramis not a stand-alone diagnostic test – it’s typically an add-on to the standard mammogram thereby greatly increasing overall radiation exposure. The FDA reports tomosynthesis dosage to be double standard screening. [iii]
Are you being excessively irradiated with unnecessary medical scans? You can do your own research on viable non-evasive screening methods including the Thermogram. You can also find more information in my upcoming book titled, “Saving Tatas.”
One of the best ways to prevent cancer is via healthy lifestyle strategies. Cancer screening does not equate to cancer prevention. Some of these strategies include avoiding sugar, optimizing levels of key nutrients like vitamin D and iodine, and eating a clean diet with plenty of colorful vegetable protein.
Doctors are trained to follow a ‘standard of care.’ It is not unethical for you to question the guidelines and do your own research to determine what is best for you. After all, your life might just depend on it.
[iii] J.Mercola, New 3D Mammograms May Triple Your Radiation Exposure, August 27, 2013, accessed on August 29, 2016 from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/27/3d-mammogram-risks.aspx