Nov 25, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- A recent study found that women who have
subjected themselves once every two years to mammogram screening are more
likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those who have not.
And researchers said the difference was
caused largely by spontaneous regression in the control group.
is your first impression for this finding?
I guess most of you would naturally think mammogram screening raises the
risk of breast cancer.
After all, there
is a reason for this.
government has already officially recognized x-ray radiation used for mammograms
as a human carcinogen.
if you read a couple of news reports on the study including the one by the New
York Times, researchers part or not part of the research team did
not mention the potential risk from x-ray.
they proposed a new theory that says that the lower incidence of breast cancer
found in the women who received the screening less frequently were actually
experiencing some spontaneous regression, that is, they actually developed the
disease at certain point in time, and then their body got rid of it without
treatment or in this case without multiple mammogram screenings.
one could deny that spontaneous regression does occur in some cases of cancer although
what affects the outcome remains unknown.
But how many dare to think that the very risk probably comes from x-ray
or radiation based mammography.
researchers mentioned that it is likely for women who have received multiple mammogram
screenings to receive biopsy and unnecessary treatments such as hormone therapy,
which they said may actually lead to the development of breast cancer. They and
all others including the news media failed to point out that x-ray used in mammography
is a proven carcinogen!
study was conducted by Per-Henrik Zahl, M.D., Ph.D., of the Norwegian Institute
of Public Health, Oslo, and colleagues. The researchers examined breast cancer
rates among 119,472 women age 50 to 64 who were all invited to participate in
three rounds of mammogram screening between 1996 and 2001 as part of the Norwegian
Breast Cancer Screening program. They compared these to the rates among 109,784
age 50 to 64 in 1992 who did not receive any screening after the year.
the researchers of the study examined all the women once using mammography to
see who had had breast cancer and they found that the cumulative incidence of
invasive breast cancer were 22 percent higher in the group screened three times
during the six year period compared to the control.
study was reported in November 24 2008 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
many clinicians may be skeptical of the idea, the excess incidence associated
with repeated mammography demands that spontaneous regression be considered
carefully," the researchers said.
did not talk about the risk of x-ray.
the appeal of early detection of breast cancer, uncertainty about the value of
mammography continues," wrote Robert M. Kaplan, Ph.D., of the University
of California, Los Angeles, and Franz Porzsolt, M.D., Ph.D., of Clincal
Economics University of Ulm, Germany, in an accompanying editorial.
the most important concern raised by the study by Zahl et al is that it
highlights how surprisingly little we know about what happens to untreated
patients with breast cancer," Drs. Kaplan and Porzsolt continued.
did not mention the potential risk of x-ray either.
who want to know the risk of x-ray may do some homework.
Just recently one more study published
in the Dec 2008 issue of
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment found that
one chest x-ray before age 30 increased the risk of breast cancer by 80 percent
in BRCA1 carriers.
take-home message is that 1) x-ray based mammogram screening increases breast
cancer risk; 2) the screening may suppress spontaneous regression. The former
is a certainty and the latter is a possibility.
is that x-ray is the most studied and potent human carcinogen.
It can cause cancer and there is no safe threshold
meaning any dose increases some risk, many scientists would agree.
Dr. John Gofman, a distinguished nuclear physician,
said x-ray is responsible at least partially for 75 percent of breast cancer
Disclaimer: What's published on this website should be considered opinions of respective writers only and foodconsumer.org which has no political agenda nor commercial ambition may or may not endorse any opinion of any writer. No accuracy is guaranteed although writers are doing their best to provide accurate information only.
The information on this website should not be construed as medical advice and should not be used to replace professional services provided by qualified or licensed health care workers. The site serves only as a platform for writers and readers to share knowledge, experience, and information from the scientific community, organizations, government agencies and individuals.
Foodconsumer.org encourages readers who have had medical conditions to consult with licensed health care providers - conventional and or alternative medical practitioners.