Why I won’t get a Mammogram

Breast Cancer:  Why I won't get a mammogram | Butternutrition.comI’ve never had a mammogram, and today I’m going to tell you why I intend to keep it that way. As much as Western medicine considers mammograms “life saving” and perpetuates you would have to be “dumb” or “stupid” not to get one, I disagree. I’m going to challenge that with realistic downsides and questionable cancer paradigms. Just like YOU, I’ve had close family diagnosed and die of breast cancer, and I’m still not cheering  for the mammogram.

Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion, and I am not suggesting anyone follow suit. I’m simply sharing what is right for me and why.

1) The research

Research suggests that mammograms help to detect early stage  breast cancers, thus saving lives, but yet the trend of late stage diagnosed  breast cancers remains unchanged.  “But importantly, the number of cancers diagnosed at the advanced stage was essentially unchanged. If mammograms were really finding deadly cancers sooner (as suggested by the rise in early detection), then cases of advanced cancer should have been reduced in kind. But that didn’t happen. In other words, the researchers concluded, mammograms didn’t work.” -New York Times

2) Mammograms have downsides, whether or not Western medicine wants you to know. Including:

  • False positive results: This means you’re told the “dreaded” results, scared out of your mind, subject to more tests, and ongoing investigation, just to find out you DON’T actually have breast cancer. This can result in a huge scare, undue stress, emotional trauma, and unnecessary medical bills.
  • False negative results: False negatives readings are common too, up to 15% of breast cancer cases are missed by a mammogram (source).
  • Over diagnosis & overtreatment: The New England Journal of Medicine noted that breast cancer was over diagnosed in 31% of breast cancer cases. Ray Peat agrees that over diagnosis is a great concern, “The extensive use of mammograms has increased the diagnosis of “ductal carcinoma in situ” {DCIS} by more than 1000% (a 16- or 18-fold increase in some hospitals, and expected to double in the next decade), increasing the number of mastectomies and other treatments, but the increased treatments and early diagnosis haven’t produced any visible change in the death rate.” The national cancer institute says that DCIS cases are often over treated since they do not know whether or not the tumor will become cancerous. “Because doctors often cannot distinguish cancers and cases of DCIS that need to be treated from those that do not, they are all treated.” (source)
  • Radiation exposure: Radiation exposure from mammograms is actually a known CAUSE of breast cancer! According to Ray Peat, PhD, “Estrogen and ionizing radiation are the most clearly documented causes of breast cancer. Their excitatory effects lead to inflammation, edema, fibrosis, and interruption of intercellular regulatory processes.”

3) I don’t agree with Western medicine’s breast cancer treatment plans.

Medical treatment of breast cancer includes “cutting, poisoning  & burning” according to my grandfather, who watched his wife die of breast cancer after being strung along by Western medicine for 7 years. I really don’t think leaving the patient worse off then they were prior to toxic treatments and defeminizing procedures are the only acceptable way to treat cancer. What ever happened to “first do no harm?”

“In the process of diagnosing a cancer, and during the course of treating it, the patient is usually subjected to multiple x-ray examinations, sometimes given radioactive drugs that supposedly concentrate in hidden tumors to emit positrons, and often has toxic contrast agents injected even for MRI examinations. These procedures, even before the destructive “therapies” begin, are adding to the body’s inflammatory burden, interfering with the body’s ability to complete a healing process. Decisions about pain control usually disregard the effects of the drugs on tumor growth and general vitality–for example, the opiates stimulate histamine release, which increases inflammation and tumor growth.” Ray Peat, PhD

4) Breast Cancer is still seen by mainstream medicine as an “isolated problem” vs. a systemic one

I see cancer as the outcome of a systematic problem in the body, meaning there are underlying problems with energy metabolism, nutrient deficiencies, an excess of estrogen & chronic inflammation that produce cancer growth. Why does it make sense to just “cut out” the problem in order to “cure” or treat it? Shouldn’t treatment include building up the body and supporting the bodily environment that caused the cancer?

“As long as the lump is defined as an alien material, killing it by any means seems reasonable, but if it is seen as the body’s attempt to repair itself, then killing it is no more reasonable than it would be to cut the spots out of someone with smallpox.” Ray Peat, PhD

5) What if everyone has cancer in some form? Is it always a PROBLEM or could it just be mechanism of survival, and a part of the healing process when supported with proper diet and lifestyle?

What if everyone “has” cancer in some form? What if it’s merely a sign of aging that is accelerated with stress, hormonal imbalances, excess estrogen & malnutrition?

“Many years ago, Harry Rubin was impressed by hearing from a pathologist that he had been able to find diagnosable cancer somewhere in the body of every person over the age of 50 that he had autopsied. If everyone has cancer by the age of 50, that means that cancer is harmless for most people, and that small cancers might frequently appear, and be spontaneously removed as part of the body’s regular house-cleaning. One of the reasons that spontaneous regression of tumors seems so rare is undoubtedly that most tumors are quickly cut out by surgeons.” Ray Peat, PhD

6) Prevention starts with reducing the known dietary and lifestyle contributors.

According to Endocrinologist Ray Peat, an excess of estrogen, polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), and radiation are known contributors to cancer, particularly breast cancer. All of these are things that CAN be directly influenced by diet and avoiding radiation! “Polyunsaturated fats are another clearly identified cause of cancer, especially breast cancer. These fats synergize with estrogen, and sensitize to radiation. Their effects on the mother can be seen in the offspring, as an increased tendency to develop breast or prostate cancer.” Ray Peat, PhD

7) I support PREVENTION vs. CURE

In the end, raising awareness of regular mammograms further shifts the focus to diagnosing the illness of cancer, NOT preventing the illness itself! As a nutritional therapist, I’d prefer to focus on prevention, which for me includes a nourishing diet, listening to my body and reducing cancer risk factors (including mammograms), as well as looking into alternatives to mammograms like breast thermography.

“When cells are fully nourished, supplied with protective hormones, and properly illuminated, their ability to communicate should be able to govern their movements, preventing–and possibly reversing–metastatic migration.” Ray Peat, PhD.

Time to share your thoughts, and I’m curious—what do you think?

*To those of you who aren’t familiar with the business of cancer, I recommend this article about the business of cancer and also the chronicles of a young woman who lost her life to breast cancer, and in the few years of her fight, her insurance company was billed over 1.26 million dollars.

References:
Bloomberg. The shaky foundations for the new mammogram economy. 2012. Retrieved on October 6, 2013 from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-01/shaky-foundations-for-the-new-mammogram-economy.html
Forbes. The financial side of cancer- what it really costs. 2013. Retrieved on October 6, 2013 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/10/04/the-financial-side-of-cancer-what-it-really-costs/2/
National Cancer Institute. Mammograms Factsheet. 2012. Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/mammograms
New England Journal of Medicine. 2012. Retrieved on October 6, 2013 from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1206809
New York Times. Ignoring the science on mammograms. 2012 Retrieved on October 6, 2013 from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/ignoring-the-science-on-mammograms/?_r=0
Peat, Ray. Breast Cancer.  Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from http://raypeat.com/articles/aging/breastcancer.shtml
Peat, Ray, Cancer: Disorder and Energy. 2013. Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/cancer-disorder-energy.shtml
Peat, Ray. Leakiness, aging & cancer. 2006. Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/leakiness.shtml

This post is shared at Fight Back Friday.


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Comments

  1. says

    I fully believe this article and support your findings. I also think that there are other things in our society that brings on cancer, not just diet and old age. I believe that the chemicals (like radiation) that we live with day in and day out are HUGE problem in the rise in cancer. We can have the cleanest of homes and yet be so sick because of the bleach, ammonia, formaldehyde and the like! Cancer started to rise when these cleaning agents were introduced to us! We have since rid our homes of these nasty chemicals, stopped eating as much processed food as possible (even bought a few chickens for the backyard for eggs and boy are they good!!!), and see our chiropractor on a regular basis! Did you know that keeping your spine in good health is paramount to keeping your immune system running in high gear to fight off the cancer? MANY patients that have undergone chiropractic care for their cancer and NO radiation treatment and have been cured simply by boosting their own immune systems to fight it off! So I think it’s a few different things we can do to keep ourselves healthy: 1) see a chiropractor on a regular basis. 2) remove the cleaning agents in your home and shop more natural, non toxic cleaners (see my website for details on that). and 3) Stay away from processed foods and live a more active lifestyle. :)

  2. Trixie says

    I agree with this article and I agree with Leann’s comment but I think it goes even deeper that radiation, cleaning products, and processed food. I believe that cancer starting showing up exponentially in the last 20 years…………coincidentally, this is the same time period that biotech giants started quietly slipping genetically engineered plants into our food supply hoping nobody would notice. They lucked out, for a long time, nobody did notice; but now we’re catching on and they are spending MILLIONS of dollars and fighting tooth and nail against the growing outrage of Americans to put labels on the products they have tampered with. I believe that God gave us food and he created our bodies to get sustenance from that food; but when science changes the DNA of the food, our perfectly and divinely engineered bodies cannot process it as such which results in DISEASE. I will never get a mammogram, and I know it’s not a popular opinion but I have almost zero faith in the medical profession as a whole at this point.

    • marlene keller says

      I agree wholeheartedly with your take on this. I long came to the conclusion that we all more than likely have cancer come and go when our immune systems are given a chance to dismiss it. My take, in a nutshell, is this motto: stay away from doctors and hospitals, period, Your body can heal itself given adequate time; if you allow doctors to poke and prod and use invasive procedures they will interrupt the body’s process of healing, enabling them to diagnose and begin the process of invasive cutting, chemo, and radiation leading to debilitation and likely premature death. Don’t go to doctors and you will live.

  3. Roni says

    This is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. I work in a breast center. You are exposed to far more radiation on one airplane ride than many mammograms.
    What about the 20 and 30 year olds with breast cancer should they not have treatment or imaging?
    I am not saying nutrition shouldn’t be a part of the plan of car but it can’t be the entire plan. Regular screening prevents women from having late stage disease most of the time.

    • lisa says

      It sounds like you missed the research from the New England Journal of Medicine that found that the number of cases of advanced cancer diagnosed were NOT reduced with mammograms. And research has shown that women getting mammograms were just as likely to die as women not getting mammograms. While you may see things working at a breast center, anecdotal evidence does not trump research.
      So when you take a look at the research and see that there’s really no benefit, NOW compare it to the risks. While the radiation may be low, it’s still present. And (as you pointed out) you get it from other sources as well so you should reduce exposure where possible. Plus the added emotional roller coaster with over-diagnosis and treatment.
      Really I think the biggest thing is that patients should be informed of *both* sides and allowed to make their own decisions. Instead the medical community overall is ignoring the research and using fear mongering to say that everyone needs to get them.

      • Fred says

        the research provided in the posts is examining issues with current treatment. in no way does it say that not getting a mammogram is a far less risky choice than not getting one. i think that anyone knowing anything about cancer (research based information from highly regarded journals and not articles from a website) knows that the risk is far less than the reward. as for the argument that states that western treatments of cancer are extremely painful and not worth it. compared to any alternative it’s still worth it.

        also im going to assume thatthe individual working with breast cancer isn’t working from “anecdotal” evidence

        • Jennifer says

          You’re all talking as if there’s no option for screening other than mammograms. Breast thermography is less risky, far less invasive, and is better at finding abnormalities.

          • su smith says

            breast themography is great for detecting a developed breast cancer with a good blood supply. however it is not so great at detecting small micro invasive or non invasive cancers since they donot have a good blood suply. the test is very user dependant and to be effective neeed to be repeated every 3 months. the results vary greatly dependant on the time in the menstrual cycle. breast screening detects very small and non invasive cancers that can be treated by surgery alone…the downside obviously is it detects pre cancerous tumours which patients may have treatment for when the medical profesion as yet cannot predict when they will develop into an invasive cancer. you talk about chemotherapy and radiotherapy. but these are often not necessary if the cancer is detected and treated early enough. i agree with the comments on nutrition and avioding chemicals. a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals and anti oxidants reduces cell damage. its difficult to avoid chemicals compleatly in the world we live in today and it has been proved that obesity increases oestrogen levels and in turn increases the risk of breast cancer. but you can live the most wholsome life in the world and still develop any cancer. cancer doesnot discrimate. none of us know who will or willnot develop it. im all for prevention, but im also for early detection and diagnosis, and early less invasive treatment. i never saw a cancer shrink through eating apples, but ive seen it shrink through effective and well tested treatments. can you show me any evidence of good nutrition shrinking cancers?
            can i draw your attention to the Marmott review http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/sites/default/files/breast-screening-review-exec_0.pdf
            it proves that screening does save lives, but at the risk of overdiagnosis. knowledge is power!
            but if you arent going to get any treatment if you do develop cancer then what is the point of finding it …by any method?

    • says

      Working in a breast center and researching the disease are two different things. There is a growing body of evidence that supports what Catherine has said in her article. Dismissing it out of hand as “absurd” is simplistic and maybe even dangerous. We’ve been conditioned to believe everything that anyone with an M.D. behind their name tells us. But, frankly, most of their information comes from research paid for by drug companies. None of the doctors who operated on my cancer could tell me anything substantial about my disease…they didn’t understand it, only how to treat it by the “approved” methods. Do some independent research. You may be surprised what you find out. God bless!

    • Sarah says

      When you get your MD is when you should share your personal opinion. Out of all of the articles you used to quote , did you read the FULL articles?

      • christine says

        That makes no sense yo me. Why would someone ever be required to have professional credencials to offer a personal opinion on any subject? Do you not hold (or ever express) your own personal opinion on topics for which you have no professional training? Isn’t that the very reason it’s called a PERSONAL opinion rather than a PROFESSIONAL opinion? Not sure about the other part of your comment. I have not read any of the references to know whether or not they are being misrepresented.

      • Sara says

        There is a disclaimer at the beginning. You know going into this that it is an opinion. If you have a problem with it, then go do the research yourself and come to your own conclusion. And, then, if you feel so moved, write your own blog.

      • says

        @ sara , watch the movie Lonrinzro oil, doctors refused and cdc refused to find a cure , the kids father did it on his own, a true story, Md some times stands for money demon, cause alot of treatments are designed to create a money flow, ccommon sense , horse sense , with a little education goes along way, just like a Tribut monk cures cancer with natiral erbs , 20/20 did a show with him brought him to USA and CDC only appoved 45% of his erbs to be brought here , these were natural grown in wild plants, and he ccured cancer, deseases make money, just like treatments make money , alot of doctors order them to build their retirement fund, if we didnt have a dease or virus 30 years ago then where it come from ? Are they man made to get money ? think about. How can they predict a ephicdemic of the flu when its a virus in which is around 24/7 / 365, but only occurs a few monthes a year? this isnt rocket science, as for mamags alot of miss reads and biops to find only a fatty mass ? how about improving the system.

      • Tammy says

        You my dear Sarah, are one of many of the sheep that has been brainwashed by the mainstream industries; media, pharmaceutical, medical, food, etc… I’m willing to bet you haven’t heard of thermography either. You should pull your head out of the sand and do some research yourself. Read some articles from mercola.com, naturalnews.com, drday.com, drchristinehorner.com, watch a few documentaries such as: Food Matters, Hungry for Change, and Cut Poison Burn and the Burzynski movies.

        What Catherine has stated here is very true, and there are many natural-minded people out there that will tell you exactly what she has stated in this fine article.

        • MyMichelet says

          Dr. Christine Horner did my breast augmentation back in May ’97…dang I found out she sold her practise a few years later and moved across the country I believe. She lobbied with Clinton to make insurance companies pay for reconstruction surgery because woman were choosing to keep their breasts after being diagnosed and then dying- her own mother include I believe.

          Great article and great debate-thread. Stop donating to awareness ppl, invest funds into alternative cures, anything works over the poisoning of ones body which can never be good!!

    • Catherine says

      There are other screening options available- self exams (knowing your body), thermography breast screening, and (possibly) blood testing.

      The purpose of my post was to take the focus off of the “diagnostic technique of the mammogram”, and think about the bigger picture here —> PREVENTION.

      Catherine

      • Geri says

        I have had one each year since I was 35 because I have a family history on both my parents sides. I do everything I can do, include eating healthy and self exams. If having a mammogram saves ONE woman’s life, how can you justify what you have said here? How will you feel, if in one year, a woman’s family writes to you to tell you that because of your post, their mother or daughter or aunt or grandmother decided to stop getting mammograms and now is facing a diagnosis of metastatic disease?

        • Catherine says

          Thanks Geri for sharing your opinion. But playing the “blame” game because one shares their opinion is highly irrelevant. There is something called personal responsibility for you own choices and actions.

          I think there is much more to the story than simply counting lives saved vs lost. What about all those who were diagnosed and treated unnecessarily? What about all those who were treated and lost their lives sooner to harmful treatments? What about those who could have recovered without treatment? We just don’t know, there are so many possibilities that we can’t measure.

          Let’s be adults here and not play the blame game for starting a discussion, and {gasp}- questioning conventional medicine and the cancer industry. Part of any treatment should include knowing many different sides to a story, and being able to ask important questions to make the right decision for you. This is much more a discussion about mammograms than telling anyone what to do. Please be respectful of everyones’ right to share their thoughts. Please read my comment policy if you need clarification.

          • Allyson says

            Brilliant response, Catherine and I not only agree with you, I applaud you for your intelligent, courageous and insightful blogs…

          • michele says

            I think those who are saying your article is ridiculous are missing the point of what has been written. Plus, let’s look at this another way, it is called the “Practice” of medicine for a reason…not the “Perfection” of medicine. Tests are called “tests” for a reason. They are for testing the theory a doctor has when someone falls ill.

            I had a friend that recently died of breast cancer (she fought long and hard), she had had mammograms for years. This did not detect her breast cancer, thermology did. (the mass was missed for 3 years, when they went back to re-examine her mammograms, it was finally seen by a radiologist with over 20 years experience, where the fairly new radiologist had missed it for 3 years)

            Thank you for your article and giving the knowledge to be able to choose other options.

        • Courtney says

          What Catherine is trying to get across is that there are options. As she stated earlier there are Thermograms, Ultrasounds and MRI’s. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago and will never have another mammogram. I only get Thermograms as they are a great indicator of breast health change. I recently had issues with my lumpectomy scar and got an Ultrasounds and MRI to make sure the tissue was okay.

          I wish I had been open to articles and advice like this years ago, I would have been preventing instead of being on the other side which is extremely costly and emotionally taxing. It is hard to go against the norm and what is accepted and I appreciate people like Catherine and the doctors I work with who are willing to take a stand. I have healed myself naturally using a genticist and changing my diet to all natural, unprocessed foods, cutting out all sugar and anything white (flour & sugar)

    • Cecilia J says

      I agree with you Roni. This is TOTALLY AND OUTRAGEOUSLY RIDICULOUS !!!!!!!! I do Mammography in a Radiology Dept in a hospital and know for a FACT that Mammograms save lives by catching a cancer at an EARLY stage so that it can be treated and be cured. HELLO PEOPLE OPEN YOUR EYES !!!!!!

    • Allyson says

      How do you know that practicing good health, (eating right and avoiding chemicals and toxins, etc.), can’t be the entire plan? Why wouldn’t it be? And how many of the people who show up at your breast center have been following such a protocol? What exactly do you base your opinion on?

      • Mary says

        Anyone who wants to rely on “natural” methods to prevent breast cancer needs to take certain facts into consideration before assuming that a “clean” lifestyle can reduce your cancer risk to zero:

        1. Cancer existed long before modern processed diets and environmental toxins existed. There is archaeological evidence of cancerous tumors in prehistoric times. Eating organic foods obviously didn’t prevent those cancers.
        2. It is impossible to avoid all environmental toxins. Toxins like car exhaust and certain chemicals have permeated almost all parts of Earth’s biosphere.
        3. I personally expect that we will find HPV is not the only virus that can cause cancer.
        4. Some cancers are caused by radiation. You are being exposed to radiation all the time just by existing on this planet. The longer you live, the more exposure you will accrue.

        Can you reduce your risk? Yes. Eliminate your risk? Absolutely not!

  4. Tammy says

    Loved the info. I haven’t had a mammogram yet and I just have an aversion to getting one even though I too have family members who have had run ins with breast cancer and a friend who was diagnosed with BC with a mammogram. I think the rise in a lot of our health issues stems from multiple sources of which toxins, overly and wrongly processed foods, GMO’s, etc. are probably some of the main sources. Let’s also not forget about vaccines.

  5. says

    Cervical cancer that spread to lymph nodes is one of the chapters in my story. Routine paps was also part of my health care choice. I am grateful. The rate at which the cancer grew in one year was like the mold on uneaten bread on on my counter. At the time, I choose chemo, radiation and two surgeries. It’s been 13 years. I stopped going for the recommended pap smears about 7 years ago. It finally dawned on me that there was nothing left for them to look at! However, my education about the effects on my body regarding what is ‘on the end of my fork’ or ‘in my cup’ – my friend Dr. Helene Leonetti – she’s worth looking up! http://helenebleonettimd.com/ – changed it all. I do not fear cancer’s return. I live my life consciously. Nutrition, movement, conscious breathing, healthy relationships, healthy boundaries and a heart wide open is my formula for living.

    Thank you for reminding me to read, to choose from a place of gathered knowledge and internal wisdom. This body is inhabited by, well, ME and I get to choose. I continue to pass on fear based health choices.

    • says

      As a woman with a similar story, I do go for the follow up exams. I still have an annual exam. While there is no longer a cervix to be concerned over in my body, there is still tissue that was connected to it, and part of an ovary. My personal opinion is that I’ll be darned if I have survived a 10 year battle with cervical cancer to die of something stupid like a tumor at the surgical site, on my bladder, or on the remaining part of the ovary. My OB/GYN is trained to look for all internal dysfunction. If yours isn’t, you may need a different OB/GYN. again, my opinion.

    • Gerry says

      a great preventative for many forms of cancer including breast is to start taking RSO, it kills the cancer and keeps it from returning. also prevents masses from being formed. no nasty side effects . I’ve known several folks who have rid themselves of cancers with it. I take it on a daily basis to prevent.

  6. Mary says

    I agree with the information about mammograms. I feel they are unsafe and with breast cancer rising, we need to look at prevention not cure! Don’t get me started on all of the money being spent on cancer research. If we spent a portion of that on teaching people about making healthier choices and not letting “genetics” be a death sentence, cancer would fall. On another note, I know women who have opted for a thermography scan instead of a mammogram. What are your thoughts on that?

  7. says

    So glad to get this supportive article. I shared and pinned it for all of my friends who think I’m crazy to compare to the pink ribbon posts they are propagating. I don’t have mammograms either; but was a lemming for a period of my life, so my body burden of radiation is more than I’d like. As one of my JoaTST “jobs”, I take elder ladies to appointments occasionally. I want so much to talk to all the ladies streaming in and out of the “bus” but know that they don’t have ears to hear. I just do my best to lead by example. I had an occasion lately to “witness” about eating and Big Pharma’s role in our health paradigm and was almost run off with a hatchet. Fortunately, I stuck to my guns and the lady has gained new respect for me. You can’t back down when confronted, was my takeaway from that, as she sat there waiting for her son who is dying from Chemo treatment was off getting junk food for them both. ieee! Even though I feel strange happenings in my upper left quadrant, I am convinced that my body will work if I feed it right. I much prefer to learn to read my body right than have a Dr. of Pharmacy direct me to the dragons. Thanks again.

  8. Margaret says

    There’s more to preventing and treating cancer than good diet and lifestyle. My chiropractor died of breast cancer at age 61 despite a perfect diet, non-toxic lifestyle and the best holistic treatment available. I doubt she ever had a mammogram in her life, as she didn’t believe in them, and she had no conventional treatment, only holistic. Her diet consisted of pastured meat and eggs, raw goat milk and organic vegetables. She practiced yoga and meditation and took frequent vacations to recharge. She ate no grains, sweets or processed vegetable oils and minimal carbs. My point is, you can do everything “right” and still die of cancer.

    • sarai says

      Margaret, how do you know what your chiro was doing and eating at home. Were you living with her? How would you know if she had emotional baggage, guilt, hatred, and grudges in her life. That causes cancer as well.

      • Margaret says

        I know what my chiropractor was eating because she worked out of her home, I did petsitting for her in her home (so I saw what food was in her house), we were both in the Weston A. Price Foundation and discussed our diets, and we often shared food purchases from farmers. No, I don’t know everything that went in her mouth, but I have a pretty good idea of what she was eating. Yes, I agree there can be emotional components to illness but this blog was about preventing cancer with nutrition and I just want people to be aware that eating the perfect diet is not always sufficient to prevent or cure cancer. There can be other factors involved as well.

    • Allyson says

      I agree – you probably can “do” everything right and still die of cancer. I think that in addition to all of the physical stuff that we do that we absolutely must always stay on top of the emotional and energetic components of our lives. This is not to say that your chiropractor friend didn’t do this as well, just sayin’…

      • Margaret says

        I agree that the emotional and energetic components are important, too, and my chiropractor did address these. She went to numerous practitioners and studied various programs to address these components and completed extensive shamanic training. IMO, although there are clearly dietary, emotional and energetic causes of cancer, I don’t believe it can be prevented/cured 100% by addressing these. We can certainly reduce its incidence but I think it is foolhardy to believe we can totally eliminate it by addressing these. It is a complex disease with many causes, and it occurs in animals too, including wild animals and even prehistoric animals (before people existed). I just read a fascinating book called The Cancer Chronicles by George Johnson which describes the history of cancer and how it has been found in dinosaur fossils. It occurs in all animals, though more so in warm-blooded animals (mammals) than cold-blooded, and it occurred in paleolithic man (before the dawn of agriculture).

  9. says

    Well I sure hope you are never diagnosed, because as a a 30 year old survivor, I can assure you that it really sucks. I especially hope people are able to really think for themselves and see how poor of an argument you are making against mammograms here.

    I do, however, absolutely agree that there needs to be more focus on WHY breast cancer happens. It is certainly on the rise in young women like myself, and often, since we are not yet going for regular mammograms, it is diagnosed in later stages.

  10. Mary says

    I agree with Lauren. I , too, am breast cancer survivor being diagnosed at 34 years young. After years of exercising, clean eating, and no predisposed family history, I still drew the unlucky penny. Wake up ladies! While all of these lifestyle decisions can certainly help alleviate you from the mental burden that you “did something wrong,” cancer can still happen and I’m LIVING proof (thankfully). I credit a skilled team of practitioners who DO care about women, aren’t all pro-big pharma and deal with cancer because they care. Sometimes it does just happen and in the end you just need to stop it from metastasizing by any means necessary. I had a double mastectomy and I can now sleep at night. Until you walk a mile in a survivors shoes, which I hope you never have to do, avoid your blame game. Mammograms and early detection DO save lives. I am proof. And shame on you for propagating and supporting an article with such hearsay and rubbish! I hope you never need a cancer center, because eating Crowe tastes bad.

    • Angela says

      So do I Mary. My sister is a survivor x 3, breast cancer 5 years ago, cervical cancer at aged 26 and again last year aged 50. She always ate well and took care of herself but the cancer still came and came with a vengeance and almost took her life. I thank God that she was checked regularly because her cancers were so aggressive and spread quickly and doctors were able to save her and I’ll be forever grateful that she is still here. Catherine, be thankful that you have been fortunate never to have walked in the shoes of a cancer sufferer/survivor, yes there are are alternatives to a conventional mammogram but it was a conventional mammogram, medicine and a great and vigilant medical team which detected and took care of my sister. Cancer was here before processed food,and medication and even though my sister lived a very healthy lifestyle, the cancer still came. I’m not opposed to finding alternatives way of prevention and treatment but try not to dismiss the conventional way out of hand because one thing I’ve learned is that Cancer does not discriminate no matter how you live your life, just bear that in mind Catherine and I wish you well.

  11. AnnB says

    This is a very interesting leaflet from the NHS in the UK which basically says that:

    Screening saves about 1 life from breast cancer for every 200 women who are screened. This adds up to about 1,300 lives saved from breast cancer each year in the UK.

    Finding cancers that would never have
    caused a woman harm
    About 3 in every 200 women screened every 3 years from the age of 50 to 70 are diagnosed with a cancer that would never have been found without screening and would never have become life-threatening. This adds up to about 4,000 women each year in the UK who are offered treatment they did not need.

    Overall, for every 1 woman who has her life saved from breast cancer, about 3 women are diagnosed with a cancer that would never have become life-threatening.
    http://www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/breastscreen/publications/nhsbsp.pdf

  12. says

    I think the jury is still out on this one, and will be for a long time. It does worry me – the radiation, that is. But what about my friend, who at age 45 developed AGGRESSIVE breast cancer, suddenly. There was no question of nutritional or lifestyle intervention. She was going to die without swift treatment. Our current system of cut, burn, poison seems barbaric, but in some cases, it’s simply the best we have. It reminds me of the immunization debate. Truly, immunizations come with risk, but there is so much of emotion in this debate it’s hard to get to the truth. The last time I got influenza (and I do live a VERY healthy lifestyle) it kicked me into a nervous breakdown. The “flu shot” is far from perfect, but for many of us, it is the best choice we have right now. I was a young child when the terrible polio epidemic came through our area. I remember how frightened we were and how grateful we were when the vaccine became available. Life is fatal. Some people get sick and are disabled as a result. Some people get sick and die. A lot more of them died younger in previous generations. We once lived very near an old cemetery in the state of Nebraska. It was small. Most of the graves were of children who had perished within days of each other from diphtheria. Nowadays we look on blood letting as barbaric, and someday, I hope we will be able to look at our current cancer treatments as barbaric as well because much better things will have been developed. We each must make our own choices. The first and best is our lifestyle, but there is much more to it than that, and much that we simply do not know. Please be sure to at least do your monthly self-exams.

  13. says

    Thank you for your article! I’ve been mammogram free for three years. This was after the 10th year of an annual fear based scare “routine mammogram”. The last straw was when I nearly fainted while being squeezed and threw up after I was released from the machine. Cancer is big business in our area with many hospitals competing against one another. Once I started going to a CORRECTIVE care chiropractor in July of 2010 everything changed. Through re-education with facts, weekly adjustments, better whole food choices, maximizing my oxygen and lean muscle and reducing toxins, my inflammation is gone!! Inflammation is the underlying cause of ALL disease. Hope has been restored to my life knowing I do not have to be a part of the sick care system the US offers.
    Sure, we all have cancer cells dormant in our system, but my daily choices keep them there and are not allowed to be expressed. I AM CANCER KILLER by design.

    • Matthew says

      That’s incredibly ignorant to the point of danger. Inflammation is not the cause of disease, it is a symptom. The problem with today’s health care is the uneducated populace; people don’t understand what the doctors and scientists know, because our knowledge and understanding of the body is incredibly intricate and complex, constantly growing. The lack of understanding leads to a mistrust, and the mistrust leads to primitivism and regression. “Science is strange and we don’t get it, and look some bad things can happen, let’s not do it!” Life is terrible sometimes, and when it is, your choices are terrible. There is a snake in South America whose venom will kill you in a matter of mere minutes; if you get bitten in the woods, your options are hack off the limb that got bitten, or die. You won’t survive becuase you have good chi, eat organic foods, or exercise regularly. You will die, because it is a potent venom, or you make a hard choice. If you don’t understand the science, don’t criticize the methods; the problem today isn’t the good men and women who are hard at work employing knowledge you don’t have to save lives. The problem is superstitious, uneducated conspiracy theorists leading others into dangerous practices for the sake of “not giving in to the system”. History is full of those sorts of examples, full of impediments to progress by the suspicious ignorant that cost lives. Don’t be the next. Educate yourselves as to the nature of what you face. Learn truth to understand method. And for the love of God, stop spreading misinformation. You’ll get some poor innocent killed.

      • Janine Patching says

        Your view is your view. You shouldn’t discredit others opinions. These debates are about opening people’s eyes and minds. I too am a healthcare professional. Just look at the amount of people that die yearly from medication alone. Medicine is not the only way. I believe that our can be helpful in certain Circumstances. Have you watched food matters. It features very qualified oncologists that wouldn’t have chemo. Have you read the China study. Again researched by doctors. Lets open our minds a little more. Mammography does not pick up cancer in its very early stages. Thermography however is the way I would go. How about vitamin b17??? Health or illness I should say is the biggest money making business.

      • carolyn says

        actually matthew, inflammation is the CAUSE of many chronic diseases and not merely a symptom. even current medical literature says so

        as to the south american snake, native peoples know all kinds of antidotes for many such things. the saying “nature always puts the cure near the poison” comes from indigenous peoples. you can criticize as “primitivism” any knowledge that exists outside the confines of the narrow western industrial model but that is your problem and does not invalidate the other wisdoms

        and no, i’ve never had a mammogram and don’t ever intend to, yes, cancer has always existed but it was far rarer than it is today. our industrialized system creates cancer, then pats itself on the back for “curing” it and collects money on both ends! nice set up

    • Allyson says

      The chiropractic perspective is very interesting. I never thought of it other than addressing back, or limb pain. I wonder how it works?

      A couple of other things to take into consideration where breast cancer is concerned is commercial deodorants and colonics…Colonics – one of the BEST ways to get the “trash” out…

  14. Snoopygirl says

    Big pharma is a business, and while I am no conspiracy theorist, I believe that all the funding being raised for Breast Cancer and other conditions seems simply to maintain the business rather than find the cure that would put them out of business. I do find it interesting that the one sister in my family to get breast cancer was the one to faithfully get mammograms. Sometimes they would have so much trouble getting a good picture, the tech would retake it again and again. One time she said they did it 17 times in a row. And as others you mentioned, it was mirpcroscopic in size. They cut out a quarter of her breast, gave her radiation and put her on medication for five years to keep it away. The cancer has not returned, which may seem to be a success story. But can I tell you all the rest of the things she now suffers with? She swelled up and became obese from the medication, she developed diabetes from being so obese. She now has a heart problem and high cholesterol and constant trouble with hot flashes, a side effect of the medication she had to take. They also had to put her on other medication to control the hot flashes, which she says only minimalize so them.

    I think prevention and lifestyle is key! I myself refuse to have them done as does my mom. The other sister who has had many mammograms has had fibroid tumors and supposed pre cancer tissue removed. They are both a mangled mess with scars and sections of breast removed. While I do realize that there are other factors besides exposure to radiation during a mammogram that can cause cancer and tumors, I am sure left wondering if there wasn’t a link for my own sisters. No one else in my family history from generations back ever had breast cancer or breast tumors.

    Thank you for being brave and going against the grain by presenting your views. If nothing else it offers the other side of the coin for people to review before making their own choice. As we all know, dr.s “practice” medicine. They certainly do not have all the answers just because they have a degree. Besides, there are too many other factors that could be carcinogenic from toxins in the ground or air we breathe to plane travel or even pesticides. We have know way of knowing why some ate right but still got sick. Anyway, thanks for sharing! And keep preaching clean eating and living!

  15. Gail says

    Due to my own personal concern about radiation from mammograms, I quit doing them. I had two false positives 7-10 years ago. I have opted instead for MRI’s, and have also had a thermography; both are safer choices for me, and I have the support of my doctors. FYI: The MRI’s were covered by insurance as I have dense breasts; the thermography is not covered by insurance but is a lot less expensive than an MRI if you don’t have insurance.

    • Adria says

      Patti,

      I just returned from my doctor last week having had my 4th thermography (1 per year). I LOVE THEM.

      There is no squeezing, just three photos, plunge your hands in a bag of ice water (no water touches you, just the cold), followed by three more photos.

      Research indicates that thermography can find potential cancer spots 8 years before conventional mammography does. It is true that insurance doesn’t pay for it …. yet.

      • Jilly says

        I would be like to be able to get that if insurance ever pays for it. I am retired and probably cant afford it – i’d have to check on the price to see.

        I am used to the mammos and i dont find much discomfort at all, and i’m very large-breasted. The only place it pinches a bit is under the arm.

  16. Mary says

    Quote:
    Medical treatment of cancer includes, “poisoning, cutting & burning” according to my grandfather, who watched his wife die of breast cancer after being strung along by Western medicine for 7 years. I really don’t think leaving the patient worse off then they were prior to toxic treatments and defeminizing procedures are the only acceptable way to treat cancer. What ever happened to “first do no harm?”
    Unquote

    “Defeminizing”? Really?
    I defy anyone to tell me that I am less “feminine” because I only have one breast, or because chemo put me in menopause, and I have less estrogen in my body than I used to. (At 54, I’m relieved that the days of night sweats AND cramps AND periods are finally over.)

    “Worse off” after treatment? Really?
    I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer a bit over a year ago. I’m still getting treatment (targeted treatments without standard chemo side effects), but I am NOT worse off because of the treatment. I’m worse off from the CANCER–and there’s less cancer in my body now than there was a year ago

    I was diagnosed at state IV because I DIDN’T go to the doctor and I DIDN’T get mammograms. I do NOT recommend that others be as stupid and neurotic as I.

    • Margaret says

      I agree with you. I watched my chiropractor die of stage IV breast cancer and I’m guessing it wasn’t diagnosed until it was advanced, because she didn’t believe in getting mammograms. She felt they caused breast cancer. She did not do any conventional treatment and she died. I know people in the holistic health field (which I am also in) believe that conventional cancer treatment is totally bad and just harms people, but I know of numerous people who got conventional treatment and are alive many years later, often decades later, while I know of a couple of people that only did holistic treatment and they died. I really don’t think conventional treatment was invented just to make money and harm people. I think it was invented because natural treatment doesn’t always work.

    • Catherine says

      Thanks Mary for your comment, but like I said this is just my personal opinion, based on my own experiences and perspective. You are entitled to yours as well.

      There are plenty of other diagnostic techniques that should be looked into for early detection: self exams (knowing your body), thermography breast screening, and (possibly) blood testing.

      Catherine

  17. lauramae says

    I have no education in medicine. I am 51 with two grown children. I have never had a mammogram. It has been years since my last gynec. exam. At age 37 my sister died of colon back in 1987. My stepmother has survived breast cancer not once but twice in her 70+ years.
    I choose not to go for mammograms and gynec exams. It is my personal choice; to not have these exams. For me its mostly the anticipated discomfort of these exams; and expense. As a woman I am in tune with how I feel; eat, and sleep. I hope to never get cancer and if I do; I am not sure if I would even be brave enough or strong enough to go through all the medical processes to rid my body of it. Thank you for posting these facts. Many times I have received very, very negative feedback from friends and family about my choice. I have even been called stupid! Maybe its because I saw my sister fight so hard and lose. I still hear her gasping for air with a respirator trying to talk at the end. I was only 24 then…we all have our reasons.

    • Jilly says

      Unfortunately if you get any terminal disease you will suffer and die with it whether you choose treatment or not. Yes, treatments usually let you live longer, and sometimes cause distress, but often you can be cured and live a long and happy life (if you are a happy person).

      Not choosing to get medical treatments doesnt mean you wont suffer any less with any disease.

      My sister got breast cancer first when she was about 42 and i thank God she got many treatments since them, because i’ve had her with me as my best friend. She has also traveled the world in retirement now, as she is 65 and was cancer-free for many years. She is not now (it returned after a long break), but i certainly dont believe in blaming a person for their own cancer as the poster of the original Blog post seems to. Many people even get lung cancer who have never smoked.

      Yes, we are entitled to our own opinion, just as the Blogger believes we can heal ourselves, many believe that prayer heals. I would rather try a bit of all of it – personally – if i had a serious disease. The medical community (and others) do not know everything that causes cancer, and i dont agree with ALL the medical “cures.” But with the 7-plus family members i have who had breast cancer, i started getting a mammo in my 30’s, and have never had a false-positive reading – which i’d still much rather deal with than cancer. (We should all say no to dental xrays every 6 mos. also, BTW.)

  18. says

    I wish there were “like” buttons! There are a lot of comments I would like to applaud.
    As a breast cancer survivor, who went through many mammos that still missed my cancer, I can say that I will NEVER trust in one again. I found my own tumor, when it got large enough to palpate, by following my own intuition that something was wrong. THAT is what saved my life. Woman need to listen to their bodies.
    I LOVE getting themograms and if anyone thinks that radiation is not harmful, I would be happy to show them the damage all that radiation did to my breast. It is still “hot” on my therms and it has been 6 years! I have since become an activist, hoping that if we can get more women to demand thermography, we can bring back the insurance code that the mammography industry, backed by a lot of pink bucks were able to get rescinded after a very poorly run “study” they ran. Only if more women demand it, will we get it back. If other women want to still do the smash and burn, go ahead. I just think we should be told the truth about thermography and given the choice.
    If anyone wants to get involved in my Think Beyond Pink! campaign, join us on facebook, and check out some of the info I have been archiving at preventcanswers.org. I do not make any money on these sites. I just want to help others find information that I had to dig deeply for. Join in the conversation!

  19. MB says

    I have watched many people suffer with cancer and die. Most of them family members but I have also worked as a caregiver for elderly and disabled people. My personal experiences have taught me that people with later stages of cancer are worse off in getting aggressive treatments like radiation and chemo. My grandfather was 74 and diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. The radiation burned his esophagus so severely that he could no longer swallow. He died within 4mo of being diagnosed. I have no doubt that he would have lived longer without the treatment. My uncle almost died from the chemo and eventually halted his treatments and chose his own path. He lived four years longer than expected. My own personal past of sexual abuse at the hands of a doctor make invasive exams an impossibility for me. I simply cannot handle the stress and anxiety they cause. Most doctors won’t sedate you even with a recommendation from a therapist. As someone said previously—we all have our reasons…

  20. Martina says

    My my…..we all learned in school that the all mighty powerful Sun is the biggest source of radiation and we r exposed to it every singe day……getting a mere mamogram is the least we can do…..healthy diet and exercise should be the mantra for everyone…….cancer is much easier to prevent than cure!!

  21. Geri says

    Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells. You cannot always prevent it, no matter how healthy you eat. There is MUCH more to cancer than nutrition. To minimize that fact is to do a disservice to people who lack knowledge and are reading this site.

  22. Love says

    Catherine, I do think this is a a heavy article to write from opinion- While I don’t believe in the necessity of routine mammograms – I would like to ask you a simple question :

    What would you do if you felt a lump in your breast? If you were in your 30’s, a mother of little children who you could not imagine not watching them grow up or you just met your beautiful husband and just began your life together. What would you do? Would you not get a mammogram, lets say the thermography is not totally available where you live. I am just curious -

  23. Annie says

    While I agree with some of your sentiments, I came away feeling like you are sticking your head in the sand. If the idea of a mammogram offends you so much, please sign the disclaimer to not ask for medical treatment when your breast cancer is so advanced that you have secondary cancers all through your body. Ignorance can only get you so far…

  24. Charlotte says

    Thank you for this article, which I will gladly share on my Facebook page! Information and openly shared opinions like this are vital to health freedom and to maintain a discussion that is important for us all, whether we agree or disagree. Despite the cries of ‘this is dangerous and irresponsible’ and the like, there is no danger in being fully informed and seeking information and view points from a variety of sources. Beyond any initial confusion as information we might discover challenges what we thought we know/knew to be true, information is empowerment, autonomy and liberty. Knowledge and awareness are what allows us to maintain the incredible freedom we experience in this time in history. Those who would deny the free flow of information and freedom of speech are far more dangerous to a free society, in my opinion. There is certainly no right vs. wrong in matters such as that discussed here, only what is right or wrong for us as the unique individuals we are. I urge you to all please make whatever decisions concerning your health are right for you according to your unique risk assessments and tolerances, and from your own unique world view and then, with grace and humility, allow others to do the same.

    • Janine Patching says

      Well done. I completely agree. I work as a health professional with palliative patients so work with cancer on a daily basis so believe me I see all sides of the coin. Personally I would not have chemo or mammograms. I would treat myself in a multitide of ways. Whoever these people are who are so adamant that nutrition and natural ways of curing disease are to be forbidden are not only misguided. They are ignorant and frankly very dangerous.

  25. says

    While I agree that mammograms are not the be all and end all of breast cancer detection, and that a healthy lifestyle and self examination – being intimate with the workings of one’s own body, is essential to health, I do want to point out that any research can be skewed to reflect anything.

    Saying that mammograms are ineffective, when you consider that many women refuse to have them at all, and so many who do have them wiggle and squirm, whine and moan, then never show up for the follow up appointments if it is suggested a 2nd mammo be done, or further investigation, is an errant correlation. Granted, I am neither a doctor, nor a research scientist, but even to my little brain, the conclusions drawn seem a bit extreme.

    Granted, there are misses in everything. A pap smear only detects abnormal cells in the tested area. Some doctors make sure your pap is NEVER uncomfortable, and some of them miss cell changes till it is too late for non-radical treatment. While your mammogram should not “Hurt”, done correctly, it’s not comparable to getting a spa treatment.

    If I were looking to persuade women of the uselessness of some preventative or diagnostic procedure, I would pick a study that gave real numbers that were convincing. For instance, if the study concluded that of 100 breast cancer patients with advanced stage cancers, 86 had had mammograms annually and done self exams monthly, and 75 had been undetected until the cancer was late stage, I would re-think it – but I’d also be looking for some new diagnostic tool, as a patient, or as a care provider.

    While I firmly believe that it is YOUR body and YOUR choice, I do think it is irresponsible to try to persuade others that your choice should be their choice, based on a weak study, at best. Implying that consumption of a certain diet will protect you from all disease is no more than selling snake oil.

    That’s my opinion.

  26. BlopsMaq says

    The cited Dr. Peat in this article also wrote a foreword to a recently released ebook, “The Mammogram Myth: The Independent Investigation Of Mammography The Medical Profession Doesn’t Want You To Know About” by Rolf Hefti, that discusses the research on mammograms, demonstrating convincingly that much of what the medical profession tells women is little more than propaganda than sound science.

  27. Donna says

    I work as a Mammography technologist and also as a CMA at a Cancer Center. By printing articles like this you are stating your opinion. Along with having the freedom to state your opinions also comes a responsibility. What you are saying is wrong. Mammograms may not be perfect but early detection DOES save lives! So does having a mastectomy and knowing your families cancer history. The unfortunate thing here is that innocent women without proper education are listening to you by reading your blog. In trying to help them with your opinion, in actuality you are hurting them by trying to deter them from taking advantage of what we have to offer. Proper nutrition, limited alcohol intake are all factors in promoting good health, but it is not the only thing. You are as damaging as the poor people out there who don’t and won’t vaccinate their children. By doing this you are putting EVERYONE at risk! You really should keep your opinions to your self. Your opinions as far as I can see do little to help anyone.

    • Catherine says

      Thanks for sharing your opinion Donna. Please respect everyone’s right to their own opinion. Differences in opinion is what makes a valuable discussion and encourages further learning.

      What I find most dangerous is blindly believing everything we are told in “mainstream media” (whether it’s about nutrition, medicine, etc). Money talks in today’s world, and their motives usually do not have our best interests in mind.

    • Janine Patching says

      Oh my. Here we go again. There are people out there who’s lives have been damaged irreparably by certain ingredients in vaccinations. Most parents who choose not to vaccinate their children with certain vaccines are not poor! Or uneducated. They want the best for v their children and do not blindly follow pharmaceulical led practices. As a health care professional you would know that many drugs and vaccines are barely tested and many of our beautiful and priceless children are no more than Guinea pigs. Open your eyes and mind.

  28. Charmyr says

    This was very interesting for me to read — and pass on to my 76 yo mother who is a 30+ year breast cancer survivor (double mastectomy). She would freak out if I ever told her that I didn’t “believe” in getting mammograms. I’ve been getting them since I was 35, and so far so good. Regardless of my other courses of action (diet, exercise, mindfulness, reduced stress), I will always remember her advice to me: “Cancer is Catholic not Protestant. No amount healthy living or good deeds will spare you. Don’t be stupid – use the tools at your disposal.” And so I shall.

  29. Caro says

    Some of what you say is right, Catherine. Mammograms are only one way of diagnosing bc, and they’re not perfect. And chemo is often overused. After having bc surgery myself, in Australia, my surgeon told me that if I had been diagnosed in the USA, they would have suggested chemo, and in Europe, they would have told me hormonal treatment was enough. I chose to be European!

    Having said that – I would love to think that good nutrition and a good chiropractitioner could prevent bc. However, I’m afraid the disease is complex. Sometimes there are genetic causes, sometimes obesity contributes. Dense, firm breasts are a risk factor (as I was told on the day of my diagnosis – not that there was anything I could have done about this!). If you want to cut your risk, it’s generally accepted that cutting back on alcohol, increasing exercise and staying slim are good ways to start. And if you have a higher than average risk, regular mammograms could possibly save your life.

  30. Michelle says

    I dreaded getting my first mammogram this year. I put it off as long as I possibly could. I saw the bruises my mother suffered getting hers. But it bit the bullet and got it. The tech reading the mammogram decided I needed a second one, even though I explained that due to a severe gland infection during my early teens what he was seeing was scar tissue. I succumbed and had the second one. But when he insisted I needed quarterly exams I completely balked. I went online and found much of the research you have listed here. I discussed the issue with my family doctor, including the fact that there is absolutely no history of breast cancer in my family. My family doctor requested the scans and during a follow-up visit with him, he agreed with me that what the tech was seeing was scar tissue and not any kind of indication of possible breast cancer. We mutually decided I would not need to ever go back for another mammogram. I like having a doctor that listens to my concerns.

  31. Wendy says

    Fascinating. What a range of responses. I was glad to read your opinion, Catherine, I found your perspective interesting. I’m 57 and have never had a mammogram, nor do I intend to. I participate in the AMA as little as possible. I’m not overly concerned about my health, but that’s probably because I’m really healthy! I do pay attention to what I eat, there is a direct correlation to how I feel. I don’t know how I would react to a diagnosis of cancer, I’ve never had one. But I have a feeling I wouldn’t opt for the treatments that are available. The leading cause of death is too much living. I’d rather let my body/mind run it’s course. I lie to people when they ask me if I’ve had a mammogram, I don’t want to engage in a conversation where my sanity is questioned and feel like I have to defend myself. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. Thanks for exposing yourself to some wacked-out responses, and thanks to those willing to speak for the minority.

    • Stream Source says

      We must be soul twins, Wendy.

      To Catherine, because of anticipated medical backlash, this is for the most part why I never publicly voice these insights – many of which I feel you read from my heart. You are brave!

      Insight is exactly what this is… it’s inexplicable knowing and guidance that cannot be rationally understood. So I feel the frustration of those who are enraged by this perspective. If you are not inclined to understand metaphysics and healing and the movement to create new paradigms of thought, this will strike you as mad. For those who do, we must persevere. For me, that means risking illness or death by standing strong, following my heart.

      We all have so much fear buried in our subconscious that even once we break this barrier to speak of our ‘knowing’ what’s buried in the dark recesses of our mind could have an effect on our biology, even without conscious permission.

      An important facet of this discussion. Fear of death. If we desperately cling to this life as all there is, not having experienced the knowing of ‘more’ for whatever ‘more’ experience we may have had. Be it one instant of realization or having been blessed to be more consistently seated within the cloud of being ‘more’ than this flesh. Or maybe we’ve yet to experience but we have an inkling of it and so seek it with every breath.

      Who wants to be chained to this fear of disease and death? That was the turning point for me. Even after many examples of this disease in my family – including my mother. When I realized the depth of my fear and that I felt weak seeking ‘testing’ – and in one case ‘over-testing’. I felt I was surrendering my power to a stranger who would determine my fate by virtue of his or her well intended, but limited knowledge of how my body and mind works. Who can know my body better than I know it?

      All of these alternative perceptions shared here mingle and conspire – asking us to be brave. Not unlike adventure seekers who are called to climb great mountains. When asked why, they say because it is there and they must – it is a calling. Most will not choose this but don’t question their risky choices. Why is this different?

      Come to know your body and follow your heart. What may have started out of pure intent has gone bad. Now we are taught only the doctor knows best – our inner knowing – an inherent gift to each one of us has been relegated to a trifle. Foolishness and magical thinking. We do not teach our children of intuition or that anything is ‘sacred’. The mystics of the ages knew as did our ancient ancestors.

      If you are not in touch with this part of you GO TO THE DOCTOR! Please, to do otherwise is naive and foolish. For those who do know the metaphysical and are willing to face what others perceive to be ‘risk’ then let us lead the way. Because of what we choose, maybe one day we will all understand in the highest way what was meant by the passage in scripture, “Physician, heal thyself!”

  32. says

    I tell many many women of my acquaintance and my friends about thermography testing and my results. There is breast cancer in my close family. I watched my Mother die of it. However, mammograms were and are not going to catch any cancer I get. I have dense breasts so mammograms can’t see anything in there. So, since conventional medicine has nothing to help me prevent breast cancer, I did research myself. I found out about estrogen dominance. I found out my liver wasn’t doing the best job metabolizing estrogen. I had a thermogram and found out I had vascular growth in one breast and hot estrogen spots in both breasts. i began to do Lymphatic breast massage. I changed my diet to remove inflammatory foods. I started getting more nutrients by juicing and from supplements. I read about angiogenisis and it’s role in tumor formation. I did emotional work and writing to understand some of the underlying fear and anger in the women of many generations of my family including myself. And you know what? Things improved. My next scan was normal. The vascularity in my breast was gone. The estrogen hot areas were greatly reduced. Perhaps there are those who don’t think much of these results, but for me they meant much more than my mammogram results. I might never known to do all the work I did to improve my health and the health of my breasts if I had chosen to go with what my mammograms told me. See the mammograms told me I was ok. These other tests suggested I had work to do if I didn’t want to someday get breast cancer. So don’t tell me that mammogram is the gold standard. It’s just the conventional standard. There is more we can do for ourselves, and more we should do. I agree with the author. I will not be getting any more mammograms, but I will be taking care of my body so I can help my body prevent cancer. I will also continue to educate myself and figure out what I personally need to do to prevent cancer. I take responsibility for that. 100%

  33. Kathleen Pagan says

    On one hand medicine needs to have a vast population of patients to assess and treat diseases. My father died during bypass surgery in 1975 when it was still experimental surgery and now those surgeries are almost routine! On the other hand exposing oneself to radiation that causes cancer in order to detect cancer seems batsh*t crazy!!! My preference is to focus on health rather than disease… I prefer Breast Health Month to Breast Cancer Awareness Month… I don’t smoke, drink, and eat the way my father did and try to aid my overall health with exercise and healthy eating… also since I don’t have a family history of breast cancer I had a baseline mammogram at 35 with a second one at 40, so that if there are concerns regarding my breasts a record exists that shows what my “normal” breasts looked like so they can compare. I also know that my decision has consequences that I must bear personally since early detection would not be a reality for me and also I won’t be part of the population that helps to assess breast cancer in general… and I am OK with it!!

  34. donna says

    Thank you for this article. I am 54 and I have never had a mammogram. I really hate when people look at me like I am foolish or ignorant but I just can’t see subjecting myself to that. I feel very in tune with my body and if I ever had a doubt, perhaps I would consider one as some kind of “second opinion” but so far it has never felt right.

  35. Chris Nagy says

    Here is a talk I give discussing the prevention of Breast Cancer –
    Keeping A Breast – Natural Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer

  36. says

    Great article! I can’t believe what a range of responses it’s generated. I’m certainly going to share it on my Facebook and Google+. Well done for being brave enough to express your opinion! There should be more people like you. Just wanted to send you my support.

  37. Ann says

    A routine mammogram caught early stage breast cancer in me. Without hesitation, I had a bilateral mastectomy. I chose to do this because I have two teenage children and wanted to make sure I did what would give me the best chance of being around for them. I had my husbands full support! When the pathology came back for the “good breast”, there was evidence of a maker for a more aggressive breast cancer. I was told I had dodged a landline that would have developed in the next few years. I have absolutely no regrets what so ever and I am two and a half years out from my mastectomy.

    I post this only to remind everyone that there are many sides to the breast cancer discussion. I am grateful for mammography and the surgical options I had available to me. Please know I would never criticize anyone for choosing and alternative. A woman has to do what she feels is best for her and her family.

  38. Jessica says

    I couldn’t agree more with this article and have been saying this same thing for years.Cancer is not a disease, it’s your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Your body produces cancer cells all the time you just don’t know it because the cells are usually eradicated by the bodies own defenses. Mainstream cancer treatment only suppresses the body’s immunity/ability to heal itself further and causes the body to work that much harder to survive. Cutting parts out and poisoning the body is not a solution – it’s barbaric and defies common sense in my opinion. I too had a loved one pass from cancer when I was little. She had a mastectomy, chemo and radiation which gave her leukemia (it is a side effect of those treatments). Her immunity was so low that she caught every virus under the sun and ultimately died from a BRAIN virus. She very quickly lost her ability to function at all – to walk, talk or recognize her loved ones. What a horrible, horrible way to go. There are TONS of natural cures from cancer but you won’t hear that from your doctor. Unfortunately, cancer is a BILLION dollar industry and a cure is not what they are looking for. If you want to prevent cancer, do yourself a favor by becoming your own health advocate and learning all you can about the body and holistic healing remedies. Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal if given the proper tools to do so.

  39. Ann Mcreynolds says

    It seems as if the writer of this article is more upset over treatment measures than the mammogram it’s self. A mammogram saved my daughters life as well as my Mother…My daughters spot was so small the radiologist missed it but a tech found it. By the time surgery was scheduled and it was removed it was stage 4 and well into the nodes in the entire area. We feel so blessed she had the mammogram or she would not be here today.

  40. says

    As an oncology clinical research coordinator, I have to disagree with some of what you’ve said. I have seen many instances where mammograms and traditional medicine were the difference between life and death for many women. It’s a catch-22, though. As much as they save lives, they sometimes cause us to overtreat.

    I have seen us overtreat some cancers, but this was at the patient’s request. We always defer to the patient. If the patient doesn’t want treatment, or wants less agressive treatment than the doctor recommends, that is always the patient’s right. Our doctors are very cognizant of not overtreating, as that is on them at the end of the day. They lie awake at night thinking about their patients and whether they’re doing the right thing. I wouldn’t wish that kind of stress on anyone. They’re only human and they do the best that they can with the knowledge they have.

    I also agree that we need to put more focus on prevention. It seems easier to prevent cancer than to treat it. I believe a lot of things that will prevent cancer will also prevent many other diseases, so that’s a win-win situation.

    There are some current prevention trials, but it’s hard to prove causation vs. proving whether or not a cancer treatment works. The good thing is that our treatments are getting less toxic over time. Radiation is being shortened for many cancers and new targeted therapies only go after certain parts of the body instead of attacking the entire body.

    I wish we could offer more complementary therapies to go along with treatment, but until insurance pays for some of that, most of our patient population will not be able to afford that. It’s all a bit of a mess that needs tidying in many different places.

    • Catherine says

      Thanks Stephanie for joining the conversation!

      Re: overtreatment, I assume most patients make a choice out of fear, and not based on a well rounded understanding of alternatives? What do you think?

      Catherine

  41. Julieg says

    I used to get regular mammograms and then started reading alternative research and articles. I also had goiter, a condition of the thyroid brought on by lack of iodine in the diet. We don’t get enough iodine from salt. I actually did not have either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism despite the goiter. I read a doctor’s book on iodine and the thyroid and made my own decision to self treat with iodine as instructed in the book (though of course the book recommends seeing a doctor who believes in iodine, they are all taught not to push natural). I would go to the doctor who wrote the book if I were close enough. My point is that iodine is stored not only in the thyroid but also in the breast and in the uterus, so when I had a hysterectomy, this removed a lot of my iodine storage and production leaving me more susceptible to iodine depleted illnesses and iodine is essential for preventing cancer because it is one of the elements that helps tell a cell that its time to die. Therefore, in my humble opinion, women who have hysterectomies are more likely to become hypothyroid and develop iodine – deficient related diseases or cancer. I am a medical transcriptionist and a lot of the women treated for thyroid issues have had hysterectomies. The good news is that my goiter has slowly gone away and I am not going to radiate my breasts to check them for cancer and possibly cause it. For me and my research, its not worth the risk. Thanks for your opinion that gets people talking about this important issue and hopefully researching it for themselves!

  42. Cheryl says

    I had breast cancer which I found through self-examination and later confirmed with mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy (in that order). After much ‘quick’ research, I chose lumpectomy followed by radiation. Since the surgery/treatment, I have continued to do research and know from my own experience how I feel now. If I had it to do over, I would have had the surgery but not the radiation which has continued to have side effects. I am so sorry I had it done, but the diagnosis of cancer comes with great urgency, and the process is over before you’ve caught your breathe. I have also had mammograms since, but hate to have them because of the radiation exposure. AND….I have learned that they are REALLY ineffective if you’ve had a lumpectomy because of the scar tissue! Other preventative measures would be better, but insurance doesn’t usually pay for them until a diagnosis. I do believe women should have mammograms until something better is available and paid for by insurance companies, though. For deep-seated cancers, mammograms are all we have! They do save lives through early detection. Period.

  43. says

    I love this article. I repect the views of others but it seems every time I tell people how I feel I get ridiculed. I lost a young aunt and my grandmother to breast cancer and my mom is a breast cancer survivor. Breast cancer used to be one of my biggest fears, but I have learned the stress from the fear can be a contributor to cancer itself. So, I have learned to meditate, eat healthy, and exercise. While this is no gurantee that I will never get cancer, it makes me feel better and less stressed. I also know if I ever found that I had cancer I would choose The Gerson Therapy, something I would have to go to mexico for, which I find unfair.
    For now, if I need a scan I will choose thermography. I also massage my own breasts to keep the fluids moving in the lymph system.
    I have studied holistic nutrition and plan to keep this article in my office. I know that disease cannot survive in an akaline envirionment. The acidic diet of most is what feeds the disease because it thrives on our Standard American Diet.
    I feel everyone should fight disease their own way, but if you try an akalizing diet with exercise just pay attention to how your body feels. Your body will tell you everything you need to know. Listen to it.
    I will always stand for treating the body as a whole and not treating just a symptom. It is all connected.

  44. Elisabeth Gibson says

    Mammography is not the best option for everyone. I appreciate that this article is about a personal decision to engage in health options that don’t include mammography, which is, a one-size-fits-all option. I’m 51, and I’ve had several mammograms over the past ten years. Each time, I was told that my breast tissue was too dense to see much of anything, but it was recommended that I return for another because, frankly, that is the only option the mainstream medical community provides. The last time I subjected myself to a mammogram, I was told that there had been a “change” from previous images. I returned for a second set of images three very long weeks later. I got into the gown and sat in the waiting room only to be told I could get dressed and leave as the Specialist had made a mistake. There was no change; he compared the images and found that they were actually the same. Of course, I was asked to pay my copay on the way out. When I return to prevention, I’ll be choosing Thermagraphy. That is my personal choice.

  45. Kristen says

    We each have to make our own decisions about this, based on our individual lifestyles, our personal and family risk factors and our own research. You might want to look into the publications of Dr. Peter Goetzsche, a Danish research physician affiliated with the Cochrane Collaboration (an international organization dedicated to the study and evaluation of the effectiveness of treatments in health care) and advisor to the Danish health care system. He’s considered a bit of an iconoclast for even suggesting that screening mammograms may not be all they’re cracked up to be. He was one of the first to do so and he is certainly the most respected by the medical community here and abroad to question the usefulness of screening mammograms. He may have been a contributor to some of the references listed above. He has stated that he believes that screening mammograms are too expensive for far too little benefit (and in some cases, could even cause harm) for most women and he has advised his own wife that she should forgo having them. Personally, I have no doubt that his research is sound, but again, each of us has to make her own choice. Disclosure: Quite a few years ago I spent two years working for the Cochrane Collaboration (in a different capacity – nothing to do with breast health) and I still try to keep up with their work from time to time.

  46. Cynthia says

    I choose life over death. I think there is a happy medium here. My mother leads a VERY HEALTHY lifestyle and keeps herself informed as to when to use western medicine and when to do something else. She has just turned 80. A couple years ago a mammogram found cancer in her breast. It is not the kind that spreads to other organs, but could reoccur in her breast. She had it surgically removed in outpatient surgery, but refused chemo and radiation. She takes a gazillion supplements each day, follows a vegan diet and does not consume gluten. She is one of the smartest people I know.

  47. Elizabeth (Aust) says

    I agree with most of your comment.
    I don’t have mammograms either, or clinical breast exams or routine pelvic exams or pap testing, all informed decisions based on the best evidence. I’ve found the “information” they provide to women to be unreliable. (to put it politely)
    I’ve always found it concerning that women are just expected to file in as directed like ignorant sheep and many women are even coerced into testing. (you need a pap test or can’t have the Pill, this is like saying a man can’t have Viagra unless he has a colonoscopy) ALL cancer screening is elective and can never be “required” for anything. Informed consent is our legal right.

    I believe a lot of women’s healthcare is anything but, it’s a area that does not respect our right to choose and it’s loaded with vested and political interests.
    The best summary of the evidence on breast screening is found at the Nordic Cochrane Institute website, they’re an independent, not-for-profit medical research group. Their first report was released over 10 years ago now. The evidence is not good. Over-diagnosis: about 50% of screen detected breast cancers are over-diagnosed and any benefit of screening is wiped away by those who die from heart attacks and lung cancer after treatments, so the risks exceed any benefit. Screening leads to more mastectomies, not fewer and the fall in the death rate is mostly about better treatments, not screening. You reduce the risk of a breast cancer diagnosis by one-third if you DON’T screen, thanks to over-diagnosis.

    It’s harder to find the evidence with cervical screening, the screening “story” is so often accepted as the evidence. I found it interesting to compare our program with those found in the Netherlands and Finland. America, Australia and a few others have ignored the evidence in favour of profitable excess, this just harms women. Since the 1960s the Finns have had a 7 pap test program, 5 yearly from 30 to 60, they have the lowest rates of cc in the world and refer far fewer women for biopsies and “treatments”. Australia “treats” more than 10 times the number of women. We seriously over-screen women, maximizing risk for no additional benefit to women. (over-screening = more false positives) Our over-treatment rates are hidden and huge. Women here are still urged to have an absurd and harmful 26 (or more) pap tests from age 18 (some start even earlier) to age 70. This is BAD medical advice.
    Now we see the Dutch about to scrap population pap testing, a burden for the vast majority of women who can never benefit, but can be harmed. The new program is 5 HPV primary tests, or women can self-test with the Delphi Screener, at ages 30,35,40,50 and 60 and ONLY the roughly 5% who are HPV+ will be offered a 5 yearly pap test. (until they clear the virus)
    Those HPV- and no longer sexually active or confidently monogamous might choose to stop all further testing. MOST women are having unnecessary pap testing, biopsies and “treatments”.
    This program will save more lives and takes most women out of pap testing and harms way. Over-treatment rates will fall (they would plummet here with our huge over-treatment rates) so fewer women with damage to the cervix, so fewer miscarriages, premature babies, infertility, the need for c-sections or cervical cerclage etc. This program will also, save a fortune, funds that could be diverted into other neglected areas like mental health and heart disease.

    I agree, we only have one body, we need to protect it from medical abuse and excess and from non-evidence based screening. Informed consent matters and yes, we can say no.

  48. Ruth Telford says

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions. My advice is to do your own homework. Consult with your own physician or get a new one and discuss the current diagnostic and treatment options with him or her. As in most situations what will work for you and give you a sense of confidence is personal. My own process is self-exams, annual MD manual exams and yearly mammograms. Having recently moved to another part of the country I have a new family physician and he concurs with my decision but he gave me all the scoop on the new thinking of prevention and treatment. He also really surprised me when he asked me if I knew what the biggest killer of women is at the moment and it is ‘lung cancer’. We are making great strides in survival of breast cancer. As with anything else, let’s be informed consumers.
    Ruth Telford, RN Lake Wylie, SC.

  49. Junnie says

    Prevention is always the aim for all health concerns. As far as refusing to get a mammogram, I guess it all depends on what you’re okay with dying from.

    • Allyson Turner says

      Yeah, like the radiation you get from a mamogram…Seriously. They’re like something from medieval times. It’s the 21st century. I say release the technology that our tax dollars have been spent on and get us up to speed.

  50. Carron says

    You are my hero. I think exactly what you have written, every day. Diagnosed with a lovely collection of auto immune diseases as a child, treated with radio active iodine as a teen, I have no desire to play guinea pig for Western medicine. I would never make the choice to be treated. I knew a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer in the 80’s and she lived until 2007. Very healthy and active, made good food choices, passed away at 76. I have moved my family back to whole milk and I encourage them to eat butter. Lots of healthy bone based soups. Like I said, you are my hero.

  51. Therese says

    I am absolutely appalled and shocked by this article. As a fellow NTP I must say this it is both irresponsible and out of your field of practice to give medical advice of this sort. Someone might read this article, take your advice as “professional” and decide not to get a mammogram that could save their life! How could you live with yourself. This is embarrassing and unprofessional.

    • Catherine says

      Hi Therese,

      Maybe you misunderstood the intention of my article, I am not “giving medical advice” simply sharing my own opinion. That’s why I included a disclaimer at the top of my article:

      Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion, and I am not suggesting anyone follow suit. I’m simply sharing what is right for me and why.

      Everyone is responsible for their own opinions and decisions.

      Abundantly,
      Catherine

      • Mybody says

        Catherine, you live in a free country. You go ahead and express your opinion all you want! Im thankful i can read and respond to it :)

  52. Kelly says

    I strongly disagree with this article. I’m 48 and at age 44, a mammogram saved my life. Without the mammo, my cancer wouldn’t have been found until it was too late.

  53. Meegan says

    I was one person who had a false positive, but because I eat well I handled the stress like a champ & am still alive to tell the tale. Sorry but this post is more maddening then insightful.

    • Allyson Turner says

      I think this has been a brilliant post. Although I agree, it has been most maddening for me as well in realizing all the people who are still brain washed by the evils of the AMA. I’m 55 and have endured numerous surgeries that resulted in gland and organ loss as a child (that I would of course, not need anyway). Turns out, I did need them and as such, will not step foot near an MD except in the case, god forbid, of a broken bone, or stitches. That said, I think Catherine’s opinions are well researched and articulated, and having blazed this (health) trail for so many years by myself, I’m thrilled that young, intelligent people are bringing the truth of health back into the light for us …Because if you think you’re going to get that from any pharma/medical doctor, you really need to think again.

  54. says

    I LOVED this article! Well said, really! I was diagnosed with DCIS Instu Dec. 2013. My mammogram in June 2013 was 100% CLEAR. In fact, the doctors said to me, as does most of the research states that DCIS not usually detected UNLESS it is a tumor, and does not respond to Chemo OR Radiation…… Very interesting to me. In a day and age when we are making sooo much progress, we simply do not have a way to MONITOR this type of cancer, so it IS cut out and that IS the only way to monitor it.

    Because my particular diagnosis was aggressive and comedial, I chose to have a double mastectomy at 43, simply because we have a 5 year old and 4 other kids up to 17-years old. My gut told me that if i did not have surgery I would regret my choice. My type was sneaky and was headed to my spleen and liver. Was that what I wanted? NO WAY! I teach natural solutions—- alternative ways of helping self emotionally, physically and mentally. YIKES!

    I appreciate your thought and all you said— SOOOO needful to have this type of informed awareness!
    Thanks!

  55. Sherrie says

    am 68….never had a mammogram and never will get one. cancer is overdiagnosed, over-treated….fear mongering.

  56. Mybody says

    Great article and discussion. For me, medical professionals can debate this all they want, they can site all the studies they want, it doesn’t matter! I make my own health decisions, its my body!!!. I use prevention, self exams and thermography. If something serious comes up, i will follow up with ultrasound. I will never subject myself to a mammogram. In twenty years woman will look back and wonder what the hell we were thinking traumatizing our breasts like that, and exposing them to radiation unnecessarily as a screening tool. My body. My choice.

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