Mammorgraphy Screening: Truth, Lies, and Controversy
- Created on Wednesday, 09 May 2012 21:29
This is a book by a Danish medical doctor named Peter C. Gotzsche, and below is a review of it by a surgeon and vein specialist named Bob DuPriest. So, what follows is Bob’s writing:
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This is a great book. If you are interested in breast cancer you must read it. If you have concerns about ethics in medical research and the influence of self-interest, power, or money on research and publication, this is the book for you. If you are a woman undergoing routine screening, you will want to read this. If you are a physician that deals with cancer or women you must read this book.
This is the personal story of an heroic Danish researcher who was asked by the Danish Board of Health to “take a look at” breast cancer mammographic screening because of a pending vote. The book details a 10 year odyssey and battle to expose the truth and lies and harms of routine mammographic screening. Peter Gotzsche discovered that no one knew, or at least no one was discussing, the harms of screening, and further, that the benefits were vastly overrated.
The basic premise of screening, “find cancer early, treat it when it is small, results will be better,” is highly suspect. Does screening decrease the number of mastectomies? No, and you will discover why. What has happened to the incidence of breast cancer since screening has started? Why is there such an increase in the number of women being treated for non-malignant breast disease (called intraductal or lobular cancer in situ)? Has screening decreased the amount of advanced breast cancer? Clue: no. Why does a decrease in 5 year breast cancer mortality mean nothing?
If you start to get bogged down in the book, jump to the last few chapters. To see current recommendations from Dr. Gotsche see this: http://www.cochrane.dk/screening/mammography-leaflet.pdf
Finally, Dr. Gotsche will explain how to decrease the incidence of breast cancer by one-third.
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I, Dr. Cinque, haven’t read this book myself yet, but I know that many medical voices have questioned the efficacy of routine mammography. And keep in mind that it entails a significant amount of radiation to the breast- which is a carcinogenic factor- although less so today than years ago due to advances in the x-ray technology. And some have argued that the mashing of the breast tissue against the mammography plate might be having the effect of dispersing cancer cells and causing metastasis.
I can only tell you that if I were a woman, I would definitely not undergo routine mammography.