This news out of Canada:
So out of Canada comes the pretty solid evidence that screening mammograms are not adding a thing to women's health care except a lot of unnecessary expense and anxiety. All the hype about early detection of breast cancer and the shaming of women who do not choose to get mammograms amounts to a lot of hot air. Yet once again, this is news that isn't really new, but it has been difficult to tell women they didn't need mammograms with all of the high powered brain washers going full tilt.
The problem belongs in the laps of all those who are super keen about new technologies. Sciency-types all presume their new technology inventions will save the world. They convince everyone and put their machines out for sale on the gossamer theories of how the technology is supposed to work on paper. We all flock to see the bells and whistles and put all our hopes in the newest science to save us. This goes for mammogram machine manufacturers as well as pharmaceutical drug creators, and computer giants. We all begin to wonder how the world survived without MRI's, CT-scans, ultrasounds, mammograms, and maybe a few hundred or even a thousand blood tests. We're technology happy, whether it works like it's advertised or not. In the case of mammograms they don't work, not any better in terms of mortality than an old-fashioned physical breast exam. If a woman wants just a little extra technology boost then why not use thermography rather than shooting a bunch of x-rays through her body? It's been a question I've had for more than ten years, and why I've continued doing thermograms even when the mammogram-crazed professionals stared at me with incredulity. Sadly, we can't have 100% guarantees - not 100% accuracy in detection, not 100% effective therapy, and not 100% remissions for life. But, in medicine we work really hard to do no harm. I'm grateful for the Canadian study that it, at least. gives back to women the level field to more rationally choose whether to shoot their breasts with x-ray radiation or not. May the mammogram intimidation end!
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