February 19th, 2014
Written by: Dr Mike
Breast cancer is the 2nd leading cancer among women. Screening for this particular condition has been around for about a century by way of x-ray and physical examination. It wasn’t until 1969 that the mammogram made its way onto the scene as a powerful new way to detect breast lumps much smaller than you could feel during a self check. Since then, they have been considered the gold standard of breast cancer detection and prevention in the medical world. Almost 40 million mammograms are done each year, as it is recommended that women over the age of 40 take 4 films of each breast annually.
A study was launched in 1980 to scientifically assess whether or not the risks of having a mammogram outweighed the benefits. This study was recently published in the British Medical Journal and reported on by mainstream media such as CNN and the New York Times. The results will tend to raise an eyebrow or two…
More than 89,000 women were tracked over the 25 year span. They were split into 2 groups. One half took their yearly mammograms, while the other took to the less invasive self examination. After 25 years, the study found that deaths due to breast cancer in both groups were identical. Not only this, but they also found that 22% of these cancers were over diagnosed and would have likely not been a threat to the individuals overall health had they been left alone.
Mammograms have a been a topic of controversy over the years as countless studies have exposed the risk factors to routine breast mammography:
- If the standard mammography schedule is followed, each breast is exposed to approximately 1 rad, or about 1000x greater radiation than received from a chest x-ray. Exposure to this amount of radiation actually promotes the formation of cancer cells, especially in premenopausal women.
- Tight and painful compression of the breast during a mammogram can lead to lethal spread of malignant cells to distant parts of the body.
- False positives are very common in breast cancer diagnosis, resulting in unnecessary chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and mastectomies.
- Finally, it has been shown that this is a “not so reliable” early detection tool. Breast cancer can be present for up to 8 years before it is detected.
So, with all of this being said… it begs the question, “How do you get checked?” There are safer techniques including the back to basics way… self breast examination. Also, breast thermography is a safe and effective way to search for breast pathology. Breast cancer is an estrogen sensitive cancer and can be assessed effectively by Extronex testing. A test used to measure estrogen metabolites in the urin.
Overall… breast cancer is a chronic disease of epigenetic/lifestyle origin. The breast cancer gene (BRCA1 gene) can be expressed just as often as it is unexpressed. This is explained by environmental factors. The key is to optimize your health, by eating well, minimizing toxins, and getting adjusted. Studies have shown increases in natural killer cells, substance P, and interleukin 2 cells after an chiropractic adjustments… all contribute to our body’s innate defense against cancer.