I am going to show you a study which will blow your mind. A study that shows, in
plain English, that our coveted mammograms just don’t work. I am going to
contend that mammograms are a big, for-profit, machine that do nothing to help
women evade the dark clutches of cancer.
Mammograms are almost the medical world’s most no-brainer ritual.
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and are found to have never received a
mammogram, you are almost surely to be considered a woman who got what she had
coming to her. It’s the sad fear-based marketing that puts breast in the
machine, money in the machine maker’s pockets – with women being left out in the
cold with an ineffective expenditure and false sense of security.
First, let’s begin with a study which occurred over 1 year ago. This is based on
a 25 year old follow up on breast cancer incidence and mortality of the Canadian
National Breast Screen Study.
Women aged 40-49 in the mammography arm and all women aged 50-59 in both arms
received annual physical breast examinations. Women aged 40-49 in the control
arm received a single examination followed by usual care in the community.
So what were the results and the conclusion?
Results During the five
year screening period, 666 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed in the
mammography arm (n=44 925 participants) and 524 in the controls (n=44 910),
and of these, 180 women in the mammography arm and 171 women in the control
arm died of breast cancer during the 25 year follow-up period. The overall
hazard ratio for death from breast cancer diagnosed during the screening
period associated with mammography was 1.05 (95% confidence interval 0.85 to
1.30). The findings for women aged 40-49 and 50-59 were almost identical.
During the entire study period, 3250 women in the mammography arm and 3133
in the control arm had a diagnosis of breast cancer, and 500 and 505,
respectively, died of breast cancer. Thus the cumulative mortality from
breast cancer was similar between women in the mammography arm and in the
control arm (hazard ratio 0.99, 95% confidence interval 0.88 to 1.12). After
15 years of follow-up a residual excess of 106 cancers was observed in the
mammography arm, attributable to over-diagnosis.
mammography in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer
beyond that of physical examination or usual care when adjuvant therapy for
breast cancer is freely available. Overall, 22% (106/484) of screen detected
invasive breast cancers were over-diagnosed, representing one over-diagnosed
breast cancer for every 424 women who received mammography screening in the
So after 25 years, the results of women who got mammograms and those who didn’t
were almost exactly the same in terms of those who died from breast cancer.
That’s as clear of a study as there ever could be. But then why, if this study
has been out for over a year, would anyone remain a believer in the mammogram?
Breast cancer awareness month. This movement is huge. They even provide
hosting for women in need to get mammograms. Any time we see charitable
organizations dishing out “medical advancements,” we are subconsciously
subjugated into believing that if we also don’t do the same, we are pompous and
unfazed of our blessed lives. Breast cancer awareness month now has the support
of the NFL. Which means they now influence men to persuade women into getting
mammograms. The NFL is one of the largest TV contracts in the history of the
world. It’s influence is immeasurable. They change the player’s uniforms and
cleats. They do promo spots. In addition to the NFL, all major television talk
shows are involved in the campaign. It is a month of inescapable marketing.
What’s worse? The NFL campaign doesn’t fund breast cancer cures, it funds breast
This is how it works: The NFL donates proceeds from its awareness campaign,
auctions, and the NFL Shop to the American Cancer Society (ACS), which in
turns uses that money to increase awareness, education, and screenings for
women over 40.
“The money that we receive from NFL has nothing to do with our research
program,” ACS spokeswoman Tara Peters told VICE Sports. All NFL donations go
to ACS’ CHANGE program, through which the organization awards grants to
“community based health facilities” located within 100 miles of an NFL city
for educating women about breast health. The ACS could not provide the names
of any of these health facilities, but it says that these centers have
answered questions about early detection of the disease for at least 72,000
women in the last three years and screened 10,000 women at little or no
should do yourself a favor and read more from Vice here)
The study you just read above threatens
the mammogram revenue machine. Just think about it for a moment, the
volume of women getting mammograms; the absurd amount of profits from those
visits. That’s not something that the mammogram industry intends to lose. But
hopefully women can begin to share this information with other women and counter
the mammogram marketing beast which for now, presides over us all.