April 14, 2013 | 138,263 views |
By Johnnie Ham, MD, MBA
Many women are completely unaware that the science backing the use of mammograms is sketchy at best. As was revealed in a 2011 meta-analysis by the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, mammography breast cancer screening led to 30 percent overdiagnosis and overtreatment, which equates to anabsolute risk increase of 0.5 percent.
There’s also the risk of getting a false negative, meaning that a life-threatening cancer is missed.
Unfortunately, even though some high-profile people agree that mammography has limitations as well as dangers, others prefer to ignore the science and continue to campaign for annual screenings without so much as a hint at the risks involved.
Now, they’ve unrolled “new and improved” 3D TOMOSYNTHESIS mammogram, which still requiring mechanical compression, and delivers 30 percent more radiation!
In order to make better informed decisions, I provide my patients with all of their screening options, their strengths and weaknesses, and I reinforce that they have a right to utilize those options. Some of the options may include; self and clinical breast exams, thermography, ultrasound and/or MRI. My role as a doctor is to diagnose and treat, but I am also an educator. I want my patients’ focus to be on prevention to improve their health and well-being.