Blog

17 Feb
0

BMJ Article on Breast Cancer Screening Effectiveness Incredibly Flawed and Misleading

According to the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging, the recent breast cancer screening article (Miller et al) published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) (1) is an incredibly misleading analysis based on the deeply flawed and widely discredited Canadian National Breast Screening Study (CNBSS). The results of this BMJ study, and others resulting from the CNBSS trial, should not be used to create breast cancer screening policy as this would place a great many women at increased risk of dying unnecessarily from breast cancer.

Experts called on to review the CNBSS confirmed that the mammography quality was poor (2). The trial used second hand mammography machines, which were not state of the art at the time of the trial. The images were compromised by “scatter,” which makes the images cloudy and cancers harder to see since they did not employ grids for much of the trial. Grids remove the scatter and make it easier to see cancers. Also, technologists were not taught proper positioning. As such, many women were not properly positioned in the machines, resulting in missed cancers. And the CNBSS radiologists had no specific training in mammographic interpretation. The CNBSS own reference physicist stated that “…in my work as reference physicist to the NBSS, [I] identified many concerns regarding the quality of mammography carried out in some of the NBSS screening centers. That quality [in the NBSS] was far below state of the art, even for that time (early 1980s).”(3)

In this latest BMJ paper, only 32 percent of cancers were detected by mammography alone. This extremely low number is consistent with poor quality mammography. At least two-thirds of the cancers should be detected by mammography alone (4). In an accompanying BMJ editorial, Kalager and Adami admit that “The lack of mortality benefit is also biologically plausible because the mean tumour size was 19mm in the screening group and 21mm in the control group… a 2mm difference.” The documented poor quality of the NBSS mammography screening alone explains these results and should disqualify the CNBSS as a valid scientific study of modern mammography screening. Yet, the CNBSS trial was even more troubled (5).

To be valid, randomized, controlled trials (RCT) must employ a system to ensure that the assignment of women to the screening group or the unscreened control group is random. Nothing can/should be known about participants until they have been assigned to one of these groups. The CNBSS violated these fundamental rules (6). Every woman first had a clinical breast examination by a trained nurse so that they knew which women had breast lumps, many of which were cancers, and which women had large lymph nodes in their armpits many of which indicated advanced cancer. Before assigning the women to be in the group offered screening or the control women, investigators knew who had large incurable cancers. This was a major violation of RCT protocol. It most likely resulted in the statistically significant excess of women with advanced breast cancers assigned to the screening arm compared to those assigned to the control arm (7). This guaranteed more deaths among the screened women than the control women.

The five year survival from breast cancer among women ages 40–49 in Canada in the 1980s was only 75 percent, yet the control women in the CNBSS, who were supposed to reflect the Canadian population at the time, had a greater than 90 percent five year survival (8). This indicates that cancers may have been shifted from the control arm to the screening arm. Coupling the fundamentally corrupted allocation process with the documented poor quality of the mammography should have long ago disqualified the CNBSS as a legitimate trial of modern screening mammography.

Read More
American College of Radiology
21 Aug
0

American College of Radiology: Breast Density Screening Recommendations

Click below to read the full article:
Breast Density Breast Cancer Screening

Read More
Today Health. Breast Care 101
30 Apr
0

Today’s Health Breast Care 101: How To Stay Healthy

Today Health: Breast Care 101: How to stay healthy Click this link to View the Video

Read More
American Cancer Society Article
19 Apr
0

Do Antiperspirants Cause Breast Cancer?

Click below to read the full story:
http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/OtherCarcinogens/AtHome/antiperspirants-and-breast-cancer-risk

Read More
Susan G Komen for the Cure
16 Sep
0

Nancy G. Brinker, Challenges Women to Get Screened During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Nancy G. Brinker, Founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Challenges Women to Get Screened During Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2011.

Click below to read the full story:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ambassador-nancy-g-brinker/breast-cancer-screening_b_955421.html

Read More
NBC Andrea Mitchell Breast Cancer
08 Sep
0

NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell Talks about the Importance of Breast Cancer Screening

Click on the link below to read the article:
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/cutline/nbc-andrea-mitchell-breast-cancer-191413850.html

Read More
American Cancer Society Article
04 Apr
0

The ACR and Society of Breast Imaging Statement on Radiation Received to the Thyroid from Mammography

Some Americans have expressed concern, due to an erroneous media report, that the small amount of radiation a patient receives from a mammogram may significantly increase the likelihood of developing thyroid cancer. This concern simply is not supported in scientific literature.

The radiation dose to the thyroid from a mammogram is extremely low. The thyroid is not exposed to the direct X-ray beam used to image the breast and receives only a tiny amount of scattered X-rays (less than 0.005 milligray). This is equivalent to only 30 minutes of natural background radiation received by all Americans from natural sources.

For annual screening mammography from ages 40-80, the cancer risk from this tiny amount of radiation scattered to the thyroid is incredibly small (less than 1 in 17.1 million women screened). This minute risk should be balanced with the fact that thyroid shield usage could interfere with optimal positioning and could result in artifacts – shadows that might appear on the mammography image. Both of these factors could reduce the quality of the image and interfere with diagnosis. Therefore, use of a thyroid shield during mammography is not recommended.

Patients are urged not to put off or forego necessary breast imaging care based on this erroneous media report.

For more information on this issue, please see Summary of Thyroid Cancer Risks Due to Mammography by R. Edward Hendrick, PhD, FACR.

For more information on why you should start annual mammograms at 40 years of age, please visit www.MammographySavesLives.org.

Read More
American Cancer Society Article
12 Nov
0

American Cancer Society and American College of Radiology: Breast Cancer Screening in Women in Their 40’s

Mammography Reduces Breast Cancer Deaths in Women in Their 40’s.  Click Here to View the Full Story

Read More
American Cancer Society Article
30 Sep
0

American Cancer Society: Breast Cancer Early Detection Guidelines

Please take a moment to read this important article…

Breast Cancer: Early Detection

Read More
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
29 Sep
0

October Is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month….Make an Appointment for Your Mammogram Today

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a great reminder to women to schedule their annual mammograms. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the more successfully it can be treated—-making regular mammograms vitally important. Roughly 1 in 8 women in the United States will get breast cancer. Next to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer in women.

Symptoms of breast cancer may include:
• A lump in the breast
• A change in size, shape, or feel of the breast
• Fluid (called “discharge”) from a nipple

Mammograms can help find breast cancer early when there is the best chance for treatment.

  • If you are a woman between age 40 and 74 you need a mammogram every year.
  • If you are younger than 50 or older than 74, talk with your doctor about whether you need a mammogram.

These are general guidelines. Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if breast or ovarian cancer runs in your family. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get a mammogram.

  • You may have heard it before—do breast self-exams.
  • Get a mammogram.
  • Did you know? Breast cancer can occur in men. According to NCI, about 1,700 men are diagnosed each year.

Read More
456