Do you get mammograms or colon cancer screenings? Do you wonder, “Are cancer screenings safe?”
We don't see our doctor often, thankfully, but when we do I love the way he doesn't even flinch at all of my questions, and when we want to go our own way (such as on the vaccination issue), he says, “I disagree, but ultimately it's your choice.” That's really all I ask. I want his opinion, and I do wish he was more natural-minded, but if we do our own research and don't follow his advice, he's okay with it. He's the same way when it comes to mammograms. (Read more about my difficult original decisions regarding a baseline mammogram.) It's a good thing, because that issue has me frustrated anew.
It used to be, “Everyone should get yearly mammograms over 40!” Now recently it's changed to, “That saves very few lives so don't start getting them until you're 50.” Just like the pharmaceutical industry, they don't really know what they're doing. One minute we “MUST” take a certain medicine or have a certain screening test, and the next minute it's going to kill us. So I don't blindly trust any of them, and it's a good thing…
Not long ago there were concerns over the dangerously high levels of radiation that patients could receive during mammogram and colon cancer screenings, and the FDA tried to keep it hush hush:
The New York Times has revealed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration conducted an extensive spying campaign against its own scientists. The spying began after the scientists warned the FDA had faultily approved medical imaging devices for colonoscopies and mammograms that endangered patients with high levels of radiation. The covert spying operation led the agency to monitor the scientists’ computers at work and at home, copying emails, thumb drives, and even monitoring individual messages, line by line, as they were being typed in real time. Messages monitored included emails to journalists, to members of Congress and even to President Obama himself. The agency also created an enemies list.” (Source for full article and Source for original NYT article.)
Another excerpt from the Forbes article, New Revelations Challenge The New York Times Investigation of Agency “Enemies List,” Raise More Questions About the ‘Government's Most Dysfunctional Agency':
After a series of stumbles and scandals, the Food and Drug Administration’s ability to oversee the most cutting edge sectors of the medical industry, medical devices and genetic screening tests, is under increasing scrutiny.”
“The July New York Times story was a follow up to a 2010 Times report, based on leaked confidential documents supplied by the junior staffers, accusing the agency’s senior officials of ‘brushing aside’ the potential dangers of mammography and colonoscopy devices in a rush to approve a CT scanning device made by General Electric.”
This story gets stickier:
The Times’ story generated national headlines with its sympathetic portrayal of harassed scientists risking their careers to protect the public interest. But new revelations suggest the Time’s slanted the story by leaving out critical context. It appears that dissident employees are involved in what could be seen as an ambulance chasing shakedown scheme to profit from their allegations.”
Whether or not the whistle-blowers were legit doesn't change the whole point:
Behind-the-scenes games are being played and our safety is in jeopardy!
And my doctor wonders why I don't skip right in for another mammogram when he says it's ‘time'. Kent and I are still in our 40's and haven't yet started getting the push for colonoscopies, but we're not at the doctor's office yearly like most are, either. While we do have to keep a close eye on Kent's blood pressure these days, we're not of the mindset that we need “check-ups”. If we're sick and can't handle it ourselves, we'll go, and yes, we'll be thankful they are there, but if not, why subject ourselves to their opinions on the necessities of all the “screenings”?
DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind, I am not a medical professional, so you need to use your own judgment and common sense when deciding how to handle your own health care decisions! I'm just sharing where we are with these issues. Read my full disclaimer here.
Will we get colonoscopies someday or will I ever get another mammogram? I don't know, but this information sure gives me reason to do a LOT more research first.
The more I read, the more I think that “cancer screenings” are not so much about detecting problems, but instead may be great big revenue generating streams.
Not to mention that some say the radiation and physical manipulation may cause the cancer they're screening for…
Mammogram Radiation is Much More Damaging than a Chest X-Ray: Mammograms use ionizing radiation at a relatively high dose, which can contribute to the mutations that can lead to breast cancer. You can get as much radiation from one mammogram as you would from 1,000 chest X-rays. Mammography also compresses your breasts tightly, which can lead to a dangerous spread of cancerous cells, should they exist. Dr. Samuel Epstein, one of the world's top cancer experts, has stated:
“The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each 1 rad exposure increasing breast cancer risk by about 1 percent, with a cumulative 10 percent increased risk for each breast over a decade's screening.” (Source)
Others question the expensive treatments pursued when there are so many false positives found…
Breast Cancer Screening May Lead to Unnecessary Treatments and Surgeries that Can Actually SHORTEN Your Lifespan: Another concern is that mammograms carry an unacceptably high rate of false positives—up to six percent. False positives can lead to expensive repeat screenings, exposing you to even more radiation, and can sometimes result in unnecessary invasive procedures such as biopsies, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. In fact, if you undergo breast screenings, you have a 35 percent increased risk of having surgery.4 If a mammogram detects an abnormal spot in your breast, the next step is typically a biopsy. (Source)
We probably all know someone, though, who had a screening and because of it they got the treatment that saved their lives. Obviously, that's why it's such a tough issue. However, we rarely (never?) see studies about how many were falsely diagnosed, or how many got cancer from all of the radiation!
There are a lot of questions out there that we just don't have the answers to, and there's so much going on behind the scenes that we couldn't know about, so all of this makes me very cautious. As with everything, whether it's the food we eat, the medicines our doctor wants us to take, or cancer screenings, we cannot blindly trust anyone no matter the letters following their names and certainly not because they're part of a big government agency.
What do you think? Do you get cancer screenings?
My related posts:
- Read my newer post about my first thermogram: The Best Breast Test
- Is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy safe? (Here's part one: Are Extreme Menopause Symptoms Normal? Should We Embrace Our Muffin Top?)
- Why we *need* saturated fats and should never take a cholesterol-lowering med – scroll down through the articles there for all sorts of helpful scoop on these issues.
- Watch out for the raw milk spies – the FDA screws with our rights to eat real food, too.