Breast cancer is the third biggest killer cancer and the most common cancer in women worldwide. It is more common in developed countries and is over 100 times more common in women than in men. And being a woman, I am not thrilled about these statistics. So I wondered what can women do to avoid getting killed by their own breasts? The answer seems to be mammography. Mammography is a process of using low energy x-rays to examine the human breasts for diagnosis and screening. For women over 40 doctors recommend it every two to three years. So, is mammography something all women should put on their bucket lists? How successful is it when it comes to saving lives? Turns out mammography is super controversial and has many flaws. While some studies doctors and patients defend mammography, a 25 years long Canadian study shows no reduction in mortality rate between women who are receiving mammography screenings and physical exams and women who are receiving only physicals. Plus, from all the cancers mammography found 22% were over diagnosed. What does that mean? Overdiagnosis is when something is found and we treat it like cancer. Just in case. The problem is, it often leads to unnecessary chemotherapy, painful surgery or even mastectomy. When doctors literally cut your healthy breasts off! Not cool! And you know what else is not cool? Being called back for more painful and expensive testing while being perfectly healthy. In Norway false positive happens to 21 percent of women after 10 rounds of screening. In the USA the numbers go even higher. 49 percent of healthy women will be called back for more screening. This means more radiation and scarring during biopsy, but also more stress and anxiety which can last for years. There again, not cool! So, in the first case we find something on mammography results and we treat it. Even if it’s not necessary. In the second case, something appears on mammography results, while there is actually nothing there. But that’s not all folks! Here come the false negatives. When we are told that we are perfectly healthy after mammography screening while in fact we have cancer. According to dr. Samuel Epstein, one in four cancers in women between 40 and 49 is missed at each mammography. Not cool at all! Last but not least mammography means radiation exposure which is low, but not zero. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology researchers claim that women with a genetic predisposition for breast cancer who reported any exposure to chest X-rays, were 54 percent more likely to develop breast cancer compared with individuals without exposure. So, mammography can actually cause cancer! How uncool is that? Mammography catching breast cancer to treatment outcome improves thanks to earlier detection is minimal. Between 3 and 13%. To the remaining 87 to 97% of women mammography screening produces no benefit whatsoever. Because of all these problems The Cochrane Collaboration a non-profit, non-governmental organization doing independent research of healthcare data concluded that mammography is no longer effective. Okay. So, mammography is really not the best we can do.
Or is it? If we still use and promote mammography, it’s not only because we’re fetishists of expensive and dangerous treatments. It’s also because we haven’t discovered anything better so far. Now, let’s see what are the alternatives for breast cancer detection? The first one is self examination, which is basically But it’s ineffective in preventing death as approximately 10% of discovered breast lumps are breast cancer. 7 percent are fibroadenomas which might become cancer or not, And the rest are other benign conditions or no disease at all. Next! MRI is more sensitive than mammography Actually, too sensitive, as it results in 30% more false positives than mammography. Therefore, the best use of MRI is in combination with other detection methods But this means more radiation and eventually more risk of cancer. Not so bad, but not good enough either. Ultrasound is a cheap and non-invasive way of seeing our internal organs But it’s also less precise and results in more false positives than mammography and MRI. Not good enough at all! So, where does that leave us? Well, the American Institute for Cancer Research and World Cancer Research Fond have a couple of dos and don’ts for us women. The dos are maintaining a healthy weight, drinking as alcohol, breastfeeding our children, high physical activity, and high intake of citrus fruits. While the risk factors are older age, not having children or having our first child after 30, hormone replacement therapy during menopause, ionizing radiation, and obesity. The bottom line is that cancer is a modern disease and our tools to detect it still need improvements. Until we find better ways to detect and cure cancer The best we can do is live a healthy lifestyle and not get sick. Thank you very much for watching and now it’s your turn. Tell us what do you think. Is mammography something we should do just in case so we do not get sick or should we completely avoid it in case it makes us sick? Be sure to subscribe not to miss our next video which is coming up soon. About the Internet privacy and why it matters. Give us also some thumbs up if you liked it and if you really like it share it with your friends, why not! And see you in the next one. Bye-bye