photo by Larsz
Breasts have always been my passion, the first pleasure that gave me life. After that I couldn’t stop. But breasts are in danger, threatened by the “marketing of screening”. Professor Gianfranco Domenighetti says this in the letter that I’m attaching. An extract is given below.
“A recent study shows that 50% of American women that are without the neck of the uterus following a total hysterectomy continue anyway to go for a test for cancerous cells in the neck of the uterus! The quality of information to promote screening is such that 81% of Italian women believe that by attending regular mammogram screening they are reducing or reducing to zero the risk of getting a tumour of the breast. Of course this is obviously not possible.
Thus it’s not too surprising to hear the news that appeared on 27 June 2002 in the Lisbon daily newspaper Diario de Noticias saying that 4 Portuguese women were easily convinced by a paramedic to go out onto a balcony in the evening with bare breasts so that they could take advantage of a “satellite” mammogram.
The article that recently appeared in the April edition of the well known magazine OK Salute where Umberto Veronesi gives his most recent recipe relating to mammogram screening is along these lines. (see Tempo Medico). Everything has been said about the efficacy of mammogram screening in reducing mortality in relation to breast cancer and the contrary of everything has also been said. Never has there been a discussion of the effective number of deaths that could have been avoided and nor is there information about possible harmful effects.
It is estimated that in the age range 40 to 50 for every 1000 women who have a mammogram every 2 years, the number of deaths avoided in the 10 year period (compared to women who don’t go for screening) is 0.5. The benefit goes up to 1.9 deaths avoided for 1000 women in the age range 50 to 60.
And the harnful effects? Taking the National Cancer Institute as an authoritative source, here is a list:
- over-diagnosis, that is treatment (with all its consequences) of tumours “in situ” that will not evolve (between 20 and 50% of the tumours diagnosed by screening)
- false positive results (concerning about 50% of the women participating in a screening in a 10 year period, 25% of them had to have a surgical biopsy)
- false sense of security (between 6 and 46% of women with an invasive tumour have had a negative result from a mammogram)
- breast cancer provoked by breast screening, especially among those women who started having screening at a young age (between 10 and 32 breast tumours for every 10,000 women exposed to cumulative radiation doses of I Sv.)
The decision to have a screening or not cannot but be an individual decision. It should be taken after finding out about the benefits and the risks of the procedure and above all of the individual risk of getting the disease. Unfortunately, most of the choices are based exclusively on marketing slogans promoted by those who live and prosper on screening and who don’t have any interest in giving complete and honest information.”
Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:06 AM in Health/Medicine
(5) | Comments in Italian (translated)
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