Thirty years ago, several of the main pillars supporting the U.S. cancer industry began to crumble. Of course, the cancer industry tried its best to keep the evidence buried and out of sight. But we are finally digging it out.
Yes, three full decades ago, I compiled evidence about the REAL long-term risk factors for breast cancer for my Ph.D. thesis while working at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The evidence showed that most of the long-term risk factors are set during childhood and adolescence.
The NCI and their cancer cronies ignored my results, except for Dr. Walt Willett and his team at Harvard School of Public Health. Instead, for wasted decades, NCI and their co-dependents chased failed theories about adult dietary fat intake and body fat.
Then, 10 years after, I participated in a panel for the Canadian FDA to compile and review all the evidence on the benefits of vitamins and minerals for breast and other cancers. They used this evidence to update their regulatory policies for dietary supplements.
I am still waiting for the FDA in this country to do the same.
But here in the U.S., the mainstream medical complex continues to ignore the evidence that optimal vitamin and mineral intakes reduce the risk of breast cancer, improve breast cancer survival rates, and improve quality of life in women with breast cancer.
What we have had in the U.S. to prevent breast cancer is mammography.
But as I said, that pillar is starting to crumble.
Simply put, mammograms don’t save more lives.
In fact, as I reported back in 2014, a major, 25-year Canadian clinical trial found that annual routine mammograms for women ages 40-59 do not reduce death rates any better than physical exams. Both groups have exactly the same death rates.
Of course, those findings ignited a firestorm and the pink ribbon propaganda machine went into overdrive trying discredit this huge and convincing study. And many women, including some of my dear readers, remain convinced mammography saved their lives. But, as I have been arguing, their lives were likely never at risk in the first place!
In fact, many experts are finally delving deeper into the evidence and seeing the facts for themselves. And this time, the mainstream is taking note.
Plus, we now have results from another recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), which uncovered some more startlingly grim facts about mammography.
Almost one-third of breast cancer diagnoses weren’t cancerous at all
In the recent NEJM article, researchers estimate that breast cancer was “overdiagnosed” in 1.3 million women over the past 30 years.
And in 2008 alone, breast cancer was overdiagnosed in more than 70,000 women. That number accounts for almost one-third (31 percent) of all breast cancers diagnosed in 2008!
The researchers defined “overdiagnosis” as “tumors detected on screening that would never have led to clinical symptoms,” let alone death from breast cancer, if simply left alone. So in essence, mammography created 1.3 million cases of breast cancer out of thin air. They were never there in the first place.
It reminds me of the ditty by Ogden Nash:
Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish he’d go away…
Will mammography ever go away?
Mammography has actually gone away in Switzerland, where the efficient Swiss just decided to stop recommending routine mammograms for women with normal risk.
In the U.S., we would need a major shift in thinking.
Of course, many experts — including my friend and colleague, George Lundberg, M.D., editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association for 20 years and the founding medical editor of Medscape — have been warning about the dangers of cancer overdiagnosis for years.
As I often report, mammography primarily increased detection of breast tumors known as DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ).
Here is where women might well wish their doctors were still required to learn Latin and Greek in medical school. You see, in situ means, by definition, “in place” and “non-moving.” If a cancer is not moving, it does not invade, metastasize or cause death. So, in essence, DCIS is essentially a “stage zero” or “non-invasive” tumor.
On the other hand, cancer comes from the Latin word for crab (and the Greek karkcinos, as in carcinoma). Cancer and carcinoma DO move and invade sideways, like a crab, into adjacent and distant tissues.
But if it doesn’t move or metastasize, it isn’t really malignant cancer.
So, the name cancer in situ is actually a contradiction in terms, or an oxymoron.
Tragically, morons — oxy and otherwise — have been in charge of our “go-to” breast cancer prevention weapon for women for decades.
Stay tuned. Because my cancer overdiagnosis exposé is far from over. Tomorrow, I will report on the tragic overdiagnosis epidemic for thyroid “cancer.”
“Annual screening does not cut breast cancer deaths, suggests Canadian study,”British Medical Journal (www.bjm.com) 2/11/2014
“Effect of Three Decades of Screening Mammography on Breast-Cancer Incidence,” N Engl J Med 2012; 367:1998-2005