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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Mammography? No Thanks, I’LL USE

THERMOGRAPHY by Dr. Alan L. Woods R

adiation is on the United States’ list of carcinogenic (cancer- causing) agents and yet women over 40 years of age are told to have their breasts exposed regularly to this procedure as a means of breast-cancer “prevention.” It actually should be called “early detection,” because for a mammogram to be of use, a woman already must have breast cancer. Simply put, because of the dangers of X-rays, many medical practitioners be- lieve that radiation should never be used to “screen” for anything, especially breast disease. If a problem already exists, it is fine to have an X-ray procedure to confirm a diagnosis, but many physicians advise against having X-rays year after year to see if there might be a problem. Multiple studies conducted since

January 2000 have shown repeatedly that screening for breast cancer with mammography is not justified. Exactly how much radiation is received when mammograms are conducted? Just one series (two X-rays on each breast) gives the same radiation dose as 1,000 chest or spinal X-rays. Also, if there is a cancer already present in a breast, the compression of the breast caused by the mammogram can rupture the capsule surrounding the tumor, sending cancer throughout the body. Charles Simone, M.D., M.M.S., a former clinical associ- ate in immunology and pharmacology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) who now practices in Lawrenceville, has said, “Mammograms increase the risk for developing breast cancer and raise the risk of spreading or metastasiz- ing an existing growth.” Furthermore, women between the ages of 40 and 50 have relatively dense breasts, for which mammography is probably not useful. Mammograms also possess a high rate of false-positive findings. In a study of approximately 60,000 women, researchers found a 70-percent false- positive rate. That means that 70 per- cent of the tumors diagnosed were not tumors at all, but can lead to biopsies, mastectomies, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and a lot of unnecessary stress. The NCI has stated: “Mammogra- phy is especially dangerous for young women” and “For every 15 cases of breast cancer mammography identifies, it could cause 75 cases of breast can- cer.” Nationally known neurosurgeon and author Russell Blaylock, M.D., has

12 New Jersey North

estimated that annual mammography could increase the risk of breast cancer by 2 percent each year.

So what are the alternatives? Start- ing at age 21, or younger, an accurate alternative for screening for breast disease is thermography. Thermography uses no radiation, no breast contact and no breast compression and is totally safe. Thermography measures the physi- ology or function of the breast and not the anatomy or structure of the breast, as mammography does. In other words, thermography can detect changes before a tumor actually forms, while mammography can detect a tumor only when it is already formed and has been present for eight to 10 years. If ther- mography screening for breast disease suggests that a problem is present, there are two other anatomical tests that do not use radiation, which can be used to finalize the diagnosis. These two testing modalities are breast ultrasound and breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Both of these tests measure anat- omy and/or structure, just as mammog- raphy does, but neither of them carries any side effects. More and more health practitioners are deciding that radiation should never be used to “screen” for any disease because it carries very seri- ous side effects, one of which is cancer.

Alan L. Woods, M.D., N.D., practices at The Institute for Natural Health and Wellness, located at 541 Cedar Hill Ave., in Wyckoff. For more info, call 201-612-1017, email info@inhwonline. com or visit See ad, page 19.

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