Breast Mammography

Many Invasive Breast Cancers Heal Naturally: Lancet Study

November 23, 2011

A new study published this month in The Lancet shows that up to 49% of invasive breast cancers may disappear if they are simply left alone. Yesterday, I published an article about a junk science study that claims an enormous increase in cancer survival rates. The article noted that the study in question mysteriously dropped any data involving breast cancer survival rates since 1981, and surmised, “Could it be that survival rates have diminished [since mammograms became common]?” Apparently, that’s exactly what has happened.

The Study

The study, “Natural history of breast cancers detected in the Swedish mammography screening programme: a cohort study”, was produced and written by three doctors of medical science, Per-Henrik Zahl, Peter C. Gøtzsche, and Jan Mæhlen. They reviewed the results of mammogram screening in Swedish women from 1986 through 1990. These years were chosen to, as much as possible, avoid the confounding effect of hormone replacement therapy, which had not become routine in Norway at that time. They received no funding for the study. They compared 328,927 women aged 40-69 (Mammos) with a control group of 317,404 women of the same age range (Controls).  Mammos were in the first group invited to have mammograms, and they were then followed for 6 years. The Controls started screenings 4 years into the project and were followed for 2 years. The compliance rate was about 80% in both groups. They looked only at invasive cancers, the ones considered most dangerous. At the 4-year mark, when the Controls received their first mammograms, the rate of invasive cancer was 49% higher in the Mammos group.At the 6-year mark, 2 years after the Controls had their first mammograms, the difference between the two groups narrowed, though the Controls had 14% less invasive breast cancer than the Mammos did. Here are the results in tabular format:

Increased Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer With Use of Mammogram
First Mammogram at Year 1 (Mammos) or First Mammogram at Year 4 (Controls) After 4 years (Percent Greater Risk) After 6 years (Percent Greater Risk)
Mammos (n=328,927) 49% 14%
Controls (n=317,404) - – - - – -

The authors concluded:

Because the cumulative incidence among controls did not reach that of the screened group, we believe that many invasive breast cancers detected by repeated mammography screening do not persist to be detected by screening at the end of 6 years, suggesting that the natural course of many of the screen-detected invasive breast cancers is to spontaneously regress.

The new Lancet study provides good evidence that the natural course of many invasive cancers is regression, that the body’s natural defenses heal many cases of cancer. It also seems likely that the aggressive use of modern medicine’s toxic treatments may be doing a great deal of harm, not only in terms of interfering with the natural healing process, but also in terms of quality of life.

Where’s the Evidence?

The results of extensive mammography to screen for breast cancer may be having negative results. Women are rushed and pressured into extreme and toxic measures to treat many cancers that would have simply disappeared with no one knowing. Certainly, women have died from these treatments, and far more have lost their health and quality of life—not to mention their sense of well-being—by the mad rush to shove them through mammogram screenings, and from there into aggressive treatment. Evidence based medicine? More and more, it’s shown to be a farce, a term devised solely to give credibility where none is due by designing studies to provide the desired results and press people into unneeded and harmful tests and treatments. Real evidence is in lives saved or improved. Clearly, evidence was never the determining issue in the headlong rush to impress upon women that they had to have mammograms to save their lives. Nothing could have been further from the truth. How many women have suffered under this profits-first medical regime?