From Veronica Griffin PhD
William Campbell Douglass MD
>> Well, well, all those ladies who always had a bad gut feeling about
mammograms were right after all........
Good news in breast cancer screening.
As you know, I've been one of America's most outspoken critics
of the diagnostically useless, tumor-promoting mammogram. And
now, finally, I've got some reason to rejoice.
A new survey recently released by a government advisory panel
called the Institute of Medicine (a pro-mammogram group, by the
way) reports an 8% DECREASE in the number of breast-
squashing - er, I mean mammogram - facilities in the United
States over the last 4 years. Now this is a trend in mainstream
medicine that's worth trumpeting!
According to a recent New YorkTimes online piece, the likely
reasons more than 800 mammography clinics have closed up shop
range from low reimbursement rates from Medicare and insurance
companies and the skyrocketing cost of malpractice coverage.
Also, a fear of lawsuits as a result of missed tumors may be
contributing to reluctance among doctors and clinics that once
offered mammogram services to continue doing so.
Funny, isn't it, how mainstream medical advisory bodies like the
Institute of Medicine can't put two and two together: If more
mammograms equal more lawsuits and higher premiums, it must
be because they AREN'T RELIABLE. If they were really
beneficial, accurate diagnostic tools, they'd have a good enough
track record that no one would be suing, right?
But whatever the reason, the end result is that fewer breasts under
the Stars and Stripes will be compressed and irradiated, and that's a GOOD
In case you haven't been with me very long, the reason for my
staunch opposition to routine mammography is twofold: One,
because mammograms can't detect tumors much smaller than what
a good conventional breast exam can (they often miss tumors that are quite
large, in fact); and Two, because evidence shows that the
extreme compression of a cancerous tumor can actually cause it to
FRAGMENT AND SPREAD.
Opening up a can of "I told you so"
To all those out there - doctors, lawyers, butchers, bakers or
candlestick makers - who think I'm off my rocker for believing
that to disturb a cancerous breast tumor by compression is to cause
it to spread, I offer this recent item from Reuters Health.
A recent study of 663 cancerous women published in the Archives
of Surgery reveals that those subjects whose cancerous breast
tumors were needle biopsied - in other words, intentionally
ruptured for diagnostic purposes - were 50% more likely to
subsequently develop cancer of the lymphatic nodes located under
the armpit than women whose tumors were removed outright (also
not something I'd always recommend, but that's another story).
For those in the back row (or those with their fingers in their ears,
like mammographers), I'll shout: That's TWICE AS LIKELY to
develop lymphatic cancer after disruption of the cancerous tumor.
Now, I ask my critics, in light of this startling (but not to me)
finding, is it really so unreasonable for me to maintain that extreme
compression of the breast might possibly cause cancerous growths
to release malignant cells into nearby tissues that might otherwise
have remained contained in a tumor until such time as detection
and treatment could occur?
Let me ask another question: Does this sound unreasonable to
Always reasonable, and always "rupturing" the mainstream's
William Campbell Douglass II, MD