• Glenn Wilson
    56

    The mammogram paradox is that women who are harmed the most are the ones who claim the greatest benefit.

    Dr. Greger: While false-positive results, pain during the procedure, and radiation exposure may be among the most frequent harms associated with mammogram screening, “the most serious downside” is now recognized to be something called “overdiagnosis”—so serious as to raise the question: “does it make [the whole thing] worthless?” The value of doing routine mammograms at all is being questioned due to overdiagnosis, which is “the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer that would never have become a threat to a woman’s health, or even apparent, during her lifetime.”

    See, people “think…that once you have a cancer cell in your body, it will progress, predictably and inevitably, to a terrible death.” And “that[’s] simply not true of most cancers.” “Some cancers [may] outgrow their blood supply,” become starved, and wither away. “[O]thers may be recognized by [our] immune system and…successfully contained, and some are simply not that aggressive in the first place.” Meaning, yeah, it may continue to grow unchecked, but so slowly that it would be like 200 years before it was big enough to cause any problems. And so, in effect, you die with your tumor, instead of from your tumor.

    Indeed, if you do autopsy studies of young and middle-aged women who just happened to die in a car accident or something, 20% of them had cancer in their breast. So, like one in five women are walking around with breast cancer. Now, that sounds a lot scarier than it is, since at that age range, the risk of dying from breast cancer is less than 1%. In fact, your risk of ever dying from breast cancer in your lifetime is less than 4%, which goes to show that many of these cancers that they found incidentally—in fact, most of them—would likely have just fizzled out on their own.

    Continue at NutritionFacts: Understanding the Mammogram Paradox.

    Maybe you prefer to read the transcript instead of watching this video? To see the full transcript or links to cited sources go to the link above, then scroll below the video and click on View Transcript or Sources Cited. This is part eight of a 14 part series. Other videos in this series are listed in the Doctor's Note below the video.

    More in the category Health and Medical.

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