Mammograms A Must?

Mammograms A Must?

This article is not advising anyone to have or not have mammograms. Nor is it a scare tactic from any type of treatment.

The day was much too nice to do anything, it was my birthday. I thought what better way to celebrate my 35th year of life by kicking back with a magazine and taking it easy. That was short lived when I stumbled across an article encouraging (actually they were stressing) women over thirty-five to have at least one mammogram a year. There I were a thirty-five year old who had never had a mammogram, wide eyed over the thought of getting cancer like the thirty-two year old woman in the article. Filled with fear I immediately decided mammograms would be apart of my future.

It took me two years doing my own research on the subject of mammography and breast cancer origins to arrive at an answer to whether or not I should have a mammogram. The answer is no. Now I know you're thinking, why on earth not?

The sad truth is, most physicians don't know the true facts behind the studies on mammograms and it's effects on breast tissue. Instead they are relying on the word of pharmaceutical companies and or biased journals (that's if they read journals at all).

In Pulse of the Planet #4 (1993, pages 163-164), a argument was made that the mammogram was dangerous to the health of women, that it did not reduce breast cancer but actually increased it, and that it was, in fact, part of a larger epidemic of willful ignorance on the part of modern medicine which proveably artificially increases the rates of breast cancer. James DeMeo Orgone Biophysical Research Lab News

They say we live in a time of "information overload", you would never know this by how little we actually know about our bodies. Most people, no matter how serious the news from their doctor, are just too complacent to find out the specifics of their diagnosis. If the information is not in their faces or is given to them via their personal physicians it will never make it to them, and yet we live in a time of "information overload".

After doing my research I decided no, this procedure will not be included in my future, period. Would I tell another woman not to have a mammogram, no. I would recommend she do as I have done and read both sides of the issue so she can determine if the risks are worth taking. If a woman truly want to have more control over her life she must, MUST, think for herself and to do so mean she must do her own research weighing the pros and cons before making major decisions.

The most interesting thing I discovered in my search for the truth about mammography was not all doctors support mammographies. I can tell you I had never heard of these rebellious physicians and their arguments until I began exercising my right to know the pros and cons of mammographies.

Senior News, October 1997 wrote of the cumulative health damage done by the mammogram's X-rays. Much more damaging than that is the squashing of a breast in the machine's vise. A malignant tumor, if flattened in the mammogram machine, may rupture small blood vessels and leak cancer cells to spread elsewhere. (Sam Epstein, The Politics of Cancer Revisited,1998.)

Since my decision to not have mammograms my grandmother were diagnosed with breast cancer. (FYI, she followed her doctor's advice and had mammograms twice a year for over twenty five years. Hmm.) Have I changed my mind about mammograms yet? No

Below are some places on the web where you can begin your weighing of the value of mammography. Although these sites can be seen as biased they are worth visiting and using as springboards to others sites.

Regena English, the editor of The Leather Spinsters Newsletter for happily unmarried careerwomen and ActiveWear for Single Women Clothing.