Can Mammogram Radiation Cause Breast Cancer?

Can Mammogram Radiation Cause Breast Cancer?
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What is the risk-benefit ratio of the cancers picked up by mammograms and the cancers caused by mammograms?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Over the last few decades, our radiation exposure has nearly doubled, thanks almost exclusively to medical sources, such as CT scans. We’ve known that higher-dose radiation, like CT scans and angiograms, can cause breaks in our DNA, but now we know that mammograms can, too. You can find X-ray induced DNA damage in white blood cells drawn from women right after her mammogram.

That’s amazing they can find evidence of DNA breaks; I mean, how much blood is there in the breast in the first place? And then you squeeze it out during the procedure, and then it mixes with the unexposed blood from the rest of the body, and you can still pick up the DNA damage circulating throughout her system. So, what they found “underestimate[s]” the DNA damage in the breast tissue itself.

But, doctors tell women, “There is nothing to worry about.” Just a few extra cases of breast cancer are caused by mammograms. Wait; what? Mammograms causing breast cancer? Yes. The “risk of radiation-induced breast cancer” from modern, low-dose digital mammograms depends on how often you get screened, and at what age you start. “For a [group] of 100 000 women…screened annually from age 40 to 55 years and [every other year until] age 74…, it is predicted that there will be 86 cancers induced and 11 deaths due to radiation-induced breast cancer.” Meaning they estimate 11 of those women will die from breast cancer that they would never have gotten if they decided not to get mammograms—not expose themselves to that radiation. They even calculated the lifetime risk of developing a radiation-induced breast cancer after just getting a single mammogram.

Women with large breasts may carry additional risk, because their mammograms may require additional views, and the greater radiation dose is expected to translate into “a greater risk for radiation-induced breast cancer and breast cancer death”—as much as triple the lifetime attributable risk of developing breast cancer because of the mammogram radiation exposure.

The earlier one starts screening, the higher the risk as well, since there’s more time for a cancer to grow. This comes up for women with BRCA gene mutations, for whom screening is sometimes recommended starting in their twenties. But, at that age, mammograms may cause as many breast cancer deaths as they prevent. A net benefit would be expected at 35 years old, though, and likely the same for women without BRCA mutations. Yes, “The risk of radiation-induced cancer from mammography is not negligible, [but] the potential for mortality benefit is generally considered to outweigh the risk of death from radiation-induced [breast cancer] attributed to mammography screening”—”a benefit-to-risk ratio in lives of” 10 to one or more.

Now, these estimates on how much breast cancer mammogram X-rays may cause relies “heavily on data from the atomic bomb survivors,” who were exposed more to gamma rays, which are like high-energy X-rays. But, it turns out the lower energy X-rays used in mammography are even worse—”approximately four times…more effective in causing mutational damage than higher energy X-rays.” And, “[s]ince current radiation risk estimates are based on the effects of…gamma [rays], this implies that the risks of radiation-induced breast cancers [from] mammography X-rays” is four times worse than previously estimated. But, even if that were true, the benefit-to-risk ratio would still favor mammograms—which is why you see editorials in radiology journals like this: “concern about radiation exposure should not prevent [a woman] from undergoing life-saving mammography screening.”

But: “No trial has ever shown an overall mortality benefit from screening mammography. Thus, if there is a detrimental effect of radiation exposure from mammography, even a small effect could offset [the benefits].”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: AlarconBenthos via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Over the last few decades, our radiation exposure has nearly doubled, thanks almost exclusively to medical sources, such as CT scans. We’ve known that higher-dose radiation, like CT scans and angiograms, can cause breaks in our DNA, but now we know that mammograms can, too. You can find X-ray induced DNA damage in white blood cells drawn from women right after her mammogram.

That’s amazing they can find evidence of DNA breaks; I mean, how much blood is there in the breast in the first place? And then you squeeze it out during the procedure, and then it mixes with the unexposed blood from the rest of the body, and you can still pick up the DNA damage circulating throughout her system. So, what they found “underestimate[s]” the DNA damage in the breast tissue itself.

But, doctors tell women, “There is nothing to worry about.” Just a few extra cases of breast cancer are caused by mammograms. Wait; what? Mammograms causing breast cancer? Yes. The “risk of radiation-induced breast cancer” from modern, low-dose digital mammograms depends on how often you get screened, and at what age you start. “For a [group] of 100 000 women…screened annually from age 40 to 55 years and [every other year until] age 74…, it is predicted that there will be 86 cancers induced and 11 deaths due to radiation-induced breast cancer.” Meaning they estimate 11 of those women will die from breast cancer that they would never have gotten if they decided not to get mammograms—not expose themselves to that radiation. They even calculated the lifetime risk of developing a radiation-induced breast cancer after just getting a single mammogram.

Women with large breasts may carry additional risk, because their mammograms may require additional views, and the greater radiation dose is expected to translate into “a greater risk for radiation-induced breast cancer and breast cancer death”—as much as triple the lifetime attributable risk of developing breast cancer because of the mammogram radiation exposure.

The earlier one starts screening, the higher the risk as well, since there’s more time for a cancer to grow. This comes up for women with BRCA gene mutations, for whom screening is sometimes recommended starting in their twenties. But, at that age, mammograms may cause as many breast cancer deaths as they prevent. A net benefit would be expected at 35 years old, though, and likely the same for women without BRCA mutations. Yes, “The risk of radiation-induced cancer from mammography is not negligible, [but] the potential for mortality benefit is generally considered to outweigh the risk of death from radiation-induced [breast cancer] attributed to mammography screening”—”a benefit-to-risk ratio in lives of” 10 to one or more.

Now, these estimates on how much breast cancer mammogram X-rays may cause relies “heavily on data from the atomic bomb survivors,” who were exposed more to gamma rays, which are like high-energy X-rays. But, it turns out the lower energy X-rays used in mammography are even worse—”approximately four times…more effective in causing mutational damage than higher energy X-rays.” And, “[s]ince current radiation risk estimates are based on the effects of…gamma [rays], this implies that the risks of radiation-induced breast cancers [from] mammography X-rays” is four times worse than previously estimated. But, even if that were true, the benefit-to-risk ratio would still favor mammograms—which is why you see editorials in radiology journals like this: “concern about radiation exposure should not prevent [a woman] from undergoing life-saving mammography screening.”

But: “No trial has ever shown an overall mortality benefit from screening mammography. Thus, if there is a detrimental effect of radiation exposure from mammography, even a small effect could offset [the benefits].”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: AlarconBenthos via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

Here are some of my videos on radiation exposure from other sources:

We’re halfway through my 14-part series on mammograms. If you missed any previous videos, here they are:

The greatest radiation risk from mammograms is the exposure to radiation treatments for overdiagnosed pseudodisease. I explore that more in my next video. Stay tuned for:

If you can’t wait and want to watch the entire series right now you can stream it for a donation to NutritionFacts.org by going here.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

102 responses to “Can Mammogram Radiation Cause Breast Cancer?

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    1. It’s informational and not prescriptive so you are going to have to make your own call, but the data presented so far indicates that the risk are two fold. There are the risks of enduring unnecessary procedure due to false positives that were recounted in a previous installment, and the risks that the procedure will actually cause breast cancer due of radiation exposure in this one.

      Based upon the information presented so far, the risk reward benefit for the average women for annual screening seem very dubious. I suspect that in an upcoming video, the risk reward benefits of going on a whole foods plant based diet will be compared and contrasted against mammogram screening and found to be superior in health out come so stay tuned.




      21
      1. I have been saying this for over 40 years. When I had a breast exam in 1982 I was told that since I had “lumpy breasts” I should have a mammogram every 6 months! If I had allowed my breasts to be exposed to X-rays twice a year for 36 years I am sure I would have had breast cancer. Of course the doctors “discover breast cancer “ they put it there. I have not had a mammogram since then and never intend to have one . At age 73 I am cancer free and rarely ever see a doctor. I am following a whole food plant based diet for the last two years and never felt better!




        59
        1. Isn’t it great that we know the truth about mammograms from Dr. Greger? I thought I needed an annual screening because the doctor ordered one in addition to a breast ultrasound. Then a friend told me about all the radiation exposure I was getting from them. I probably glow in the dark! I changed gynecologists after 12 or 13 years of too many tests because my health plan paid for it. I’m wiser now at 70 and eating plant-based for four years.

          My last mammogram was Dec 2014, and I’m not going to have another.




          29
      2. Joe, I too am curious about the flax seed scenario, as far as it lowering testoerone in Males.
        Hopefully you might have some insight on such matters.




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        1. Buzzy

          Testosterone is a hormone and cholesterol is a hormone precursor. But it apparently works both ways and high testosterone can raise cholesterol. Both are also defined as steroids
          https://www.livestrong.com/article/435773-cholesterol-testosterone/

          Men in Western countries tend to have higher cholesterol and testosterone levels than men eating traditional Asian diets and men living a hunter gatherer lifestyle. What is considered ‘normal” in the US would probably be considered high in comparison. There is no evidence that hunter gatherer men are less fertile or less macho than overweight, sedentary Western males.
          https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02692109
          https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109704007168

          Flax seeds do appear to lower both cholesterol and testosterone.

          This is a personal choice but personally I consider that having testosterone and cholesterol levels nearer what is normal for hunter gatherers and people eating traditional Asian diets is preferable to having levels considered normal in Western societies (where it is considered normal to be overweight and to die of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer).




          12
          1. http://www.medpagetoday.com/Endocrinology/GeneralEndocrinology/43045

            3,690 men between the ages of 70 and 89 living in Perth, Western Australia.

            “Our results challenge the concept that lower T is associated with increased mortality in a linear fashion,” the researchers wrote. “Instead, an optimal range of circulating total T corresponding to a range of 9.8 to 15.8 nmol/L (282-455 ng/dL) exists for older men, which predicts survival independent of other risk factors.”




            1
            1. Carrot

              Thanks. That’s interesting.

              The problem with observational studies looking at older people, though, is that seniors tend to be sicker and more frail than younger people. It is the life stage when the effects of diet and lifestyle are most likely to come home to roost in the shape of chronic diseases.

              Many diseases appear to deliver, either directly or indirectly, weight loss and declining cholesterol often long before a clinical diagnosis of disease is made. Certain cancers and Alzheimer’s are probably the best known examples but other conditions do also.

              That is why there is often an association between higher mortality and lower weight and lower cholesterol levels. But this isn’t because being overweight or having high cholesterol is protective. It’s because declining weight and declining cholesterol levels in older people are often pre clinical indicators of disease. That is, they are symptoms not causes. This of course is quite different from dropping or lowering cholesterol levels as a result of healthy diet and lifestyle changes. Older people who do this are probably only a small minority of the total number of older people who experience declining weight and cholesterol

              I therefore wonder if the same considerations apply to testosterone levels? In Western countries, lower testosterone like lower cholesterol has been associated with greater mortality. In other words, declining testosterone may also be a pre clinical marker for disease. This isn’t a new idea or my idea. See this 2011 report

              “A decline in testosterone levels as men grow older is likely the result — not the cause — of deteriorating general health, say Australian scientists, whose new study finds that age, in itself, has no effect on testosterone level in healthy older men.”
              https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607121129.htm

              i wonder if the same thing though might also apply to higher testosterone levels. We know that high cholesterol is associated with greater mortality (in middle-aged people), Perhaps high testosterone is also associated with poor diet and lifestyle which might explain the link with increased mortality risk there as well in the study you referenced? It can be associated with high red meat and poultry consumption as well as thyroid and adrenal problems, I understand.




              4
          2. Eating a wfpb diet will give you the optimal natural testosterone production rate, bodies that have more circulating hormones (incl. testosterone) in older age tend to live longer. But this is because a healthy body produces more endogenous hormones, and healthy bodies offcourse, live longer. So supplementing exogenous hormones is as usual, not a good idea…

            In hunter-gatherer men, researchers saw optimal natural testosterone production, this means that testosterone is low when the men are relaxing and testosterone is high when the men are working. This is what you want, in Western society men tend to have a testosterone level that is continuously raised, even when being idle. This causes all kinds of trouble like increased aggresion and less social cohesion and probably a bunch of negative biochemical stuff inside the body.

            PS.
            On a different note, I had suggested using some banana powder as a wfb sweetener. After some experimenting I can say banana powder is a lot less sweet then date powder. Making it perhabs more usable as a flour then as a sweetener.
            On a different note




            2
        2. Buzzy, It would seem that a little ground flaxseed is good. In Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist, he advocates for a tablespoon of ground flaxseed a day which comes to about 14 grams. At this level of consumption, your testosterone levels should probably be just fine, at least according to this study; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271531705806876

          There is always the danger that if a little is good, a lot would be better. I’m afraid I do not know at what level of increased flaxseed consumption above this recommendation may become problematic. I’ve been taking 20 grams of ground flaxseeds per day without any noticeable negative effects.

          Of course, YMMV




          1
    2. In 1984 I must have been the only doctor to have read Dr. John Goffman’s book, “Diagnostic X-rays- Health Effects From Common Exams”. Dr. Goffman quantified the risk of cancers from diagnostic x-rays. The risk has always informed me in my risk/benefit assessment when taking x-rays. Doctors generally don’t know, or care, about such risk.




      12
    3. Hi Heather –

      I’ve posted more on the risks of medical radiation causing cancer below. Mammograms just seem the tip of the iceberg.

      As Dr. John Gofman put it, “the evidence on radiation-producing cancer is beyond doubt. I’ve worked fifteen years on it [as of 1982], and so have many others. It is not a question any more: radiation produces cancer, and the evidence is good all the way down to the lowest doses.”

      So the question one needs to ask does not seem “Can Mammogram Radiation Cause Breast Cancer,” but “HOW MUCH cancer does mammogram radiation cause?” – an additional 1 in a 1000?, 1 in ten thousand?, 1 in a million?, and does the benefit to a particular patient outweigh the risk? And the same rule applies to diagnostic x-rays in general. And the higher the radiation dosage, the higher the risk.




      7
      1. 1. Boost your body’s master antioxidant. Glutathione is an essential antioxidant found in all cells. It optimizes the killing power of NK cells. Low glutathione reduces the function of NK cells.

        But you can’t just take a glutathione supplement. It would get destroyed in your digestive system long before it got to your cells.3 Instead look for N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC). It’s a precursor to glutathione. Studies show it can stop DNA damage linked to the development of cancer cells. It also reduces the harmful effects from chemo and radiation treatments.

        Food sources of NAC include poultry, yogurt, red peppers, garlic, egg yolks, onions, and broccoli. But to protect against cancer you’ll want to supplement. Take at least 250 mg per day up to 1,500 mg.




        0
    4. The message is that many medical professionals haven’t given their patients the information necessary to make the decision for themselves. The shortest good summary of the situation comes from the Cochrane review:

      Screening likely reduces breast cancer mortality. Based on all trials, the reduction is 20%, but as the effect is lower in the highest quality trials, a more reasonable estimate is a 15% relative risk reduction. Based on the risk level of women in these trials, the absolute risk reduction was 0.05%. Screening also leads to overdiagnosis and overtreatment, with an estimated 30% increase, or an absolute risk increase of 0.5%. This means that for every 2000 women invited for screening throughout 10 years, one will have her life prolonged. In addition, 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be diagnosed as breast cancer patients and will be treated unnecessarily. It is thus not clear whether screening does more good than harm. Women invited to screening should be fully informed of both benefits and harms.




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      1. “It is thus not clear whether screening does more good than harm.”

        Really? For one woman potentially helped, TEN women in every 2000 women screened unnecessarily “treated” ( a misleading term that actually means mutilated, irradiated, and poisoned), severely, even horrifically, negatively impacting their lives, physically, emotionally, and mentally, and probably shortening their lives by decades.

        Not clear? How can it get anymore clear? Unless they take into account the amount of money made by the medical industry, by unnecessarily treating women who did not need it, as “good.”




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        1. How do you measure the comparative value of a life saved versus the harm experienced by ten women treated unnecessarily?

          That is why they recommend that women be given this information so they can make this decision for themselves.




          2
          1. Well, according to Dr. Greger in an earlier video, for every life “saved” another person actually dies from the unnecessary treatment (plus the mammography radiation), with a bonus that 9 other women suffer a great deal of harm.

            And what does “saved” mean exactly when applied to cancer patients? Usually that they made it at least 5 years past the date of diagnosis. It does not mean that they all go on to lead the long and healthy lives. A few may – and no doubt more would if they change their lifestyles and diets – but most will not. And those treated unnecessarily will on average have their lives significantly shortened. Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy do not exactly seem health treatments.

            So putting aside unnecessary pain and suffering, how might want look at this objectively? How about looking at the effect of more or less years of life for the whole group?

            So, if on average one assumes the one person “saved” gains an additional ten years of life she would not have otherwise had, and the 10 women treated unnecessarily each loses 10 years of life from the harm done by the treatments, this would result in 10 years gained – 100 years lost = minus 90 years.

            Of course this just seems an assumption, but considering the research Dr. Greger has brought to light so far, I’d bet heavily that if anyone ever does do a cost benefit analysis of this kind, that the actual results would seem at least this bad, and probably a lot worse.




            4
            1. All valid points but the specific data isn’t there for such a cost benefit analysis is it? That’s why you write “if” and “assumption”. And even if it were, would you look at years of life lost, QALYs or DALYs?

              The simple net mortality measure used in conventional assessments seems to suggest a benefit for mammography screening.

              That said, regarding screening generally, I choose not to undergo a colonoscopy. Or a PSA test. But isn’t this a personal decision that people should make after being given all the information about screening?

              Of course, the trouble with this is that many people want their doctor to give them a firm recommendation – on the grounds of why keep a dog and bark yourself. That’s why practice guidelines are so important.

              While i sympathise with your viewpoint, I don’t think the situation is quite so black-and-white.




              0
              1. All of science rests on “what if’s” and assumptions, which includes the simple simple net mortality measures used in conventional assessments you referred to. By its very nature, the scientific method can not prove a hypothesis in any absolute sense – it can only accumulate evidence for a hypothesis beyond the point of reasonable doubt.

                Based on the research studies cited so far by Dr. Greger in this video, for every one woman “saved” by routine screening, another woman dies from unnecessary treatment, and ten other women suffer significant and lasting harm.

                You wrote: “Of course, the trouble with this is that many people want their doctor to give them a firm recommendation – on the grounds of why keep a dog and bark yourself. That’s why practice guidelines are so important.”

                I agree – and if an objective panel of qualified scientists with no conflict of interests wrote such guidelines, free from govement of corporate interests I would feel a lot more sanguine about this. But these days, who the medical industry, that has a huge conflict of interest, plays a huge role in writing these practice guidelines.

                How huge a conflict of interest for routine screening using mammographies? Eight billion dollars a year.

                https://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2015/07/23/many-mammogram-breast-cancer-screenings-are-unnecessary




                3
                1. Absolutely but then there are many guidelines on this.

                  We could ignore the guidelines by radiologists on the grounds that they must be compromised by conflicts of interest but it is more difficult to easily dismiss the US Preventive Services task Force recommendations

                  https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/breast-cancer-screening1

                  Personally, I suspect that the Cochrane Review summary of the issue is probably the most reasonable but then it does not constitute a set or recognised practice guidelines and, in a litigious society like the US, may not be a defence in law for doctors who rely on it to advise women that regular mammograms may be counterproductive. It may therefore not just be the money that drives mammogram screening advice by doctors, it may the practice of defensive medicine to minimise the risk of being sued should a patient avoid screening and subsequently be diagnosed with breast cancer. And some women may prefer to undergo regular screening even after considering all the facts. In the end, it is their choice.

                  “Screening produces patients with breast cancer from among healthy women who would never have developed symptoms of breast cancer. Treatment of these healthy women increases their risk of dying, e.g. from heart disease and cancer.

                  It therefore no longer seems beneficial to attend for breast cancer screening. In fact, by avoiding going to screening, a woman will lower her risk of getting a breast cancer diagnosis. However, despite this, some women might still wish to go to screening.”
                  http://nordic.cochrane.org/screening-breast-cancer-mammography




                  2
            2. We will also never know whether those ‘saved’ were really saved from anything. The lump found might never have developed to cause symptoms of illness or it might have just gone away.




              2
    5. Hi thanks for your question. This is very confusing and frustrating. Dr. Greger’s goal is by no means to contradict what your physician is telling you or to discourage all mammograms. The point is, it should a decision you are involved in that your physician gives you all the information- pro’s and con’s because there are both- and the two of you come to a decision that is best for you. That isn’t typically what happens. It has become more of, “oh time for your mammogram”. Unfortunately, this happens a lot in healthcare in general. Dr. Greger feels patients need to be given all the information to make an informed decision. In healthcare, we always talk about the “risk benefit ratio” and we try to choose options where the benefit outweighs the risk. Ideally, your physician would discuss the risk AND the benefits of mammograms, or really any procedure with you, and help you decide what is in your best interest. Dr. Greger goes into that a little more in this video if you haven’t seen it yet:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/9-out-of-10-women-misinformed-about-mammograms/

      He did a whole series on mammograms. If you haven’t seen the whole thing, I recommend watching them all.

      Thanks for your great question,
      NurseKelly
      Health Support Volunteer




      0
  1. I hope Dr G covers, not just the radiation exposure, but all the misdiagnosis. Many have discussed the alarmingly high number of false positives, which provoke harsh treatment for a patient with no cancer. Recently Dr Pamela Popper has posted on this topic. Here’s one entitled “Mammography Over Diagnosis and Over Treatment”, which she posted on her YouTube channel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-pe4kRThuw




    2
  2. Separate issue, but as a male, is there a possible chance that ground flax-seed, eaten daily,
    could lower testosterone level? I’m not talking specifically about libido, I only want to know
    about testosterone. And it seems a bunch of people are saying online that this is possible –
    although not a sure thing – if a male ingests constant daily servings of flax-seed.




    1
    1. I see your concern here Jake and I too have shared it, as I think about how foods affect my hormones. I’ve found that it may be better to focus on the benefit of higher testosterone levels that you’re after though (increased libido, muscle maintenance, etc.).
      Higher testosterone by itself is not always a good thing, as it may fuel prostate cancer cell growth as well as lead to other effects. Maybe if there is a specific concern you have, you can post that up for better clarity of the situation.




      1
    2. My husband has eaten 2 TB of ground flax seeds every day for at least 10 years, possibly longer. His recent testosterone results were completely normal. And, his PSA serum levels were very low. He’s in his mid-50s. Anecdotal, of course, but something to consider…




      0
    3. Hi thanks for your great question. I’m not aware of any credible research showing flax seed having a risk for males. Flax does an excellent job of lowering cholesterol. There are some, I’ll say rumors, out there that if you lower your cholesterol too much, it will lower your cholesterol. However, the levels that are often considered “too low” are common in a lot of cultures, like asian cultures who have some of the greatest health stats and longest life spans in the world (or at least they did until the Western diet made its way there). If you are worried about it, Dr. Greger just recommends 1-2 tablespoons a day of flax. You could keep it at that if it makes you feel better.
      You might like some of the videos Dr. Greger did on flax and prostate cancer:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/flaxseed-vs-prostate-cancer/

      NurseKelly
      Health Support Volunteer




      0
  3. As i read i have to post nutritional questions under a video. Here is my burning question!
    what does dr. Greger think about how much fat (in numbers please) we need to be able to absorb fat soluble vitamins. How much nuts, seeds avocado etc do we need to consueme to absorb those important vitamins? As some doctors advise te use no oils AND limit nuts, seeds avocado’s. Do the other vegetables have enough fat partikles in them to be able to get the fat soluble vitamins in enough? Thanks so much i am so hoping for an answer




    4
  4. Finally!! I have been waiting for this video for what feels like forever! There has been numerous rumors that long time/continuous mammograms can have detrimental results but when I mention this to my doctors, who push patients to go in every year, they all poo-poo’ed the idea! So glad to get an evidence based explanation! Trying to eat right, exercise and live healthy. It can be a mine field out there, there is so much misinformation. I just heard on the news a mother was giving her autistic child something equivalent to clorox to cure him! People can get so desperate that they believe everything they hear.




    9
  5. Years ago in my other life I was a Radiologic technologist.. Over the 40 years I worked in the field I saw radiation levels drop and drop.. When I started the amount of radiation we used for mammograms was obscene compared to today. We needed the “soft” low frequency (i.e. dangerous) X-rays to see tumors in the breast. As the technology progressed in machines and processing of the images things have gotten better. But not perfect. All I can say is make sure you are going to an accredited Mammogram Center that has a board certified and trained radiologist that knows what he or she is looking at. This reduces the chances of repeat views and a proper diagnosis. The new computer assisted diagnosis is promising also..
    Yes. CT scans produce lots of radiation and it is a fantastic diagnostic tool. Many medical doctors abuse the machine b/c it’s easy and produces lots of information very quickly.. And yes I have heard many ER doc’s say it “doesn’t produce any more radiation than a chest x ray.
    What bullshit and a flat out lie. It’s a lot of radiation and like the mammograms the dose is continually coming down.. YMMV and be a informed consumer..




    3
  6. On a related note, my dentist keeps pushing me to get a full mouth x-ray every few years just to look for a potential problem.. About 5 years ago, I told her no more x-rays unless there are some other signs that something needs attention. Does anyone know of any studies similar to the mammogram studies relating frequent dental x-rays to DNA damage or cancer?




    20
    1. I’ve been refusing for years. Dentist tried to scare me but I told him I was fine with the risk. Now I sign a paper saying he cannot be held responsible for adverse consequences of **not** having them. LOL.




      7
    2. Hal,

      I have been kicked out of dentist offices in Tucson, AZ because I refused to have xrays taken every 1 1/2 years. I find this problem extremely frustrating. Somehow dentists are empowered to demand we do this or they tell you to leave. And when I call around, it seems they are all in lockstep with each other. Sounds like a great profit making scheme for their dental office bottom line.




      4
      1. Denise- maybe you could counter by reminding those dentists that the American Dental Association recommends AGAINST dental x-rays in asymptomatic patients?




        1
      2. Denise,

        I have been through the same types of things with doctors and dentists.

        Not just about one thing. It seems like many of them were instructed in arrogance as a way to keep authority.

        When my grandmother was near the end of her life, the doctors at the hospital she was at came in with zero bedside manner and said, “It is time for her to die now” and they told me how to use the end of life meds to “kill her faster” because they felt giving antibiotics to someone with aspiration pneumonia was cruel and unusual punishment, and they wouldn’t even listen to my grandmother saying that she was not in pain and that she didn’t want to die, because, “she has dementia and doesn’t know what she wants” and I stood in a room with ten angry doctors and interns who wanted me to kill my grandmother and they kept asking me “What is your goal?” as if my goal would EVER be to kill my grandmother faster.

        it was in October and I took her home and that night she talked my ear off all night long and asked for 9 glasses of apple cider and we watched Hallmark Christmas movies and held hands and listened to Christmas carols and she would listen and hear the one liners, which she still remembered and would suddenly burst out, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” but one movie had a doctor who proclaimed a patient dead and she cried out, “No, I am not dead yet.” We had the best several months in a row, and, yes, since she had dementia, I decided why not have every day be Christmas.

        They would have kept that from me.




        1
  7. Thanks for that informative video. Even though the risk seems some-what low, what other options would a female have if they chose not to complete mammograms?

    thanks




    3
    1. Better alternative, instead of mammograms is ultrasound.
      Thermography isn’t as accurate, only indicates there might be a problem.
      If so, then they usually follow up with the mammogram or ultrasound.
      When mammogram indicates a problem, an ultrasound should be done before any biopsy.




      2
    2. Try thermography! It 100% safe, no radiation, no pain, easy….I did one today and it was 150.00. I use my HSA account to pay for it. I’ve been getting them for 8 years now.




      2
    3. Hi I’m a health support volunteer. Thanks for your great question.
      First and foremost, we would recommend a healthy diet that is shown to significantly reduce your risk of breast cancer. Dr. Greger has a lot of videos on diet and breast cancer. Here are just a few:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-dietary-factors-affect-breast-cancer-most/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-not-to-die-from-cancer/

      Dr. McDougall (mentor of Dr. Greger’s and pioneer in the plant based nutrition) has said a lot on this and he recommends just self breast exams of mammography. You might like thes videos of his:
      https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/videos/mcdougalls-moments/should-women-get-a-mammography/
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za2v3h0tkMQ

      NurseKelly
      The information on NutritionFacts.org is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician and is for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you saw or read on the NutritionFacts.org website.




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  8. I have been reading about thermography for cancer screening. The technology seems to be completely safe and can pick up tumors before a mammogram would. I’m planning to do thermography this year instead of a mammogram. The downside is my health insurance covers mammograms at 100%, but wouldn’t cover thermography at all.




    5
    1. Thermography is relatively inexpensive where I live.

      I feel like women who go that way need to be aware that it still gets false positives and still misses about 10% of Cancers.

      I don’t think data exists, but thermography claims to detect Cancers ten years earlier. They say it can show unhealthy changes in the breast years before a cancer forms in that breast, but that early detection and pre-Cancer detection statistic makes me wonder if it will have an even higher false positive rate. At least it won’t hurt and won’t be causing Cancer.

      I found a statistic: “A study of 92 women in 2008 using thermography found false positives 12-44 percent of the time, depending on the setting of the machine.” All methods have false positives and negatives, but thermography there are issues with different equipment and different practitioners. One of the problems with it is that results can be thrown off by anything, which throws off your body temperature. Massages, sauna, working out, drinking something hot or cold, wearing too tight clothing. (The weather? Possibly)

      They like that at risk women can get a base line younger and that breast density doesn’t affect the test and if you are “into” lifestyle changes, finding out that you have problems younger so you can make the changes in diet right away is helpful, but I highly suspect that some twenty somethings will panic and go straight to double mastectomies and chemo and radiation, same as Mammogram, because false positive is false positive.




      5
      1. Thanks Deb, that is good info. If I get a positive reading on the thermography I’ll attempt not to panic and based on other comments here the next thing I would try would be an ultrasound rather than taking drastic actions.




        0
        1. Yes, the not panicking is the biggest part.

          I am going to tell you that I was going to do thermography last year, but read about the false positives and false negatives and knew I wasn’t ready, because my diet wasn’t good. I have spent a year going vegan and eating every cancer fighting fruit and vegetable and bean and nut that I can eat from Dr. Greger’s arsenal.

          I was listening to Dr. Lisle earlier today and he was talking about a study where they reversed a type of Cancer using Vegan and intermittent fasting. He didn’t give too many details of the study, because his talk was on something else, but between his work and Dr. Ornish’s work and what I have seen in my own life and on Cancer sites, I believe so strongly that we can reverse Cancer through diet.

          I think I have an inner check-list now of getting rid of the growth hormones and changing the gut flora and getting rid of Methionine from and staying far away from things like chickens, beef, eggs, dairy, milk and loading up on all the veggie and fruit and bean and nut and spice super-killers.

          And, yes, I will throw in Keto’s view of cutting out sugar, because Cancer does feed on sugar, and I will throw in staying away from acidic foods and drinks and I got rid of the toxins and pesticides and other chemicals and had a “dead tooth” removed, which was on the same side of my body as the symptoms I was trying to get rid of.

          So, yes, I, personally, was afraid I would panic and decided to fix all the causes first. I feel good about it, no matter what happens, this is the way I would choose to do it over and over again.

          Knowing that, I may still go get a baseline Thermogram, but it will be after a few more months of the process I am doing.




          1
          1. There are many things wrong with keto. The article of keto faith that sugars are the very devil appears to be one of them

            “Will eating sugar make my cancer worse?
            No. Although research has shown that cancer cells consume more sugar (glucose) than normal cells, no studies have shown that eating sugar will make your cancer worse or that, if you stop eating sugar, your cancer will shrink or disappear. However, a high-sugar diet may contribute to excess weight gain, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Obesity and Cancer.”
            https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths

            “Here’s where the myth that sugar fuels cancer was born: if cancer cells need lots of glucose, then cutting sugar out of our diet must help stop cancer growing, and could even stop it developing in the first place. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. All our healthy cells need glucose too, and there’s no way of telling our bodies to let healthy cells have the glucose they need, but not give it to cancer cells.

            There’s no evidence that following a “sugar-free” diet lowers the risk of getting cancer, or boosts the chances of surviving if you are diagnosed.”
            http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2017/05/15/sugar-and-cancer-what-you-need-to-know/

            There is no reason to eat table sugar or sugary foods but there is no reason to believe pesudocientific claims about sugar and cancer either, or alkalising diets.

            “.Despite the promotion of the alkaline diet and alkaline water by the media and salespeople, there is almost no actual research to either support or disprove these ideas. This systematic review of the literature revealed a lack of evidence for or against diet acid load and/or alkaline water for the initiation or treatment of cancer. Promotion of alkaline diet and alkaline water to the public for cancer prevention or treatment is not justified.”
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4916623/




            0
            1. Thanks Tom.

              I will look at it.

              I have heard a few Cancer doctors who did say that Keto didn’t help and I also saw a Ted Talk and Cancer clinic which came from the other perspective.

              Science trumps theories eventually.




              1
  9. Thank you Tracey I forgot to mention thermography in my earlier post. It has been around for decades and does not pose a risk. Why donʻt doctors recommend this safe effective procedure? Unfortunately I suspect we should, “ follow the money” for the answer.

    Hopefully Dr Greger may address this issue in a future video.




    4
  10. THANK YOU for these videos!! I was living in Hamburg, Germany (West Germany at the time) when Chernobyl exploded, 600 miles away — and our background radiation significantly increased. I attended several public lectures about the dangers of radiation, and learned that there is no safe dose — and that the damage accumulates. My husband, a former nuclear power submariner and then nuclear power engineer, concurs.

    And yet, having been diagnosed with breast cancer, I am subjected to extra mammography afterward. When I asked what the evidence was that such screening was beneficial (i.e.,whether it improved overall mortality and/or quality of life), I was told that there is none, but that since mammography screening “saves lives” before a cancer diagnosis, it is just assumed that it saves lives afterward! When I mentioned that the evidence didn’t support the conclusion that mammography saves lives beforehand (I was a research scientist, and had done a fair bit of research in the medical library on my own), I was just met with a shrug!

    I’m going to ask my oncologist and the radiation screening facility to watch these videos. In fact, I’m going to ask that the whole breast cancer unit in Yale Smilow Cancer Hospital (where I received and receive my treatment) to watch this video series. What do you think the response will be?

    and btw, the so-called “radiation therapy” for breast cancer has serious adverse effects, including death. And even though I asked and asked about them, I wasn’t told about all of them. (And despite my extensive reading, I didn’t find out about all of them. There’s nothing like being a patient trying to become educated in a very short time frame while recovering from biopsy, surgery, etc) That is one huge serious problem with treating DCIS; the treatment may cause as many deaths as it prevents (if it prevents any), and it certainly has other huge non-fatal adverse effects that are nonetheless debilitating and life-long.




    10
  11. As Dr. John Gofman ( https://ratical.org/radiation/inetSeries/nwJWG.html ), formerly a Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D. in nuclear-physical chemistry and an M.D.) who was the first Director of the Biomedical Research Division of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory from 1963-65 and one of nine Associate Directors at the Lab from 1963-1969. put it, “the evidence on radiation-producing cancer is beyond doubt. I’ve worked fifteen years on it [as of 1982], and so have many others. It is not a question any more: radiation produces cancer, and the evidence is good all the way down to the lowest doses.”

    So the question one needs to ask does not seem “Can Mammogram Radiation Cause Breast Cancer,” but “HOW MUCH cancer does mammogram radiation cause?” – an additional 1 in a 1000?, 1 in ten thousand?, 1 in a million?, and does the benefit for a patient outweigh the risk?

    And as far as medical radiation causing cancer, they just seem the tip of the iceberg:

    “ The average annual radiation exposure from both naturally occurring and manmade sources for a person living in the United States is approximately 500 millirem or 5 mSv (milliSievert). Below is an approximate estimation of radiation dose involved in common diagnostic procedures: chest X-ray – 0.1 mSv, mammogram – 0.4 mSv, CT head – 2 mSv, CT chest 7 mSv, CT abdomen 8 mSv, CT pelvis 6 mSv, CT chest angiogram for pulmonary embolism workup – 15 mSv, coronary angiogram or cardiac catherization – 15 mSv, and PET scan – 8 mSv. Thus, the radiation amount associated with one mammogram is approximately 10% of routinely accepted annual exposure dosage.” http://ezinearticles.com/?Is-Radiation-Exposure-From-Mammograms-Dangerous?&id=4459837

    So, a typical mammogram x-ray seems equivalent to about 10% of ROUTINELY ACCEPTED annual exposure dosage. Routinely accepted by a medical establishment that clearly threw the Hippocratic oath of “Do no harm” out the window decades ago. So from my point of view, three things seem obvious from a “Do no harm . . . ” maximize benefit/ minimize risk point of view.

    1. Only take x-rays – even those that have a very low levels of radiation (like digital dental x-rays) – when really necessary for diagnostic purposes, and when doing so, take the fewest x-rays at the lowest exposure levels.

    2. Effectively and routinely shield any areas of the body (especially the brain!) from unnecessary exposures – even from lower-dose x-rays – when taking diagnostic x-rays of other areas. Ask for and make use of lead caps, blankets, etc. and make use of them.

    3. When possible take radioprotective supplements and foods, well before, as well as after you receive any significant X-ray dosages.

    4. Lower x-ray exposures from better machines obviously seem preferred to higher dosages given by older machines. I would gladly pay 10X the going rate or more to get an X-Ray from a newer model machine that provides the same information at a fraction of the radiation dose. For me, the monetary cost of an x-ray seems trivial when compared to the costs in accelerated damage other, increased risks.




    4
  12. Incidentally, the medical industry has two ways through which they mislead and downplay potential dangers when using the x-ray/ natural background exposure comparison.

    First, medical x-rays introduce a high amount of radiation in a VERY SHORT period of time, a very different scenario than the small amount of background radiation that increase the burden on the cells protective mechanisms against free radical damage only slightly over an extended period of time. Compared to the number of free radicals generated naturally (and inevitably) by an aerobic cellular metabolism, the amount contributed by background radiation seems very small. And – the good news – the same protective mechanisms that protect us against endogenously generated free radicals – for example, antioxidants, SOD, catalase, DNA repair enzymes, etc., also defend us against free radicals produced by background radiation.

    So let’s look at a lumbar x-ray – supposedly equivalent to 158 days of background radiation exposure. When naturally exposed to this degree of radiation naturally over time, the cells have plenty of time to adapt, defend against, and to repair damage through mechanisms already in place. However, an x-ray exposes the body to the same radiation exposure in a second!

    To visualize this, imagine that it rains on you very slightly and slowly – only 1/4 inch evenly distributed over the course of a day. You would not even notice this, your clothes would not even get damp, as just your natural body heat would keep them dry. Think of this as a metaphor for background radiation.
    Now imagine that 158 days’ worth of rain – at 1/4 inch a day – 40 inches total – comes down on you all at once in a second. It would probably pound you flat. For this reason, I see medical x-rays as many times more hazardous than the usual comparisons to days, weeks, months or years of exposure to background radiation would suggest.

    Second, as Dr. Greger pointed out with regard to mammograms, dosages compare x-ray exposures to WHOLE BODY exposure from background radiation, but in fact most x-rays target localized areas – which will consequently get FAR HIGHER relative dosages.

    An average brain weighs about 1 pound, about 1/150 of the mass of a 150 lb. man. So if the brain gets selectively exposed to the same dose, say in a head CT that would cause the equivalent of 245 days of of background radiation IF evenly distributed over the whole body. However, in actuality, local relative exposure seems many times higher than that, when looking at that radiation going to the head only. And hot spot areas would get subjected to even greater relative exposures.




    5
  13. Speaking of dangerous radiation. What about people who are receiving radioactive isotopes into their bodies to “prevent” thyroid cancer? Our bro-in-law died 1 year after receiving this treatment. He died of brain cancer, which I am still wondering abt.: If he was not allowed to be near anyone else for about a week, because the radiation could harm them, then HOW can they prove that the very same radioactive treatment didn’t cause the brain cancer 1 year later? He was not overly old, either…about 60-62. Who the heck invented these TORTUROUS “TREATMENTS”, ANYWAY???

    I personally believe that whomever invented these treatments and/or gives them out even today should be forced to undergo them, themselves!!!




    4
    1. John

      There are quite a few saturated fat advocates in Scandinavia. This group appears to be among them (rather than being simply disinterested researchers) The research itself seems to be a more or less typical pro saturated fat study . The fact that you cannot find the actual study itself (to compare the media claim against what the study itself shows) from the link on that website may be a red flag or just a simple mistake.

      Such studies tend to use the same methods to present high saturated fat diets as healthy. For example, they use obese or very overweight people. Such people have damaged metabolic and endocrine systems. They respond very differently to fats and carbohydrates than do normal weight people .

      “Multiple mechanisms likely contribute to the altered plasma lipid responses to dietary changes in individuals with excess adiposity. The greater rate of hepatic cholesterol synthesis in obese individuals suppresses the expression of hepatic LDL receptors (LDLR), thereby reducing hepatic LDL uptake. Insulin resistance develops as a result of adipose-tissue induced inflammation, causing significant changes in enzymes necessary for normal lipid metabolism. In addition, the LDLR-mediated uptake in obesity is attenuated by alterations in neuroendocrine regulation of hormonal secretions (e.g. growth hormone, thyroid hormone, and cortisol) as well as the unique gut microbiota, the latter of which appears to affect lipid absorption.”
      http://advances.nutrition.org/content/2/3/261.full

      I did eventually find the actual study and it is a bit more measured than the enthusiastic media page on the UB website. As expected, they studied only obese people and made no mention of the different responses to dietary nutrients of obese people compared to normal weight people. The article concludes

      “In summary, we found similar responses to highly standardized LFHC and VHFLC diets with respect to intra-abdominal fat mass, hepatic lipid content, pericardial fat volume, and components of metabolic syndrome. Our study cautions against extrapolating short-term (1–2 mo) metabolic responses to longer-term effects of macronutrients on cardiometabolic risk.”
      https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/105/1/85/4637481

      The study is certainly interesting but it is clearly by people who believe saturated fats and low carb diets are harmless. Their interpretation of the results may therefore be skewed by their beliefs on this matter. For example, the group counselled to adopt the low fat high carb diet actually increased cholesterol consumption by 25% (how would this happen on a high carb diet I wonder?) . Despite this, the group experienced a decline in total and LDL cholesterol while the high fat group experienced an increase. The researchers work hard to downplay both the clinical significance of this effect and the health benefits of lowered LDL cholesterol levels (and you would never guess that this effect had occurred from the summary in the article’s final paragraph) contrary to the conclusions of expert assessments of the evidence on this matter from around the world eg
      https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/38/32/2459/3745109t

      They also essentially ignore the wider evidence regarding hard endpoint outcomes (ie deaths, heart attacks, strokes etc) associated with long term saturated fat consumption and the associated between low carb diets and increased mortality
      http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/06/15/CIR.0000000000000510
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3555979/




      7
      1. Hello TG,
        This is John replying.
        I wanted to say thank you so much for this reply. I constantly am looking into health related sites and sometimes I get stumped. I have read how not to die and have the cookbook as well. I have shedded a ton of weight the past 2 months (25 pounds) which I know is a ton, but being 300 pounds/obese it makes a little sense in the beginning and I’m starting to have a steady smaller healthy decrease in weight. I just wanted to thank you so much for backing up the WFPB diet and clarifying that study. I’ve been following the daily 12 checklist, and just wanted to say what You’re doing is such a great service to people, and are changing and saving lives.
        Thank you




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  14. I just got my thermogram today! I’ve been getting thermograms for 8 years now…never had a mammogram. I do self exams all the time as well. I always thought for those women who have BRCA gene mutations that to get mammon earlier and more often was just lunacy bc the gene mutation does not repair damage….so all that radiation is not getting repaired! That’s crazy! I also read ladies that Beta Gluons on an empty stomach can protect from radiation exposure!




    3
    1. I’ve seen it recommended to get a baseline thermography done during your 20s, and there is no harm in doing them from then on, since its no more harmful than a photograph, provided as Deb said you don’t panic if you get a result that might look concerning because there could be a high percentage of false positives – just follow-up with an ultrasound if any concerns. Once I have done mine, I plan to encourage my 24 year old daughter to do this rather than have mammograms.




      0
    2. There needs to be more data following a reliable protocol to advise ultrasound or thermography for routine breast cancer screening. Right now, all organization who make screening recommendations note that the lack of quality data prohibits them from advising a specific schedule for these tests. -Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer




      0
  15. I’m 57 and I think I’ve had 4 mammograms in my entire life, 2 of which I didn’t want, and was bullied into. I refuse to be bullied into anymore, unless I think something is wrong. I’m disgusted by the rampant corruption and ignorance in the medical industry (particularly Big Pharm), and, thanks to WFPB, yoga, and cardio, I am down to my last two prescription medications, which I’m currently undergoing therapy for to get off. I’m just done. I’m sick of endless doctor appts, and spending lots of money for stuff there is no cure for (I finally got over a bout of fibromyalgia (WFPB fixed that), and the meds I was put on almost killed me) other than lifestyle change.




    7
  16. I’ve been advocating for thermography for years. Make that decades. I guess the procedure will never be covered by insurance because the radiation lobby is too strong?




    4
  17. Presumably the 11 in the 11:1 risk ratio — which apparently should be more like 11:4 — is derived from the *average* woman’s risk of getting breast cancer. Would we not expect that a woman eating a whole food, plant-based diet, eating flax seed, drinking green tea, etc. would have a far lower risk? If so, then perhaps her risk ratio might be something like 1:4, meaning that a mammogram is four times as likely to *cause* cancer in her as it is to discover one. I don’t know what the actual risk would be, of course, but in broad strokes does this make sense?




    3
    1. That is the “sense” of eating a good diet and avoiding the toxics….you leave the SAD group and enter a different one….your survival stats change….




      2
    2. I’ve wondered something similar but for the reverse situation: what are the benefits vs risks for women at higher risk of breast cancer? Breast cancer runs through my family, and I was diagnosed with it in my early 60s, and now I’m at higher risk of a recurrence. Once diagnosed with one cancer, a patient is at higher risk for developing a second cancer — but is this due to the treatments for the first cancer? Increased susceptibility to environmental triggers? Which make me wonder further about the effects of radiation from screening mammography on breast cancer patients. Questions, questions: one good answer raises many more good questions.




      1
      1. Dr J

        Just to complicate matters, an additional question is: do these things also increase the risk for heart disease? In his latest (15-2-2018) newsletter, Dr Mirkin notes

        “The American Heart Association recently recommended that patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation to treat breast cancers should be made aware that these treatments increase heart attack risk and that all people being treated for cancer should be on a lifestyle program to prevent heart attacks (Circulation, February 1, 2018). The authors note that breast cancer survivors are more likely to die from heart attacks or heart failure than from the breast cancer itself.”

        and

        “Radiation can affect the heart arteries to cause heart attacks, or damage the heart muscle itself to cause heart failure (New Engl J of Med, March 14, 2017). The higher the radiation dose, the greater the risk of heart damage (J of Clin Onc, March 20, 2017). Signs of heart damage from radiation may not show up for years after treatment (Circulation, 2004;109:3122-3131), and can cause death 10 to 20 years later (Acta Oncol, Feb 2011;50(2):187–93).”

        The latest newsletter isn’t up on his website yet but if you want to check the website, here is the link
        http://www.drmirkin.com/weekly-ezine

        To what extent, if any, these risks also relate to the presumably much lower doses received via mammograms, I don’t know. However, they are certainly another reason to be cautious about radiation exposure. And, of course, another reason to adopt heart-healthy WFPB diets and heart-healthy exercise regimes.




        2
        1. TG, Oh, great, more risks the radiation oncologist did not share with me. I think I will share your response with her, and ask for her opinion.

          Another risk she didn’t mention is leukemia, with increased risk after both chemo and radiation “therapy.” I have a friend suffering from late stage leukemia, 20 years after being treated for breast cancer — and actually probably over treated for it. I think more people need to know these risks.

          And finally, at every follow-up visit, I ask my medical oncologist why they aren’t dispensing nutrition and diet advice — or at least passing out referrals to registered dietitians. Why they aren’t singing the praises of eating MORE veggies and fruit, whole grains and beans, and seeds and nuts (albeit sparingly), and disparaging processed foods? Especially since it seems that a lot of their patients I see in the waiting room look like they could use it. The response? Shrug.

          Also, can you provide specific cites, so I can find them myself? Many thanks.




          1
          1. Hi Dr J

            This is the link to the AHA’s scientific statement on breast cancer and heart disease risk. Note that it was only published on 1 February so your oncologist has some excuse for not knowing about it. Whether oncologists bother keeping abreast of developments in cardiology anyway is another matter. (apologies for the pun by the way).
            http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2018/01/31/CIR.0000000000000556

            However, your oncologist should be aware of this
            http://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/JCO.2016.71.4113

            You should find the list of references provided in these to be a considerable help.

            As for cancer and nutrition, the American Cancer Society guidelines do make recommendations about diet ie “Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods”
            https://www.cancer.org/healthy/eat-healthy-get-active/acs-guidelines-nutrition-physical-activity-cancer-prevention/guidelines.html

            You could also refer to the World Cancer Research Fund expert report which also covered nutritional issues eg
            https://www.wcrf.org/int/research-we-fund/cancer-prevention-recommendations/plant-foods

            .




            1
  18. What about dental x rays? My physical health is pretty good. However, my teeth aren’t the greatest and now I have five dental implants. Along with all this dental work, I have had a lot of x rays. Is this more or less dangerous radiation one would experience with mammograms?




    1
  19. Just got a promotion for CLA Safflower Oil as shown on Shark Tank. It sounds like a “miracle cure” for weight loss. I think it would be a good idea for Dr Greger to talk about this stuff. Please consider this. They don’t give any scientific information but are very convincing.




    0
    1. Linda, best way to get weight loss is on a WFPB diet. This is what helps my clients.
      Absolutely NO processed foods, including no processed cereals or most commercial breads.
      Anything processed is absorbed too quickly by your body, and handles pretty much like sugar.
      Plus most of it has bad fats and chemicals that may be harmful.
      Eat truly whole grains, (barley, quinoa), beans, lots of vegetables, (5-9 servings at least),
      berries, and don’t go crazy on very sweet fruit.
      Big salads, vegetable soups with beans or tofu, make you feel full.
      For fats nuts are great, maybe some avocado on a salad to help absorb nutrients.
      Dessert can be, for instance, pumpkin warmed with some pecans and/or a bit of shredded coconut on it.
      Maybe a small piece of dark chocolate or a small piece of fruit.
      There are no quick fixes to losing weight. Getting healthy is a lifestyle change, it isn’t in a pill.




      7
    1. Hi Cecile, Dr. Greger doesn’t have information published about that yet, but a few people were discussing thermography earlier on this thread. If you hit command or control + F (depending on your computer), and type in the term you’re looking for, you’ll find the relevant comments. There may be more discussion about this on the other mammogram pages, too, as I’ve noticed it come up several times.




      1
        1. Hi Cecile, update – I actually just posted a reply about thermography below. Please scroll down to see LIz’s comment.




          0
  20. Dr Greger, my friend, a vegan, is 65 years old and has been getting bruised easily for the last year or so on her wrists. Is there a cause and cure?




    0
  21. I just saw this tweet with the video today, and I almost choked. This January I had an abnormal mammogram, and two days later went back for additional films and then a sonogram. Undifferentiated tissue was discovered, but no loan, and was told to come back for another mammogram in six months. Two weeks later, I felt a hard small lump in a self exam. A biopsy has now shown it is a .4 cm IDC tumor. Next week I am undergoing a lumpectomy and who knows what from there. Very timely information indeed. I pray to God the mammo did not cause this! Hoping for a good outcome




    0
    1. Hi Liz, you may find some commenter’s personal input about this on the various mammogram videos, and I will pass along the request!




      0
    1. Thanks, David for the link.
      I have to say I don’t put a lot of trust in Time magazine since the “Butter is Back” cover story, but I’ve read some of the research and what I’m seeing is that:
      a) The radiation dose is small so individual risk is thought to be small, but can be large over a billion trips (population risk)
      b) There is no mathematical model or sufficient research to come to a conclusion on this type of exposure. This is because waves are concentrated in the skin and not through the body.
      I guess time will tell on this technology. I’ll continue to play it safe and opt for the pat down. :-)




      0
  22. You asked about the alternative to mammogaphy and although there are other screening options, none of them are perfect. I believe these links will give you some perspective (as well as the comments above, including Kate’s link; https://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm257499.htm/
    https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/hp/breast-screening-pdq#section/_543
    https://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm257499.htm/
    https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/hp/breast-screening-pdq/ (includes discussion of Breast Self Exam as well)
    I hope this is helpful.




    0

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[i]
[i]
[index]
[index]
[523.251,1046.50]
[523.251,1046.50]
[523.251,1046.50]
[523.251,1046.50]