Overtreatment of Stage 0 Breast Cancer DCIS

Overtreatment of Stage 0 Breast Cancer DCIS
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9 out of 10 women don’t realize that some breast cancers would never have caused any problems (or even become known in one’s lifetime). This is an issue ductal carcinoma in situ has brought to the fore.

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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.

The whole point of cancer screening is to “detect life-threatening disease at an earlier, more curable stage.” So, an “[e]ffective cancer-screening program…[would] therefore…increase the incidence of cancer detected at an early stage [because you’d find all these tiny cancers you would have missed before] and [therefore] decrease the incidence of cancer presenting at a late stage”—because you would have cut out all the little cancers you found, pulling them out of circulation.

But, that’s not what appeared to happen with mammograms. As mammography ramped up in the 80s, the first part happened: the diagnosis of early cancers shot up. And so, what we’d like to see is like a mirror image of this, going the other way, for late-stage cancers. If you caught it early, it wouldn’t be around for late. But, that didn’t happen. Late-stage cancer incidence didn’t seem to drop much at all.

Another way to look at this is to compare mammogram rates around the country. The more mammograms you do, the more heavily screened the population is, the more early cancers you pick up. Great. And late, advanced disease should go down too, right? But, it doesn’t. We’re taking all these early cancers out of circulation—surgery, radiation; and so, there should be about the same number fewer late-stage cancers found. But, that didn’t happen. Mammograms catch a lot of small cancers, but with no concomitant decline in the detection of larger cancers. That would explain this. The more mammograms you do, the more cancer you find. But, death from breast cancer doesn’t seem to change much.

Wait a second; you just cut out tens of thousands of cancers; why aren’t there that many fewer women dying? “Together, these findings suggest widespread overdiagnosis”—meaning cancer picked up on mammograms that would have never progressed to the point of presenting during the woman’s lifetime, and so, wouldn’t even have been noticed, or caused “any harm” had it never been picked up at all.

So, if removing all these early ones didn’t lead to that many fewer late ones, that suggests that most would have never progressed during that time, or even go away on their own. That “could explain almost all [that] increase in incidence.” And indeed, “many invasive breast cancers detected by repeated mammography screening do not persist to be detected later, suggesting that the natural course of many of the [mammogram]-detected invasive breast cancers is to spontaneously regress [spontaneously disappear].”

We’ve known for more than a century that even serious metastatic breast cancer can sometimes just spontaneously go away. The problem is that you can’t tell which is which. So, if you find it, the natural inclination is to treat it, which can be especially tricky for ductal carcinoma in situ: DCIS, so called stage zero breast cancer. This is what it looks like. “Ductal” means in the breast ducts, “carcinoma” means cancer, and “in situ” means in place, in position, not spreading outside of the duct. And, it can create these tiny calcifications that can be picked up on mammogram.

The whole point of mammograms was “to identify early invasive disease.” So, the large numbers of DCIS they found “were unexpected and unwelcome.” “Prior to the advent of [mammogram] screening,…DCIS…made up approximately 3% of breast cancers detected,” but now accounts for a significant chunk. The cells “look like invasive cancer…,and therefore the presumption was made that these lesions were the precursors of cancer” [stage zero cancer] and that early removal and treatment would reduce cancer incidence and mortality.”

“However, long-term [population] studies have demonstrated that the [surgical] removal of 50 000 to 60 000 DCIS lesions annually has not been accompanied by a reduction in the incidence of invasive breast cancers. This is in contrast to [our] experience with remov[ing]…colon…polyps” with colonoscopy or precancerous cervical lesions thanks to Pap smears, “in which the removal of precursor lesions has led to a decrease in the incidence of colon and cervical cancer….” Those are cancer screening programs that work.

Radiologists argue that “overdiagnosis” isn’t so much the problem as “overtreatment.” Yeah, it sucks to get a breast cancer diagnosis, even though it would never have hurt you. But, you don’t know that at the time. So, most women undergo aggressive surgical and radiation treatment. Yeah, but if you compare the 10-year breast cancer survival for women with low grade DCIS, among those who chose not to go to surgery at all? 1.2% of them died of breast cancer within a decade. But, in that same decade, those that went to surgery instead for a lumpectomy or a full mastectomy to cut it out—1.4% died from breast cancer. So, surgery appeared to make no difference.

That’s why there are currently randomized, controlled trials to put it to the test. But, it’s “incredibly difficult to convince a patient with…DCIS not to” just want to get it cut out. “The fear of cancer paralyzes patients,” who may resort to “drastic [excessive] measures,” like getting a double mastectomy. How can we prevent that? How about we change its name? A National Cancer Institute panel has recommended dropping the “carcinoma” part. Let’s just call it an “indolent lesion of epithelial origin”—”use language that engenders less fear.” How bad can an “IDLE” tumor be?

Another option to avoid this dilemma is just not get screened in the first place, but women aren’t typically told about any of this. Less than one in 10 women were aware that mammograms carried any potential harms at all, and more than nine out of 10 were unaware that some breast cancers never cause problems. Few were told about DCIS, but when informed about it, most wished they were told before they signed up.

Once a cancer is detected, it is currently not possible to distinguish life-threatening from potentially harmless cases. “Therefore, overdiagnosis can only be avoided by abstaining from [routine mammograms] altogether.”

That’s how this researcher explained her own decision away from screening. “[W]orried by the possibility that [she] could be seriously harmed by the treatment of a cancer that would never have affected [her] health,” and given that the only way to avoid opening that Pandora’s box was by not getting mammograms, she decided to try improving her diet and lifestyle to prevent getting breast cancer in the first place.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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.

The whole point of cancer screening is to “detect life-threatening disease at an earlier, more curable stage.” So, an “[e]ffective cancer-screening program…[would] therefore…increase the incidence of cancer detected at an early stage [because you’d find all these tiny cancers you would have missed before] and [therefore] decrease the incidence of cancer presenting at a late stage”—because you would have cut out all the little cancers you found, pulling them out of circulation.

But, that’s not what appeared to happen with mammograms. As mammography ramped up in the 80s, the first part happened: the diagnosis of early cancers shot up. And so, what we’d like to see is like a mirror image of this, going the other way, for late-stage cancers. If you caught it early, it wouldn’t be around for late. But, that didn’t happen. Late-stage cancer incidence didn’t seem to drop much at all.

Another way to look at this is to compare mammogram rates around the country. The more mammograms you do, the more heavily screened the population is, the more early cancers you pick up. Great. And late, advanced disease should go down too, right? But, it doesn’t. We’re taking all these early cancers out of circulation—surgery, radiation; and so, there should be about the same number fewer late-stage cancers found. But, that didn’t happen. Mammograms catch a lot of small cancers, but with no concomitant decline in the detection of larger cancers. That would explain this. The more mammograms you do, the more cancer you find. But, death from breast cancer doesn’t seem to change much.

Wait a second; you just cut out tens of thousands of cancers; why aren’t there that many fewer women dying? “Together, these findings suggest widespread overdiagnosis”—meaning cancer picked up on mammograms that would have never progressed to the point of presenting during the woman’s lifetime, and so, wouldn’t even have been noticed, or caused “any harm” had it never been picked up at all.

So, if removing all these early ones didn’t lead to that many fewer late ones, that suggests that most would have never progressed during that time, or even go away on their own. That “could explain almost all [that] increase in incidence.” And indeed, “many invasive breast cancers detected by repeated mammography screening do not persist to be detected later, suggesting that the natural course of many of the [mammogram]-detected invasive breast cancers is to spontaneously regress [spontaneously disappear].”

We’ve known for more than a century that even serious metastatic breast cancer can sometimes just spontaneously go away. The problem is that you can’t tell which is which. So, if you find it, the natural inclination is to treat it, which can be especially tricky for ductal carcinoma in situ: DCIS, so called stage zero breast cancer. This is what it looks like. “Ductal” means in the breast ducts, “carcinoma” means cancer, and “in situ” means in place, in position, not spreading outside of the duct. And, it can create these tiny calcifications that can be picked up on mammogram.

The whole point of mammograms was “to identify early invasive disease.” So, the large numbers of DCIS they found “were unexpected and unwelcome.” “Prior to the advent of [mammogram] screening,…DCIS…made up approximately 3% of breast cancers detected,” but now accounts for a significant chunk. The cells “look like invasive cancer…,and therefore the presumption was made that these lesions were the precursors of cancer” [stage zero cancer] and that early removal and treatment would reduce cancer incidence and mortality.”

“However, long-term [population] studies have demonstrated that the [surgical] removal of 50 000 to 60 000 DCIS lesions annually has not been accompanied by a reduction in the incidence of invasive breast cancers. This is in contrast to [our] experience with remov[ing]…colon…polyps” with colonoscopy or precancerous cervical lesions thanks to Pap smears, “in which the removal of precursor lesions has led to a decrease in the incidence of colon and cervical cancer….” Those are cancer screening programs that work.

Radiologists argue that “overdiagnosis” isn’t so much the problem as “overtreatment.” Yeah, it sucks to get a breast cancer diagnosis, even though it would never have hurt you. But, you don’t know that at the time. So, most women undergo aggressive surgical and radiation treatment. Yeah, but if you compare the 10-year breast cancer survival for women with low grade DCIS, among those who chose not to go to surgery at all? 1.2% of them died of breast cancer within a decade. But, in that same decade, those that went to surgery instead for a lumpectomy or a full mastectomy to cut it out—1.4% died from breast cancer. So, surgery appeared to make no difference.

That’s why there are currently randomized, controlled trials to put it to the test. But, it’s “incredibly difficult to convince a patient with…DCIS not to” just want to get it cut out. “The fear of cancer paralyzes patients,” who may resort to “drastic [excessive] measures,” like getting a double mastectomy. How can we prevent that? How about we change its name? A National Cancer Institute panel has recommended dropping the “carcinoma” part. Let’s just call it an “indolent lesion of epithelial origin”—”use language that engenders less fear.” How bad can an “IDLE” tumor be?

Another option to avoid this dilemma is just not get screened in the first place, but women aren’t typically told about any of this. Less than one in 10 women were aware that mammograms carried any potential harms at all, and more than nine out of 10 were unaware that some breast cancers never cause problems. Few were told about DCIS, but when informed about it, most wished they were told before they signed up.

Once a cancer is detected, it is currently not possible to distinguish life-threatening from potentially harmless cases. “Therefore, overdiagnosis can only be avoided by abstaining from [routine mammograms] altogether.”

That’s how this researcher explained her own decision away from screening. “[W]orried by the possibility that [she] could be seriously harmed by the treatment of a cancer that would never have affected [her] health,” and given that the only way to avoid opening that Pandora’s box was by not getting mammograms, she decided to try improving her diet and lifestyle to prevent getting breast cancer in the first place.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

99 responses to “Overtreatment of Stage 0 Breast Cancer DCIS

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  1. It makes me cry to think of all of the suffering, heartache and pain, that my mother and sister had to endure at the hands of the medical establishment in which they had placed their ultimate trust. The mastectomies, the chemotherapy, the overall dampening effect on the joys of life – all likely unnecessary…

    1. Every age and peoples look back and marvel at the barbarity, cruelty, ignorance and inhumanity of previous ages and peoples while unknowing perpetrating their own atrocities that will be looked upon in horror and condemned in turn.

  2. I wish I could have seen this 4 years ago. I was diagnosed with LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ) 4 years ago at 43. I was told over the phone I had cancer. I was in shock. I was living in fear of the worst-case scenario the entire month until I could see the specialist. Once I saw the oncologist I was assured I had the best case scenario, stage 0 cancer, but still had to have a lumpectomy surgery immediately. That was not only an invasive but also an expensive procedure. Post-op, I got the all clear pathology and was then strongly encouraged to take tamoxifen. I decided not to and now try to be more responsible in my diet and lifestyle. Except for being told about the risk of alcohol, I was never recommended a healthy diet. This was a top major city hospital. Another unpleasant result is that I am now considered ‘high risk’, annual mammograms are no longer free and I have expensive MRI’s 1 to 2 times a year. I’m in a real dilemma if it was worth it all.

    1. “Another unpleasant result is that I am now considered ‘high risk’, annual mammograms are no longer free and I have expensive MRI’s 1 to 2 times a year. I’m in a real dilemma if it was worth it all.”

      At least at this point, if you’ve watched all of the other videos in this series, you almost certainly have a much clearer idea of the potential risks and benefits of what you’ve gone through than your doctor does. And you can make an informed decision as to whether you continue to have annual mammograms or MRI’s, something most other women do not have. And no matter what you choose to do medically, optimizing your diet and lifestyle will improve the odds heavily in your favor for living a long and healthy life. I wish you well.

    2. Tedelle, I was diagnosed with IDC early stage, had a lumpectomy and radiation “therapy” (which I regret), am taking tamoxifen (which I detest) — but I asked my surgeon if I could have regular screening mammograms — which are covered under Medicare — vs “diagnostic mammograms” — which are more expensive and not covered under Medicare, and may involve greater exposure to radiation, but which are considered “standard of care” after breast cancer treatment. I asked the surgeon what the evidence was supporting the use of “diagnostic” vs “screening” mammography after treatment, she said there wasn’t really any, and wrote a letter for me requesting “screening” mammograms. I needed her “permission.” You might be able to do this, too.

      I am also thinking about whether I even want to undergo screening mammography; my cancer was discovered as a lump, and I think any recurrence would likely be distant, which would be metastasis and which screening mammography does not detect, or local, which could eventually be felt as a lump. I wish I knew what the evidence is to support screening mammography after a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment; I’m going to hazard a guess that there is none. I’ve asked, and have been told that since screening saves lives before a diagnosis, it is “believed” to save lives afterward. Snort!

      And I totally agree with you about diet: I received no information whatsoever about it, before, during, and after treatment. At Yale Smilow Cancer Hospital. I don’t know how “big” this hospital is, but it’s big enough to know better.

  3. The sound on this video was considerably lower than all previous videos. I had to raise my sound control to 100% in order to hear it normally.

    1. Brian,
      First, are you able to repeat the experiment, and determine that only this video consistently shows a reduction in volume?

      One remedy which works more often than it should is to shut down everything on your computer (not merely restart), wait about 20-30 seconds, and then resume your session. This procedure re-initializes every connection, from electrical to electronic data, and is the simplest “fix” for anybody to do.

      Before restarting your session to replay the original problem video, save your ears by making every volume control is reduced to normal from the current 100 percent level. If the problem video now plays at normal volume, and at a normal setting, you have solved the problem.

      Second, audio adapters often develop current resistance at the output jack, with the resistance manifesting in reduced volume, but with a noticeable humming noise. For that, the only user remedy is to switch everything off, disconnect all connectors, and wipe/spray each with contact cleaner.

      1. One more thing– make sure the on-screen audio level indicator in the browser window (at bottom left) is at maximum. In using the keyboard to advance or reverse the audio, you may have pressed certain key combinations which reduce volume or even switch audio off.

    2. Dr. Greger, thank you for the clearest discussion found anywhere for a complex problem faced by most women. Mammograms carry slight, but significant risk.

      Among mammogram hazards, rupturing the encapsulation of a tumor increases risk of metastasis.

      A somewhat analogous situation occurs with the needle biopsy, performed on the prostate. Men are frequently advised to leave the prostate alone, lest the needle actually puncture an encapsulated tumor, increasing risk of metastasis.

  4. Well, I’m here to say mammograms didn’t do a thing for me. I had a lump that I detected & mammogram said it was nothing. Every year for 3 years the lump was bigger and every mammogram said not cancer. Until I finally asked well what is it if not cancer. Then a ultrasound and lump was supposedly an AVM (aerial veinous mass) and nothing to worry about. Then following year ultrasound lump was bigger & and then Lump was finally removed and of-course cancer. Yes, I have dense breasts and I knew it was difficult but didn’t know odds are stacked at 45% lumps in dense breasts not being diagnosed correctly.

    1. Christine, I’m sorry to hear about your experience. It sounds somewhat similar to that of my aunt — but that was more than 30 years ago, and I thought that the technology and knowledge base was better these days. Maybe not. I hope that the treatments have improved; I’ve read that they have.

  5. No one talks to me about the risks of mammograms or the risks of over-treatment of DCSIS, but my doctor’s office and my regional medical group both call me to pressure me into having mammograms. Once at the mammogram facility, there is a long document with fine print that I am required to sign. This must have the warnings, but by then, I would pay an un-insured penalty for backing out of the appointment. So patients who want to heed the warnings are fined.

    No doctor at any of the offices has ever discussed the risks of mammograms with me. I would be interested to know where people think this would happen. Your primary care office makes the appointment, and from then on, you are in the hands of office staff and a technologist who is not allowed to talk to you about these things. I think the technologist who told me I had dense breast tissue that couldn’t be read got in trouble, but I owe her big time. That medical information about my own body was being kept from me.

    1. Anne, perhaps you could ask for a copy of the consent form to read before your appointment? I’m sure it could be sent by e-mail, or even snail mail if necessary. I also ask for copies of all documents that I sign, as well as test results, for my records. And here in CT, it is the law that patients be told if their breasts are dense; that information about breast density is included in the test results, but now that I think about it, I’m not sure anyone discussed with me what that meant. I think I researched it myself online at home. But have you asked for that information, and what it means for you? That might be a good start — but it shouldn’t be necessary.

  6. This is a complicated issue. I was diagnosed with dcis at 40. I wasn’t any where close to menopause. My gut told me to have a double mastectomy. Afterward, the pathology..sent to 2 different labs.. showed that i also had 3 invasive tumors which were composed of aggressive fast growing cells. I’ve known many women since then..ten years..that had invasive breast cancer following dcis and one woman who died within 18 months of her docs diagnosis. I wasn’t willing to gamble. I wasn’t vegan but I was a vegetarian and flexitarian most of my life. Nowadays I’m trying my best to be vegan.

    1. From what I’ve seen on NF, dairy and eggs are the worst causes of cancer. Particularly dairy. So it’s probably even worse to be a dairy/egg eating vegetarian than a SAD meat eater. These people think they’re eating healthier, but it’s actually worse.

  7. Thank you for this!! I have researched DCIS for the past 18 months and everything said in this video I already knew BUT coming from Dr. Gregor it gives me so much validity & inspiration that what I’m doing is right for me. Changed my diet and lifestyle. Fingers crossed they haven’t already caused me invasive cancer with their barbaric biopsy followed by a lumpectomy. At least I stopped at radiation and tamoxifen. Thank you again for all your research and smart thinking.

  8. I enjoy the videos on food topics. If you could share more of what you have discovered about the food we eat, I would be so much more interested in your videos. Even food as medicine is very interesting.

  9. While this video series does make me a little more comfortable with the “stable, benign calcifications” in my breast, I wonder about the effects of encouraging women to not get mammograms. I am a Nutritionist who specializes in cancer and chronic illness. So many people I see wish they had been more aggressive in their treatment, because now the cancer has spread to their bones and remission is very unlikely. The problem is that we don’t know which DCIS lesions are aggressive and which are not. A healthy lifestyle reduces our risk of cancer, but is in no way a guarantee of not getting it.

    I know many women whose lives were most likely saved by a mammogram. Yes, we need to be more aware of treatment options and less panicked by the diagnosis – but not screening isn’t the best answer.

    1. Watch the video again.

      Look at the numbers agsin.

      I understand your logic you are saying, because that has been the logic all this time, but this study says that isn’t the truth. It is hard to change the logic to match the reality.

      a small portion of women have a life saving benefit, but other women die sooner and in the end the mammograms aren’t preventing the deadly cancers from killing women almost at all.

      1. I , for one, being one of those small group of women for whom a mammo saved…I am glad I went for my first and only mammo when I did! 11 years later, I am stronger and healthier than ever. My dcis DID turn into invasive tumors…3 of them. I was the last person anyone would have assumed would get it. I wasn’t vegan but I are a lot of plants because I just love them. I had some childhood trauma, are a large amount of seafood growing up, my mother was exposed to environmental pollution while pregnant with me so who knows? Just am grateful for the plant based movement on so many levels to keep me strong and healthy now!

    2. I say it, because it takes an active process for all of us to find a better process and that starts with seeing the truth about the current process.

      When My mother died from breast cancer, I thought that she didn’t catch it in time. My father’s next wife had stage zero Cancer and “caught it in time” was such a relief.

      This tells me that we need to go back to the drawing board on all of it.

      If the cancers they are successfully treating aren’t the dangerous ones qhich shouldn’t even be treated then we dont know anything about screening or treating it yet and we have to face that reality first.

    3. It “feels” like my step mother’s life was saved right now and I want to play Ignore that the Emporer has no clothes with that issue.

      I don’t want her to find out that she might have health problems down the road because of treating things which may have been nothing.

      But for the sake of the next generation, I have to point out the researcher and Dr Greger as the boy who told the truth.

      I will not be quick to tell the people who went through surgery and chemo or radiation the truth, because of their feelings, but I have to start by telling myself the truth.

      And I ask you if you can start by acknowledging the truth.

      Now we just need Oprah.

  10. If you want to screen for cancer, any cancer, why not first use the Bolens’ Microscopy test as a means of measuring rampant free radical activity as seen in the reactive oxygen species (ROS) as written about in Robert Bradford’s biochemistry book “Oxidology”.
    I can’t even begin to tell you how many women (in the last 50 years – retired now but teaching) I have personally been able to veer from a cancerous path a full two years before any physical manifestations could be seein in Mammograns or even Thermography. The medical profession used this test for decades before dismantling it for “better” screening tests.

    1. This test was assessed back in 1951

      “We have screened 505 patients for malignancy by the Bolen test. There were 66 positive tests, of which 12 were substantiated by histologic evidence of malignant neoplasm, while 54 appear to be false positives. With one exception, all the false positive tests subsequently reverted to negative.”
      http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/canres/11/3/157.full.pdf

      Little wonder then that the medical profession abandoned this test. However, I understand that naturopaths may still use it. Quackwatch describes it as just another way to extract money from patients.
      https://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Tests/crt.html

      1. Thanks Tom! As always, your efforts are so much appreciated. Re the use of questionable tests/diagnostic tools: It’s pretty darn despicable imo for a medical professional to take advantage of such a vulnerable population.

        1. Thanks Susan.

          However, I suspect that many of the naturopaths who use this test, like Van Beveran above, genuinely believe that they are useful. The fact that the test appears to hugely overdiagnose cancer, results in many more people who will be sold all sorts of naturopathic products to treat their “condition”. This is another (unspoken) reason for believing the test is useful. Those naturopaths are probably reluctant to accept that negative assessments of usefulness are valid. Just like heart surgeons are loath to accept the evidence on the (in)utility of stents. Both groups can probably come up with rationalisations for their beliefs and clinical practices.

          As Upton Sinclair once wrote “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

          1. Tom thank you so much for posting the studies. I feel like what you spoke is the truth at a high level.

            It feels like we are back at square one with screening and treating, but we have way more understanding of preventing.

  11. This series has been surprisingly fascinating.

    I genuinely have learned so much.

    I would never have thought of mammograms as all that interesting, if anything they were something I didn’t want to learn anything about at all.

    Perhaps the reality of the whole experience of it makes it cringe-worthy in the first place, on top of the taboos of private places and the trauma of death and disfigurement by Cancer..

    I think about soldiers who come back from war and never want to talk about any of it.

    I am sure men have that same thinking about Prostate screening and Prostate Cancer.

    Breasts are so linked to femininity and Prostate is a little too close to masculinity.

    Makes you want to put your head in the sand and not learn anything in the first place.

    I suspect if doctors and the press and the schools stopped pushing the issue, it might be that women’s natural instincts to not go through pain and disfigurement might kick in.

    Right about then, ten seconds before they put their head back in the sand, is probably when to hand them some of the studies on how to reverse it with diet, so that we walk around without feeling like ostriches.

  12. I’m friends with two women who were overtreated in their early twenties.

    One of my friends detected something small when she was 22. It was basically like a tiny pimple. She went to the doctor Monday morning and was in surgery on Tuesday afternoon. They removed a pretty good section of her breast, probably twenty times the size of lump. She has an indentation now where the surgery was performed. It wasn’t even a tumor. It wasn’t malignant or benign. It just wasn’t anything. They never even figured it out. Probably just a pimple or ingrown hair or something, but she’s been living in fear ever since and looks weird in a bikini now.

    If she had simply waited a week or so, it probably would’ve just gone away on its own. But the cancer industry insists on immediate surgery. I’m guessing they do it because they want to make sure that lumps like hers don’t disappear before they can bill you tens of thousands of dollars.

    Another friend of mine had a similar problem but she was actually younger. While on vacation in Florida she got a huge, red lump on the upper corner of her left breast, kind of near her armpit. If she hadn’t been wearing a swimsuit every day she may not have even noticed, but because it was right there she couldn’t stop thinking about it. It really just looked like a big, swollen pimple. But it made her nervous, so she had it checked out anyway, thanks to the common fear we all share of breast cancer.

    They got her into surgery the next day, just like my other friend. They wound up removing 25% of of her left breast. Twenty-five percent! That’s one quarter of her left breast at the age of 21. Again, there was NOTHING THERE. It was most likely a pimple, and the surgeon even admitted that. But he said that it was better to be safe than sorry, early detection and all that BS. Just like my other friend, they didn’t do any imaging because it was so “urgent.” They said surgery was the only option.

    So now I have two friends whose breasts are disfigured for the rest of their lives all because the cancer industry had to make some cash. They weren’t even given the option of waiting a week or two to see what would happen. They were both told there wasn’t even any time for imaging. They had to go into surgery right away. And they had to do it NOW or they would DIE!

    These doctors (all men, of course) got their scalpels out and started slicing them up as fast as possible. In their eyes, EVERYTHING is cancer. How else are they going to make payments on their Mercedes and vacation homes? If they just sent patients home and had them wait it out, they’d be missing out on thousands of dollars. They have a huge financial incentive to treat everything like cancer, so they do.

  13. I guess medical overtreatment is related to medical apophenia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia

    “tendency to attribute meaning to perceived connections or patterns between seemingly unrelated things”

    I think that its origin comes from us, as social apes, analyzing little cues to predict and thus benefit in social outcomes, but in this case applied in medical outcomes.

  14. All of these stories are breaking my heart. I want to give everyone a hug right about now.

    I have been commenting quite a big, but read these things and feel speechless and don’t want to say anything, but I want all of the people who wrote the things to know that I read them and am moved by them,

    (hug)

  15. This is going to be staying with me all night long.

    No difference in outcomes between women who had their breasts removed and those who didn’t makes me want to throw up.

    I look at the women who come here and women barely get angry when they have their breasts removed for no reason.

    They aren’t angry about the young people who have had a quarter of their breast removed for a pimple or when they have lost relatives who went through ridiculously dehumanizing procedures and trauma after trauma and still died at the end.

    Abuse of authority is the sentence that came to me walking with the doctors and hospitals over and over and over again.

    I walked through abuse of authority with the doctors and my grandmother and with the doctors and my great uncle and with the doctors at a different hospital and my mother.

    My mother was alert and happy when she wasn’t on Morphine and they fought like crazy to put her on it and keep her on it and knock her out with it. They did the same process with my great uncle and my grandmother.

    My father walked in the room when my mother was crying out, “No, please, no Morphine” and they administrated it to her anyway and put her in a coma for 7 days. We took her off of it and they accused us of being abusers and when my mother woke up, they asked her about pain and she said, “No, I have no pain at all” which was the exact same sentence my great uncle and grandmother said when Morphine was being shoved forcibly onto them, too.

    There is a race car driver around here who talks about having 3rd degree burns and hating the Morphine so much that he cried out, ,”No, more Morphine” and he had to arm wrestle the nurse to get her to stop.

    Abuse of authority. Abuse of authority. Abuse of authority.

    Story after story after story of abuse of authority.

    And all that on top of the genuine tragedy of a real disease and on top of good ideas, which turned out to not be good ideas, but which it has become hard to undo, like Mammograms. The fact that they can cause Cancer and miss tumors makes me want to say, what can we even do to get that method retired and at least do Ultrasound for people who would rather err on that side of things and maybe it is time for insurance to pay for functional doctors or naturopaths or something less toxic than the system, which has been set up.

    I know it is because women aren’t angry enough to have the politics of the whole thing change.

    The women who are angry are the ones who lost loved ones and feel like Mammograms would have helped things and I don’t blame them for being outspoken.

    This is such a painful reality.

    1. Deb, it’s called medical reversals — or as I call it, putting the cart before the horse: where tests and therapies are discontinued because they are found to be worse, or at least no better, than what they replaced. Generally because tests of benefits and harms weren’t done initially, or were insufficient. The most recent one I’ve read about is the use of stents for stable angina; RCT showed it to be no more effective than a placebo (sham procedure). (Though the placebo effect is indeed powerful.) Doctors remain unconvinced, and continue to do the procedure. Amazing. I read a book about 146 such reversals — and I’m fairly sure that these are only a small fraction of what should be reversed. Screening mammography seems to be one, and PSA testing to screen for prostate cancer is another. Yet all those patients harmed continue to suffer. Very sad. “Ending Medical Reversal: Improving Outcomes, Saving Lives” 1st Edition by Vinayak K. Prasad MD MPH (Author),‎ Adam S. Cifu MD (Author) https://www.amazon.com/Ending-Medical-Reversal-Improving-Outcomes/dp/1421417723

  16. Thanks for your posts today Deb, they so perfectly describe many of the thoughts and feelings I have had during this series. As someone who has refused mammograms so far, I am deeply indebted to Dr Greger for this very educational series, and to all of the forum participants for sharing their (very personal) experiences with the medical system. I just wish my doctor had been reading along with me.

    1. Thank you Susan.

      I feel the same way. I am deeply indebted to Dr Greger for sharing this with us.

      i am perplexed that the mammograms aren’t even catching the deadly cancers and that the surgeries aren’t even preventative.

      Researchers, is it that the technology can’t see the bad stuff?

      Would ultrasound catch it better?

      Or is it just that Cancer is so dietarily driven that women can cut both their breasts off, but it will eventually show up somewhere else?

      I watched Bill Henderson videos last year. (I think that’s his name) and he said something like no woman ever died of breast cancer. There aren’t any organs up there.

      This series reminded me of his sentences.

      I am sure that would make people angry, but he was trying to get people to calm down and find the causes of the Csncer and change it, because he believed so much that people could be healed.

  17. Is it that women’s breasts are too maybe by in large too dense to catch the bad stuff?

    Or that they cut women’s breasts off, but they don’t have doctors who walk them through what caused the Cancer in the first place?

    Or both?

    It catches the benign things, but the whole process is wrong for the more deadly Cancers is I think the logic I am coming up with.

    It is more like the little boy with his finger in the hole of the dyke?

    That might help some of us who feel like their loved ones died out of not doing the process often enough.

  18. Maybe a definition of insanity is the thought that we can cut Cancer out and not deal with the causes of it and have that process be effective for anything at all.

  19. Forgive me for doing a simplistic logic process.

    did chemotherapy and radiation also get factored into that study? That is my other question for the Dr Greger and the researchers.

    Has surgery, plus chemo and radiation together been proven here to not have extra longevity benefits to doing nothing?

    Do they have enough information to go back and see the comparative results?

    I ponder whether Bill H used the same analogies that I did? I am not remembering his words, which I listened to a year ago. I just used the common analogies of my time.

    1. This French study assessed the benefit of chemotherapy (while acknowledging that overtreatment occurs)

      “In invasive breast cancer, adjuvant chemotherapy reduced the relative risk of death by 25% and the relative risk of distant metastasis by 18% in this study. ”
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4516355/

      As for radiation therapy

      “The overall findings from these trials show that radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery not only substantially reduces the risk of recurrence but also moderately reduces the risk of death from breast cancer. These results suggest that killing microscopic tumour foci in the conserved breast with radiotherapy reduces the potential for both local recurrence and distant metastasis. Both proportional and absolute reductions in the annual recurrence rate are largest in the first year but the recurrence rate continues to be somewhat lower throughout the first decade, whereas the reduction in breast cancer death rate becomes definite only after the first few years and appears to continue into the second decade. Non-breast-cancer mortality and the incidence of contralateral and other second cancers in these and other trials of radiotherapy in early breast cancer will be reported elsewhere, but there appeared to be little adverse effect on 15-year mortality from the aggregate of all causes other than breast cancer, so 15-year all”cause mortality was reduced by almost as much as would be expected from the reduction in breast cancer mortality.”
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3254252/

      1. Going back to this study though, and you would be stronger in logic than I am right now, Tamoxifen came out later in the year my mother died from Breast Cancer….

        I am maybe missing why that being used hasn’t flipped the equation and made survival rates be at least a little better versus doing nothing by now or is the study before that?

        If this is a current study and is with data since that change of protocol, then we have something majorly wrong with how doctors are treating this and I don’t care whether it is they are dying from infections or something else.

        I might be missing it, but before I had brain issues, I used to test perfect on logic tests. That was a long time ago, but my mind might struggle more with the math, but there is a big red flag in the back of my mind that the math is not adding up and that it has to be more than the mammograms.

        Those of you who are higher in logic than I currently am, I am asking you to come to the table.

        1. Hi Deb

          Tamoxifen is a two-edged sword. The World Health Organisation, via its International Agency for Research on Cancer, classes tamoxifen as a Group 1 carcinogen (oestrogen therapy is also a Group 1 carconogen) but states: ” (Note: There is also conclusive evidence that tamoxifen reduces the risk of contralateral breast cancer in breast cancer patients)”
          https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/general-info/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html

          Also, a significant proportion of patients prescribed the drug either do not use it or discontinue its use within a few years.
          https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959804912002493

          So it is perhaps not surprising that there are no dramatic changes. Also there are different types of breast cancer, different stages etc and treatments and outcomes differ between them. Tamoxifen is not used in all breast cancer cases.

          That said, I think breast survival rates overall are improving. However, some data seems to suggest that this is merely an artefact of earlier detection. This argument has been around for many years. There is probably some truth to it but it is difficult to do studies that would determine the extent of this effect. But some studies have been done eg this 1964 study (a good summary of the issues I think)
          http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/canjclin.34.5.282/pdf

          As for doing nothing, this too has been studied eg this Swiss study

          “Five-year specific breast cancer survival of women who refused surgery was lower than that of those who accepted (72%, 95% confidence interval, 60%–84% versus 87%, 95% confidence interval, 86%–88%, respectively). After accounting for other prognostic factors including tumor characteristics and stage, women who refused surgery had a 2.1-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.5–3.1) increased risk to die of breast cancer compared with operated women.”
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1357734/

          All in all, I think the evidence clearly demonstrates a benefit of treatment for many people … but this has to be considered in the context of the type of breast cancer, and the stage at which it is diagnosed. As the saying goes, it’s complicated ……..

      2. I feel like I have to keep doing the math over and over again, because it is complicated.

        My thoughts are if one group didn’t get mammograms and didn’t do anything, then the other group either “waited too long” or the whole process didn’t matter, because women are still in the environment, which causes cancer or their cancer improved, but they died from something else.

        Either way, there is a very painful, expensive and basically useless process happening right now.

        So fixing it would be figuring out whether it is a waited too long scenario, because that could be fixed.

        Dying from something else, because of a weakened immune system changes the strategy entirely.

        But it just seems likely that the whole process is useless without lifestyle intervention and women who won’t change their lifestyles have more of a choice of how to go or something like that.

        1. Okay, now my mind just jumped to the other types of Cancers having improved prognosis even though they do things like chemo and radiation and early testing and surgery, so I think I just jumped to a conclusion of maybe that we are back to the fact that the breasts aren’t vital organs, and those other parts of the bodies, the cancer gets to the vital organs faster. With breasts, it takes the Cancer longer, and introducing the treatment introduces harm to the immune system bringing other ways of dying?

          Not sure if that is the right way to think about it.

          Sorry for thinking out loud.

          I know that other people could do this process easier than I am, but I am trying to understand it myself and maybe other women who are confused can join with me and add to the conversation.

          I laugh, because Doctors need confused people to help them think better.

          1. I guess you have to find out what they died from.

            If it is infections versus organs shutting down….

            Other types of cancer should have equal rates of infection and immune system being shut down deaths if they are using the same treatment processes, right?

        2. Deb, I like what Dr McDougall says. Cancer begins when 1 tiny cell mutates. It is undetectable. It doubles iabout every 90 days, taking about 7 – 8 years to become large enough for the most sensitive machine to detect. We are able to find them ourselves about 2 years later. My Gyne was pushing for mammos until I told her this and went on to say I believe of it is going to spread, it probably has by the time it is found. She was nodding her head. I then said any metastasis would be one tiny cell going to the brain, bones, or (?) and beginning the doubling all over. We agreed that is why we see women dying of cancers in those location 10 or 11 years after diagnosis/treatment. That also explains the “failure” of treatment. It is too late, not by fault of lack of screening, but by no such thing as “early detection”!

  20. I feel like my mind is trying to wrap around it.

    For Breast Cancer, doing nothing isn’t much different than doing everything has to be the answer. Is that right?

    Other cancers have different rules, but no matter what something I the diet or environment caused the Cancer in the first place.

    Sorry if I am a mile behind everybody else trying to process this.

  21. I guess they would have to break the died after mammogram group into categories of treatment.

    I had another thought, if mammograms aren’t sensitive enough to pick up the bad cancers, plus they cause pain and can cause cancer, women having a false sense of security and delaying a next one or not wanting to go through another one could be a factor in part of it.

    No matter what mammograms have to go. Three strokes and that process needs to be out.

    But I do want to know if they know survival rates per types of treatment as part of it.

    Pretty please to the researchers who did this study.

  22. No matter what the fact there is no real difference between doing something and doing nothing, there should be a question are process for doctors to give to analyze the cause.

    Because THAT is what women don’t come away with.

    And if I were a doctor the concept of telling women which direction to err (since people WILL err in both directions) without helping them to figure out what caused their Cancer in the first place would officially be irresponsible with those statistics.

    Women might as well flip a coin.

    especially if they aren’t going to figure out what caused it and change something.

  23. Might as well flip a coin, except that one side of the coin leads to spending all your money having people cut you open and remove body parts and burn you and poison you, and that is a negative enough list for me to go vegan whole food plant based.

    They can’t make the medical model for Breast cancer sound any better with those statistics.

  24. If someone reading is facing this crossroads right now, Dr Greger has over 500 videos under the topic Cancer.

    And there are places like Truly Heal which have resources to help people figure out which caused their Cancer.

    But Dr Greger already has “How Not to Die” which is why I came to this site I the first place.

    I say it because I don’t want anyone reading my logic and not remembering that there are already ways not to die from it.

  25. I am going to say that it would be just as irresponsible to tell women NOT to do the process without walking them through a process of whether they are likely to have Cancer or not.

    Just burying our heads in the sand is not the best option.

    There has to be a third door to take.

  26. I have always been worried about mammo radiation, especially since I dutifully began yearly mammos at age 40. I skipped my mammo last year, until my PCP pushed me to get it. I did, and regret it now. I recently found a coworker who feels very much as I do about overzealous doctors and overtesting, and this has given me new resolve to skip the mammo next time. This is such an important subject.

    1. There is always Thermography instead of mammograms. I stopped having a yearly mammo in 2011 after taking control of my health and I have not been sorry about it. It never made sense to me to have my breasts compressed past the painful point to check for cancer when I could have easily had a cancer just a few inches away that was not seen in the mammo. It’s like doing a pap smear every year to detect cervical cancer and yet ovarian cancer is more deadly and cannot be detected easily, again just a few inches away. Better to treat your entire self to some decent food and nutrients then to submit to these things without thinking it through carefully. Research!!!!! Thank you Dr. Greger.

  27. I am pondering if it women tested for bad gut bacteria or chicken viruses instead of having mammograms would that cause a change in diet and lifestyle instead of just having people cut women’s breasts off.

  28. it seems like some of the vegan doctors might lead the charge and maybe the whole group of you could put a Cancer risks test kit and have everything from gene testing to water testing to gut and hormone testing to an online questionare with an analysis with risks attached.

    It would take a lot of work, but Truly Heal did something like that for causes and I envision something where people can choose between resources which will tell them their risk factors plus other things.

    Feels like there is a need for more creative ways for women to deal with Breast cancer reality.

    1. This is what I think of cancer. Cancer is not a mechanistic process, so the theories of cause and effect are weak. Instead, cancer is an evolutionary process of living tissue. In a mechanistic process, the relation between cause and effect is strong and it can be manipulated. In an evolutionary process, there are many variables and it is more complex to manipulate as the cancer cells have their own will to live and can modify their behavior to do so (tricks, etc). At the end, it is the outcome of battles. This means that everybody will experience cancer, but the defense mechanism (immune system) will make the difference. Tissues or organs with little blood flow may be the less protected. Therefore, the ’cause’ of cancer is probably more of condition of a weak immune system than a cancer appearance itself. So people should fear a weak immune system instead of cancer.

  29. Yes this sounds a bit familiar. It was about 20 years ago when I had an abnormal mammogram, and ended up with 2 biopses, some suspicious “calcifications”, and a planned lumpectomy. I went in for my pre-op appointment and was told that the surgeon had a family emergency and my surgery would have to be postponed. Meanwhile I stressed out and looked up everything I could about breast cancer, imagined the worst, and first started reading about plant-based diets. I went back in about 4-5 months later to start the process over and they did an ultrasound and couldn’t couldn’t find the suspicious area. Another mammogram (a different technician) and my images came back with “unremarkable”. I decided to do “watch and monitor” instead of the surgery. It’s been about 20 years and I’ve had maybe 12 mammograms and all of them have been “unremarkable” findings.

    1. Hi Arlene,
      Thank you for your story.
      I am in my fifties and have only had 3 or 4 mammograms over the years. My doctor pushed me into my last one and they found a “cluster” of calcifications. I asked to meet with the radiologist and see the pictures. She very much wants to do a needle biopsy but I have declined. I was thinking I would go the wait and see route. I feel good about my immune system and my diet. I know what my risk factors are (I need more exercise and should probably remove all alcohol). Reading all of this I am wondering what all this means to me personally. Do I ever have another mammogram? Do I wait and see if I feel an actual lump? Am I going to be stressed now thinking about what is happening or not happening in my breast?
      How have you dealt with the unknown?
      Again, thank you.

  30. After i read the how not to die book, I try to eat whole food plant based for months now… but i crave for fat very easily!

    I crave for cheese, icecream, eggs, … its only when i eat these more fatty products that i feel saturated.

    What does my body tell me? How can i prevent this craving? Do i need more calories? Do i need more fat?

    1. It may be lost in the fine print a bit but just perhaps….
      Some certain micronutrients we best absorb in the presence of fat, So some Dr Greger I think included, advise for eating a salad not just with perhaps vinegar but a bit of oil as well
      Just venturing a possible.

    2. Olives, avocados, nuts, flaxseeds and tempeh are all high in fat. As is 100% peanut butter = and other nut butters for that matter. Tofu is also pretty high in fat.

      1. In addition to diet, does anyone have information/studies on the the numbers of pregnancies vs. cases of breast cancer? What I mean is…does a women who has 1, 3 or 5 pregnancies more likely to have breast cancer than a women who has 2, 4 or 6 pregnancies? Mahalo.

      2. Thanks! I ate 2 avocados a few days ago… and i really felt saturated! A nice feeling, i almost never have when i try to eat healthy… I think i need to incorporate more natural healthy fatty foods in my diet!

    3. This does not necessarily mean you’re missing anything. Cigarette smokers and drug addicts crave their vices, but this does not mean they have a drug deficiency. As others have said: WFPB food that contain fat such as avocados, nuts and seeds are good choices. There are a few fruits that contain fat too (besides avocado) such as durian if you can get it. You also may not be eating enough food which is a common issue when switching to WFPB.

      Dr. Ben

      1. Yes that makes sense, I am a young guy who bikes a lot so I may also getting not enough calories… Need to eat more seeds, avocades and olives i guess :)

        1. That would totally explain it. Olives tend to be high in sodium, which is not good, so you might want to avoid them. Nuts, dates and dried fruit (without added sugar) would probably work for you and are the perfect high calorie density and durable food for long rides. I swim and run a lot, but can actually get fat eating dates and nuts, despite the exercise. I think you’ll find new found energy while riding if you eat these things while you ride.

          Dr. Ben

  31. Dr Barnard said that researchers have successfully printed a 3D tumor.

    Wondering if they can print a 3D Breast, too and look at it in different stages under different technology to see if the deadly tumors have different properties – maybe are more dense themselves or something where the mammogram is picking up ones which often dissolve, but not the deadly ones?

    Can lay people come and play the five year old asking ten zillion questions in the research lab?

    Some of us would like that.

  32. I still can’t grapple with the chemo and radiation improving outcomes and surgery debunking it and slowing it down in studies and the newer meds are better, except for mortality?

    I want all the details the researchers can give on this study.

    Was it second cancers?

  33. I’m a mammographer and feel I need to stress the importance of screening – we pick up many other types of breast cancer which are invasive and life threatening. I have personally performed mammograms that have picked up cancers that would not have been felt as a lump until it was too late, sometimes in women only 45 years old at their first screening. Everything Dr Greger said is true and we are aware of over treatment of DCIS. Treatment is very much on a case by case basis. Please continue to have yourself screened.

  34. Thanks for reminding me to decline my invitation to join in a trial of routine screening for women younger than the normal UK screening range of 50-70! A great way to spread the misery to women in their late 40s! To be fair, the NHS did include a booklet which includes details of the risks, saying that r in 200 routine screenings lead to a diagnosis of breast cancer, 3 of which would never have harmed the woman, but still lead to the brutal and barbaric process known as cancer treatment.

  35. He says we don’t know “which is which” regarding which DCIS will become invasive, but we have a very good predictor when we examine nuclear grade. High grade, or grade 3, is very much more likely to become invasive than grade 1. Any discussion of DCIS overtreatment that doesn’t discuss the very different risks involved with nuclear grade is suspect, in my opinion.

  36. I’m 63. I have never had a mammogram. I’ve had more than my share of ‘good intention’ recommendations to start following the mammo protocol. Like microwaves, fast food and many other modern time rituals and conditioning, the idea of them never resonated well with me, nor have most of the AMA/FDA/Pharma recommendations for health.
    For 45 yrs, I have relied on a plant based diet to be my doctor and health insurance. That strategy has worked very well for me. In my entire adult life, I have sought the help of a doctor about 6 times, and in half of those visits, I couldn’t bring myself to follow the toxic recommendations. I say these things not to brag, but to offer testament and support for steering clear of recommendations from an industry that seems to have become rooted more in disease maintenance than in health and prevention. I’m also a firm believer that if you look for illness, you will find it, because my experience is that thoughts, more often than not, bring results – especially fear based thoughts. That said, I’m not professing to ignore messages from your body when something needs attention that the AMA can indeed be helpful in, such as critical care. Prevention is the best medicine and adopting a plant based whole food diet is the best choice for prevention. The next best thing is to learn to treat yourself with nutrition if and when something does come up. This often results in the only step you have to take. Bravo Alexandra Barratt for having the courage to step outside the medical industry thinking box!! Like Dr Greger, she has the intelligence, integrity, credentials, courage and research base to back her theories/recommendations. And, of course, always a big thank you to Dr Greger for all he has done and continues to do – for all the right reasons.

  37. Cheryl N,

    Thanks so much for sharing your story along with the convictions that have informed your decision-making process. Your proactive approach to health seems to have served you well. It seems that older women are sometimes targeted for treatments that may or may not be beneficial. According to the following article, women over 70 with certain types of breast cancer may not benefit from radiation therapy. Ironically, they are still given this treatment:
    http://www.cancernetwork.com/radiation-oncology/radiation-after-lumpectomy-overused-older-patients

    I very much appreciate Dr. Greger’s video series on mammograms–very informative!

  38. I was diagnosed with LCIS (Lobular Carcinoma in Situ); although it’s not even considered a cancer. some less than knowledgeable medical professionals make that mistake. The only “treatment” that was offered was tamoxifen, which I declined due to the side effects, or raloxifene, which I decided to take also because it was the lesser of the two evils and osteoporosis, not that it’s working well to improve my bone density.

    Just wonder Dr. Greger’s views on LCIS and/or “chemoprevention” (tamoxifen or raloxifene).

    1. There are several risk factors for DCIS progressing to invasive cancer, and each of them is taken into consideration when you and your doctor discuss treatment options. These include the grade of DCIS, the size of the lesion, the woman’s age, and the type of the cells. There is also a genetic test that can be used. I wish there was a yes or no answer, but it’s more complicated.

      -Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  39. I find it strangely unsettling to hear in situ pronounced see-too instead of sigh-too, after working at a cancer registry for years, and everyone pronouncing it sigh-too. Apparently see-too is acceptable as well, but I wasn’t aware as that is not the “typical” american pronunciation. Despite my own personal issues, this is a quality video illuminating an important subject.

    1. Just for the record, we wouldn’t even document many in situ cases in the registry as they were deemed too benign to even warrant the time to input into the database. Breast, however, was documented despite in situ or malignant statuses.

  40. Thank you Dr. Gregor for shining the light on this extremely important topic!!! It is my mission to educate and empower women so they can AVOID over-diagnosis and over-treatment….which starts with OVER DETECTION from screening mammograms!! I learned the hard way. I share my story on a website (https://dcis411.com/) I created in 2012 when I was already pretty far down the rabbit hole. Thankfully I stopped having mammograms and I continue to educate myself and share quality science-based information on the power of plant-based nutrition and other natural ways women can reduce risk of breast cancer and other ailments. I am blessed to be on this path with you!! Namaste, Donna

  41. Is there anyone who can comment on my March 1 comment about LCIS or does no one here have knowledge of this pre-cancerous condition?

    1. Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS) was named before it was learned that the condition is not actually a breast cancer. It is a collection of abnormal cells that are not, strictly speaking, cancerous. It does not require cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation. While the LCIS itself isn’t cancer, women who have had LCIS are at higher risk for future development of invasive breast cancer, and are generally followed closely for signs of invasive breast cancer.

      Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

        1. Abnormalities on a mammogram are different from abnormalities under a microscope. “Abnormal cells” need to have been seen under a microscope and found to have certain features. Calcifications on a mammogram are indirect evidence of potentially abnormal cells. To look at the cells themselves, a biopsy is performed to take the tissue and look at it under a microscope.

          -Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

          1. Thank you for your answer. I have had 3 mammograms in about 15 years. I have a radiologist at a teaching hospital that wants a needle biopsy as my most recent mammogram shows a cluster of calcifications. I have declined. I wish I had never scheduled my most recent imaging… now I need to decide how to address it. I have been trying to find a place to seek knowledge on a balanced course of action. They want imaging again in 6 months. My gut tells me to do regular SBEs and seek medical help when or if I feel any lump form. I have yet to find a website or study on this common occurrence.

            Pamela Abbott

  42. The video states that colorectal and cervical cancer screenings ARE effective. Why is it that removing a polyp or burning your cervix works to prevent colorectal and cervical cancers, but removal of small breast cancer tumors or precancerous lesions do NOT prevent breast cancer death?

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