Why Mammograms Don’t Appear to Save Lives

Why Mammograms Don’t Appear to Save Lives
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“Early” detection is actually really late. Without mammograms, breast cancer may not be caught for an average of 22.8 years, but with mammograms, breast cancer may only grow and spread for 21.4 years.

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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.

Critics of mammogram breast cancer screening claim that on a population scale, it’s never been shown to actually prolong women’s lives on average. But, look at this clear drop in breast cancer mortality in the UK, right when routine mammograms were introduced. Same here in Denmark: a nice drop in breast cancer mortality right after screening started.

That didn’t appear to be the case in Switzerland, though, where breast cancer mortality was declining years before routine mammograms were introduced. Hmm. So, let’s go back and look at that UK graph. “It is tempting to conclude that breast screening” caused the drop, but it is a little suspicious that the drop happens immediately. I mean, you’d expect it to take a few years to manifest. And, if you split it up by age group, the whole thing falls apart.

Here’s what the graph looks like. And, this is the only age group that started screening at that time. So, there were drops in other age groups, too, that weren’t getting mammograms. Same with the Denmark data. This is the line for the areas that got screened; this is the line for the areas that didn’t get screened. You see the same drop in breast cancer mortality with or without. What’s going on?

Here’s the U.S. data. Looks just like that UK graph, where there’s this beautiful drop in breast cancer mortality right when mass mammograms were introduced, around 1990. But, check it out: the same drop—in fact, even more—among women getting less screening, and an even greater drop in breast cancer mortality among women not getting mammograms at all. “In other words, “there was a larger relative reduction in [breast cancer] mortality among women who were not exposed to screening mammography.” So, what happened? The decrease in mortality is probably “largely…the result of improved treatment, not screening.”

Breast cancer mortality started dropping all around the world at about the same time, regardless of when mammogram screening started. There was “no relation at all between start of screening and the reduction in breast cancer mortality.” “The declines…are more likely explained by the introduction of [the estrogen-blocking drug] tamoxifen.” You can see it really clearly in the U.S. data, with the breast cancer death rate plummeting in the United States after FDA’s tamoxifen approval in 1990.

Now, this doesn’t mean breast cancer screening isn’t playing some role. And, in fact, randomized, controlled trials have shown that routine mammograms may reduce breast cancer mortality by 20%. Now, that 20% drop is from, like, five in a thousand women dying during that time from breast cancer without screening, down to four in a thousand dying, with screening. And so, when you graph it, it doesn’t look that impressive. The red line is the risk of dying for women that are invited for routine screening, and the green line is the risk of dying for women not getting mammograms. They’re practically right on top of one another—and, this is assuming mammograms don’t increase deaths from other causes. “If we take into account the cardiac and lung cancer deaths caused by” radiation treatments in women overdiagnosed with pseudodisease and treated for cancer unnecessarily thanks to mammography, there doesn’t appear to be any overall “mortality benefit.”

Why aren’t mammograms more effective? It seems “so simple.” “Catch the disease early.” Right? It turns out that by the time breast cancer is caught by mammograms, it may have already been growing for literally decades. “It is therefore misleading to say that [breast] cancers are caught ‘early’ with screening.” They [may actually be] caught very late.” Without mammograms, breast cancer may not be caught for 22.8 years, but with mammograms, breast cancer may only grow and spread for 21.4 years. No wonder mammograms don’t do a better job at preventing breast cancer deaths, if the cancer can spread before you can cut it out. Concerns have even been raised that the trauma from surgery may accelerate the growth of any cancer left behind, and maybe that would help explain why there’s not more benefit to screening.

Regardless, nine out of 10 women may still be in the dark, overestimating the mortality reduction from mammography screening by like an order of magnitude, ten-fold or more. About the same percentage of men thought the same thing about prostate cancer screening, vastly overestimating the benefits, or simply not knowing. Only 1.5% of women surveyed were in the ballpark.

Ironically, those reporting frequently consulting with their physicians and reading health pamphlets did even worse—overestimating the benefits even more, raising a question that was asked decades ago by a director of a mammogram project, as she lay on her deathbed before succumbing to breast cancer herself. Realizing even back then that routine mammograms may not actually be saving women’s lives, she asked: “Are we brainwashing ourselves into thinking that we are making a dramatic impact on a serious disease before we brainwash the public?”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Cam Miller via flickr. 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.

Critics of mammogram breast cancer screening claim that on a population scale, it’s never been shown to actually prolong women’s lives on average. But, look at this clear drop in breast cancer mortality in the UK, right when routine mammograms were introduced. Same here in Denmark: a nice drop in breast cancer mortality right after screening started.

That didn’t appear to be the case in Switzerland, though, where breast cancer mortality was declining years before routine mammograms were introduced. Hmm. So, let’s go back and look at that UK graph. “It is tempting to conclude that breast screening” caused the drop, but it is a little suspicious that the drop happens immediately. I mean, you’d expect it to take a few years to manifest. And, if you split it up by age group, the whole thing falls apart.

Here’s what the graph looks like. And, this is the only age group that started screening at that time. So, there were drops in other age groups, too, that weren’t getting mammograms. Same with the Denmark data. This is the line for the areas that got screened; this is the line for the areas that didn’t get screened. You see the same drop in breast cancer mortality with or without. What’s going on?

Here’s the U.S. data. Looks just like that UK graph, where there’s this beautiful drop in breast cancer mortality right when mass mammograms were introduced, around 1990. But, check it out: the same drop—in fact, even more—among women getting less screening, and an even greater drop in breast cancer mortality among women not getting mammograms at all. “In other words, “there was a larger relative reduction in [breast cancer] mortality among women who were not exposed to screening mammography.” So, what happened? The decrease in mortality is probably “largely…the result of improved treatment, not screening.”

Breast cancer mortality started dropping all around the world at about the same time, regardless of when mammogram screening started. There was “no relation at all between start of screening and the reduction in breast cancer mortality.” “The declines…are more likely explained by the introduction of [the estrogen-blocking drug] tamoxifen.” You can see it really clearly in the U.S. data, with the breast cancer death rate plummeting in the United States after FDA’s tamoxifen approval in 1990.

Now, this doesn’t mean breast cancer screening isn’t playing some role. And, in fact, randomized, controlled trials have shown that routine mammograms may reduce breast cancer mortality by 20%. Now, that 20% drop is from, like, five in a thousand women dying during that time from breast cancer without screening, down to four in a thousand dying, with screening. And so, when you graph it, it doesn’t look that impressive. The red line is the risk of dying for women that are invited for routine screening, and the green line is the risk of dying for women not getting mammograms. They’re practically right on top of one another—and, this is assuming mammograms don’t increase deaths from other causes. “If we take into account the cardiac and lung cancer deaths caused by” radiation treatments in women overdiagnosed with pseudodisease and treated for cancer unnecessarily thanks to mammography, there doesn’t appear to be any overall “mortality benefit.”

Why aren’t mammograms more effective? It seems “so simple.” “Catch the disease early.” Right? It turns out that by the time breast cancer is caught by mammograms, it may have already been growing for literally decades. “It is therefore misleading to say that [breast] cancers are caught ‘early’ with screening.” They [may actually be] caught very late.” Without mammograms, breast cancer may not be caught for 22.8 years, but with mammograms, breast cancer may only grow and spread for 21.4 years. No wonder mammograms don’t do a better job at preventing breast cancer deaths, if the cancer can spread before you can cut it out. Concerns have even been raised that the trauma from surgery may accelerate the growth of any cancer left behind, and maybe that would help explain why there’s not more benefit to screening.

Regardless, nine out of 10 women may still be in the dark, overestimating the mortality reduction from mammography screening by like an order of magnitude, ten-fold or more. About the same percentage of men thought the same thing about prostate cancer screening, vastly overestimating the benefits, or simply not knowing. Only 1.5% of women surveyed were in the ballpark.

Ironically, those reporting frequently consulting with their physicians and reading health pamphlets did even worse—overestimating the benefits even more, raising a question that was asked decades ago by a director of a mammogram project, as she lay on her deathbed before succumbing to breast cancer herself. Realizing even back then that routine mammograms may not actually be saving women’s lives, she asked: “Are we brainwashing ourselves into thinking that we are making a dramatic impact on a serious disease before we brainwash the public?”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Cam Miller via flickr. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

83 responses to “Why Mammograms Don’t Appear to Save Lives

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  1. Another powerful video!

    This is a thought-provoking series!

    Now, the concept of Breast cancers growing for decades leaves the door open for flax seed or WFPB or superfoods versus mammograms for mortality studues.

    1. These links I compiled awhile back might help:

      BREAKTHROUGH CANCER AND DIET RESEARCH

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-it-the-diet-the-exercise-or-both/

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-plant-based-to-lower-igf-1/

      STARVING CANCER WITH METHIONINE RESTRICTION

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/starving-cancer-with-methionine-restriction/

      METHIONINE RESTRICTION AS A LIFE EXTENSION THERAPY

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/methionine-restriction-as-a-life-extension-strategy/

      THE BEST (ANTI-CANCER) SALAD GREENS

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/1-anticancer-vegetable/

      The top 10 against prostate cancer: Garlic, Brussels sprouts, Green Onions, Leek, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Yellow Onion, Cabbage, Beets.

      The top 10 against breast cancer: Garlic, Leek, Green Onions, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Broccoli, Radish, Kale, Yellow Onion, and at # 11, Rutabaga!

      THE BEST (ANTI-CANCER) FRUITS

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-fruit-fights-cancer-better/

      The top 2 against cancer growth – cranberries >> lemons >> apples or strawberries > red grapes > bananas or grapefruits > peaches > the last and least, pineapples, pears, and oranges, which had negligible effect.

      BOOSTING NATURAL KILLER CELL ACTIVITY

      Blueberry consumption may double the population of our cancer fighting immune cells, and the spices cardamom and black pepper may boost their activity.

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/boosting-natural-killer-cell-activity/

      BERRIES VS. CANCER

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/black-raspberries-versus-oral-cancer/

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/strawberries-versus-esophageal-cancer/

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cranberries-versus-cancer/Vegan

      FLAX VS. CANCER

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/just-the-flax-maam/

      Note On Flaxseed: (similar effects reported for other cancers, including breast and colon)
      A paper on the benefits of eating flax that came out in the in the December, 2008 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention (http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/17/12/3577 )

      Men in groups eating a diet supplemented with 30g (about 3 TBS) of flaxseed a day had less than half the rate of tumor cell proliferation compared to those who did not. This inhibitory effect applies to other kinds of cancers as well.

      If a pharmaceutical company had a drug that did even half as well, even if only for prostate cancer, its stock price would surge.

  2. I was also wondering the following; is the (so-called) statistical saying of ‘1 out of 8 women will get breast cancer in their life time’ false as well? Do they include the cancers that were not cancers but were treated as cancers regardlessly?

    1. Yes, I am going to be wondering that, too.

      I am also wondering if that group has skewed the improved outcomes above?

      Treatment improves outcome, especially if it is the ones, which never would have become anything?

      Were those cancers removed from the graph?

      Did I miss it?

      I had better watch the video again. There was a lot in it.

  3. Either way, now they can do proper studies of everything they want to, because they can break it into every age group and pit flaxseed versus soy versus aspirin versus turmeric versus green tea versus garlic versus soy versus WFPB versus WFPB with the foods chosen from the high kill foods including all of the above.

    And they just need to do groups of women from each age group and within a period of time we would finally get the real answers.

    It might take ten or twenty years, if they only did young people, but if they do older people, they might find out sooner.

    1. I had my first mamogram at 46……it revealed CALCIFICATIONS….which prompted several biopsies….in the end they found early stages of ductal carcinoma in my left breast….stage 0, if it werent for the CALCIFICATIONS it would not have been detected so early…i opted for a bilatteral masectomy…..i am cancer free

  4. Very thought provoking.

    I am hoping one of the volunteers can answer this question: breast cancer is ranked on a grade scale of 1 to 9 in terms of how aggressive it is. What is the average speed at which a grade 8 or 9 breast cancer tumour grows vs a 1 or a 2 or the average that is stated in this video?

    1. Monica,

      Here is a link to an article by Dr John McDougall that explains very well how cancers grow (essentially, it’s an exponential growth rate). The example he uses was the case of Steve Jobs who recently died of pancreatic cancer, which probably started when he was 24 years old. He died at age 56.

      https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2011nl/nov/jobs.htm

      Also, here is a link to another McDougall article on how a WFPB diet helps slow the cancer growth rate:

      https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2015nl/feb/dietandcancer.htm

      Hope this helps.

    2. Hello Monica,
      Thank you for your question. I see that you’ve had a response from Hal, below. I am a family doctor and also a Health Support Volunteer for this website. I found the following link from the National Cancer Institute that explains about breast cancer grades.
      https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/diagnosis-staging/prognosis/tumor-grade-fact-sheet

      It does NOT provide an answer to your specific question, but I don’t know if that information is available. Here is a great article I found about some of the many factors that go into survival rates for various types of breast cancer:
      http://breast-cancer.ca/survicanc/

      I hope this helps.
      Dr. Jon
      PhysicianAssistedWellness.com
      Health Support Volunteer for NutritionFacts.org

  5. I’ve never really understood the idea of getting radiation to see if I have cancer. I’m wondering if this is wrong thinking or if I am on the right track. I don’t have any family members who have had it, so I think I may be low risk. I did however catch a benign lump myself (even as a teen) many years ago and had it removed.

    1. I don’t have time to look up the links, but there are statistics showing that women getting a mammogram every year for 10 years have a much higher rate of getting breast cancer from that source of radiation.

      Treating breast cancer with radiation therapy also often causes other cancers a few years later, and those are always more difficult to treat. I know of one woman who died of some kind of leukemia that the doctor told her was caused by previous radiation to treat breast cancer. She can’t be the only one.

      1. Rebecca, I was talking with a woman tonight who said that the newer machines have much less radiation.

        I don’t know how that changes the math, amd I am not sure if they will fix the algorithm to stop the over diagnosis, but it missing the real cancers for ten years and no change in mortality is the biggest factor after those are dealt with.

  6. Thanks for putting all of the links together.

    So far, I will be telling women, about avoiding animal products if they can.

    Then, even if they can’t, I will be saying:

    Broccoli Sprouts, Flax Seeds, Soy, Mushrooms, Aspirin, Nuts, Fiber, Greens, particularly Kale – plus the other high kill foods from the foods versus Cancer series, Apple peels, Green tea, Dandelion tea, any tea without milk is what I will be telling people so far.

  7. Plus beans and Turmeric and other spices.

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/phytates-for-rehabilitating-cancer-cells/

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/anti-angiogenesis-cutting-off-tumor-supply-lines/

    And lowering cholesterol

    “Cholesterol may also play a role in the development and progression of breast cancer, as cancer appears to feed on it.”

    And getting rid of the chemicals and not falling asleep with your cell phone on your chest (which I have done a few times when I was in an easy chair)

      1. “Consistent evidence from epidemiologic studies links physical activity after diagnosis with better breast cancer outcomes (35, 36). For example, a large cohort study found that women who exercised moderately (the equivalent of walking 3 to 5 hours per week at an average pace) after a breast cancer diagnosis had approximately 40% to 50% lower risks of breast cancer recurrence, death from breast cancer, and death from any cause compared with more sedentary women (37). The potential physical activity benefit with regard to death from breast cancer was most apparent in women with hormone receptor–positive tumors (37).

        Another prospective cohort study found that women who had breast cancer and who engaged in recreational physical activity roughly equivalent to walking at an average pace of 2 to 2.9 mph for 1 hour per week had a 35% to 49% lower risk of death from breast cancer compared with women who engaged in less physical activity (38).”
        https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet

  8. And going organic to avoid Roundup becoming gas on the fire.

    ” A 2013 study concluded that glyphosate fuels breast cancer by increasing the number of breast cancer cells through cell growth and cell division.”

  9. Brainwashing the term we don’t use anymore, but is practiced every single day by the companies who BRAND us and track our every thought.

    1. Brainwashing is probably used everyday by every parent and authority figure and salesman and news reporter and politician and doctor and if they don’t do it, we probably do it to ourselves.

  10. Sorry that I didn’t organize it better.

    Dr. Greger, you need to add more of the links in your link section, because women have no choice, but to pre-treat with food, so we need all the information in one place.

    1. These links I compiled these awhile back might help:

      BREAKTHROUGH CANCER AND DIET RESEARCH

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-it-the-diet-the-exercise-or-both/

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-plant-based-to-lower-igf-1/

      STARVING CANCER WITH METHIONINE RESTRICTION

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/starving-cancer-with-methionine-restriction/

      METHIONINE RESTRICTION AS A LIFE EXTENSION THERAPY

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/methionine-restriction-as-a-life-extension-strategy/

      THE BEST (ANTI-CANCER) SALAD GREENS

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/1-anticancer-vegetable/

      The top 10 against prostate cancer: Garlic, Brussels sprouts, Green Onions, Leek, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Yellow Onion, Cabbage, Beets.

      The top 10 against breast cancer: Garlic, Leek, Green Onions, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Broccoli, Radish, Kale, Yellow Onion, and at # 11, Rutabaga!

      THE BEST (ANTI-CANCER) FRUITS

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-fruit-fights-cancer-better/

      The top 2 against cancer growth – cranberries >> lemons >> apples or strawberries > red grapes > bananas or grapefruits > peaches > the last and least, pineapples, pears, and oranges, which had negligible effect.

      BOOSTING NATURAL KILLER CELL ACTIVITY

      Blueberry consumption may double the population of our cancer fighting immune cells, and the spices cardamom and black pepper may boost their activity.

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/boosting-natural-killer-cell-activity/

      BERRIES VS. CANCER

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/black-raspberries-versus-oral-cancer/

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/strawberries-versus-esophageal-cancer/

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cranberries-versus-cancer/Vegan

      FLAX VS. CANCER

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/just-the-flax-maam/

      Note On Flaxseed: (similar effects reported for other cancers, including breast and colon)
      A paper on the benefits of eating flax that came out in the in the December, 2008 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention (http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/17/12/3577 )

      Men in groups eating a diet supplemented with 30g (about 3 TBS) of flaxseed a day had less than half the rate of tumor cell proliferation compared to those who did not. This inhibitory effect applies to other kinds of cancers as well.

      If a pharmaceutical company had a drug that did even half as well, even if only for prostate cancer, its stock price would surge.

      1. Thank you Alef, this is helpful.

        I would add in the Tor pathway and how various animal products cause cancer.

        And for the men, the fact the tiny dose of ground up and put into pill form of real whole food version of Green tea, Turmeric, Pomegranate and Broccoli worked, those should be included. (As opposed to supplements, which don’t work)

        Women, if you are going through it and don’t like any of the top foods, dry them, grind them and put them in pill form might work. There isn’t a study yet, but even tiny doses helped the men.

        Sorry Tamoxifen, but if everybody is going to get to you too late, then we need adjunct medicines and the whole foods themselves are where we need to look. Soy and flax and aspirin and Green tea and all of the ones Alef listed and maybe things like cloves and Amla and other spices.

        1. Researchers, we need the flax study again and it needs to be tamoxifen (pre-surgery) versus flax and tamoxifen (pre-surgery) and soy and matcha and pomegranate and broccoli sprouts and aspirin and whatever else they can throw at it and one group has to be the superfood, plus getting rid of animal products.

          We also need the real numbers for Tamoxifen. Is it really Switzerland before Mammograms or is it the tiny, tiny improvement to the bottom line over in the other video.

          Blair, I know that I have to be driving you crazy. I wish I was better at analyzing data. My brain is slowly, slightly improving, but this is hard math for me.

  11. Then how do we detect breast cancer? Especially earlier? When should tamoxifen be given? Wasn’t it given after breast cancer is detected and confirmed from a mammogram?

    1. Wendy, I think he is saying that we need to be using the things like flax seed, which work by the same mechanism as Tamoxifen and we need to know the risk factors and start cleaning up our lives.

      Let’s face it, if our technology is detecting it decades after we have it, we have to be treated “ten years ago” so that becomes the links listed above.

      Dr. Greger can’t make the technology work any better than it does. All he can tell people is that by the time the technology detects it, you are already late.

  12. I am going to ask if there could be a CD on Breast Cancer where things like Phip and all the other topics above, plus, smoking, plus, exercise are all put together in a form where we can give it to the women around us.

    Or just can you have an overview type topic, like your year in reviews just for breast cancer?

    1. Deb,

      Dr John McDougall, another nutrition doc who, like Dr Greger, advocates a WFPB diet. He has done several summaries on cancer growth rates and howa proper diet slows these growth rates.

      Here is a link to an article by Dr McDougall that explains very well how cancers grow (essentially, it’s an exponential growth rate). The example he uses was the case of Steve Jobs who recently died of pancreatic cancer, which probably started when he was 24 years old. He died at age 56.

      https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2011nl/nov/jobs.htm

      Also, here is a link to another McDougall article on how a WFPB diet helps slow the cancer growth rate:

      https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2015nl/feb/dietandcancer.htm

      Hope this helps.

  13. Dr. Greger, having this information and getting it out to people is officially all women have, so I am saying it again that I request the information all in one place and neatly organized with enough of the science so women will know why they are drinking their soy milk and not to have 15 servings and why not to overbake their cookies, even if they like them better that way, etc.

    1. Go to the NF homepage. Click “View All Topics” index. Click “B”. Click “Breast Cancer”. There are other serious diseases besides breast cancer.

      1. Blair, I have topic searched Breast cancer almost every day of this series, but not all of the topics are together and there are over 500 videos on Cancer.

        I agree with you that there are other important diseases, but Dr Greger has just finished dismantling everything women currently do in screening Breast cancer and if they stop screening and treating it, there might be seriously worse numbers.

        And women will stop screening and stop treating because of the mortality numbers.

        1. Dr Greger, you have successfully dismantled going to the doctor and screening for Cancer and I applaud you, but I am trying to do the math now that women won’t have doctors pushing them to find out if they have Cancer and won’t be giving Tamoxifen….

          Do the numbers go straight back up?

          I think they will unless there is a clear protocol and I get that people can search by topic and I also get that none of my female friends will, because most of them shut down with technical information and are already overwhelmed with competing information.

        2. Deb, I don’t think Dr. Greger is advocating stopping treatment of breast cancer. He is advocating that women be informed about the benefits and risks of mammography screening, then make an informed decision about whether they would like to participate in screening for breast cancer by mammography.

          The only other way I know of detecting it is by finding a breast lump; that’s how my mother found hers (almost 60 years ago), as well as both her sisters, my sister, and me. As well as several other women I know or know of. And even then, most breast lumps that women discover are benign.

          1. Dr J. I understand that he may not be advocating stopping treatment, but women hearing that there is no difference in mortality will affect whether they do anything at all.

            The number of women who I know, including myself who have had lumps and other symptoms, who weren’t willing to go to a doctor, because of what we have seen is already high.

            My mother had to have visible Breast cancer for a year before she went, maybe because of her understanding of mortality rates back then and my father’s parents who found out they had Cancer just stopped eating.

            My aunt two years ago did the stopped eating procesd.

            1. Seeing symptoms, becoming afraid, going into denial and putting their heads in the sand is the process I see the most already.

              Women are afraid of surgery, afraid of radiation, afraid of chemotherapy and ignore the lumps until they are in physical pain is one path.

          2. Dr J

            While I was posting links today, I was texted about a woman who has decided it is time to give up her Breast cancer fight.

            Statistics are against her and she is going to start an active death process.

            Stop eating
            stop drinking
            Go on Morphine

            And I am not against her choosing that.

            There is mental math women do with the process.

            I probably wouldn’t have changed my eating if I hadn’t stumbled upon Chris Beats Cancer and saw Dr Greger and ended up here.

            I wasn’t going to do most of the things Chris did like swallow cloves of garlic or eat bitter Laetrile, but I came here and the flaxseed study made me buy flaxseed and I am doing baby aspirin for a while and rye bread is pretty simple.

            I don’t know that my mental math will ever be to go to a doctor agsin, but I will go WFPB.

            Without the doctor I won’t ever have Tamoxifen in my equation and doctors push screenings and don’t give tamoxifen without things like mammograms and biopsies, even if there is a lump and I would do blood root before biopsy, but am not against Tamoxifen, I am just against the whole pathway to it.

          3. Denial is actually mental math.

            Breast Cancer people to into denial to avoid getting their breasts cut off.

            Stroke, I have a mental math of take aspirin or Serrapeptase and get to the hospital within 3 hours, because there is something which makes a difference.

            I have a logic that Tamoxifen makes a difference, but I have another logic that mortality rates aren’t improvibg and it will be too late when I find the Cancer.

            That mental math for me is food and if the food doesn’t work go into denial.

            1. Deb

              I was under the impression from this video that mortality rates are improving but that this is because of better treatment (incl Tamoxifen) not mammograms.

          4. Dr J, I understand that Dr Greger is wanting women to make up their own mind.

            The other video where the stage zero cancers were responding to treatment and the other Cancer rate hadn’t changed is what I am still trying to reconcile here.

            Those lethal cancets haven’t changed is what I would like someone to discuss and how it relates to Tamoxifen.

            That was discussed relating to mammograms and I officially understand that part, but why wasn’t the improvement bump visible over there at that video at all.

            There wasn’t a point to something with the lethal cancers and separate Tamoxifen from Mammogram process over there.

            I have brain processing issues and genuinely would like help figuring out if I am missing something.

          5. I guess I “get” that there could be Tamoxifen on both sides of the chart, but there isn’t even one mini blip for the people who do nothing at all on the didn’t get a mammogram side.

            If Tamoxifen hiding behind the logic that mammograms are too late, when all of it is too late?

            Either way, women need the type of superfood crushed up pills with everything possible, not just flax, because there isn’t even a micro blip.

  14. I forgot, get rid of the antiperspirants with aluminum

    Or if you feel the need to use them, don’t shave first.

    “Shaving before applying underarm antiperspirants can increase aluminum absorption. Could this explain the greater number of tumors and the disproportionate incidence of breast cancer in the upper outer quadrant of the breast near the armpit?”

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/antiperspirants-and-breast-cancer/

    Take Vitamin D Supplements
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/do-vitamin-d-supplements-reduce-the-risk-of-dying-from-cancer/

    Don’t drink beer
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-are-the-effects-of-the-hops-phytoestrogen-in-beer/

    Avoid scented personal care products

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/avoiding-adult-exposure-phthalates/

    Eat rye bread
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/does-rye-bread-protect-against-cancer/

    Cooked or sprouted beans video

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/cooked-beans-or-sprouted-beans/

  15. Maybe sweet potatoes

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/anti-cancer-potential-of-sweet-potato-proteins/

    Here is one of the overviews from Dr. Greger’s Breast Cancer and diet

    I didn’t see a video on sleep, but read “Melatonin suppression by meat and dairy may also play a role.” so maybe sleeping in a dark enough room.

    “There are also some plant foods, though, that one may want to avoid. Kimchi, acrylamide in crispy carbs, and alcohol may increase one’s risk, and from a breast cancer perspective, folate in beans and greens may be preferable to folic acid in pills.”

    “The good news is that numerous vegetables may be protective against breast cancer. The most useful are likely cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage) and allium family vegetables (such as garlic, onions and leeks).

    Among fruits, organic strawberries appear to preferably block cancer cell growth and, like other berries, may block breast-cell DNA damage. Apples also appear to reduce breast cancer risk.”

  16. For those of you who don’t have a lot of risk factors, sorry for doing this.

    For the women who have cancer already, you probably are the ones I am gathering the links for.

    1. Deb, thanks for the contribution– I play these videos daily to my mother via long distance phone, and each of your links will be followed to the full article, for her benefit, as well. Already, she is on flaxseed, receiving similar benefits to tamoxifen, but without drug therapy.

  17. .
    More Clarity, Less Speed

    This video is difficult to follow when Dr. Greger delivers a jumble of words, especially at 0:14, which is impossible to discern clearly.

    Although Dr. Greger’s typical video is easily understood, these occasional voids suggest all audio should be reviewed immediately on completion, to be sure it is clearly understandable. We don’t want to miss any sentences, particularly when even single words can change the meaning of a summary statement.

    All the more important, since this video appears to conclude the long series on mammography. (Of course, we can pull down the transcript, but even the transcriptor is at the same disadvantage, when transcribing the audio. I know, because I did the posted transcription for one video.)

  18. These videos are very enlightening. I forward these to my wife. She is already wary of the benefits of mammograms. Dr. Gregor has discussed the same false sense of security with PSA tests. What about other cancer screening tests? Colonoscopies for example. I know Dr. McDougall says the risk today is not worth some distant future questionable benefit?

  19. I am confused about this video where Tamoxifen changes the mortality rates and a few videos back where there was no difference between mortality rates.

    Can somebody explain the math to me?

    Is it that the group which did not get a screening in that other video jumped straight to tamoxifen or is it that Cancer mortality rates dropped, versus old style treatment but doing nothing at all isn’t much different?

    Or is it they added all the stage zero cancers into the statistics and it looks better now?

    Or is it total deaths per population percentage which has changed?

    1. Go back to the stage zero graph versus the lethal Cancer graph….

      Is that really good results with stage zero Cancer padding both these charts from today and is Tamoxifen really good with Dtsge zero Cancer, but maybe less good with the lethal stuff?

      Sorry for my logic problems.

        1. Can we find out if Switzerland did anything else those years like telling people to take an aspirin for stroke prevention or did they have a sudden dietary fashion of button mushrooms or rye bread or a really good strawberry harvest?

          Is anybody from Switzerland?

      1. Tamoxifen is generally given to premenopausal women with early stage ER+ breast cancer. It was also recommended proactively for premenopausal women with a family history of breast cancer but I’m not sure that ever caught on?

        There are other drugs for postmenopausal women such as Letrosal or Faslodex. I’m 6.5 years into a stage IV breast cancer DX, still alive and doing well on them. No mastectomy or chemotherapy but several major surgeries to repair my vertabrae that were almost completely destroyed by metastaces.

        And by the way, I had one mammogram in my forties and decided never again because I had no risk factors.

        1. Sounds like you have been through a lot.

          You are a survivor.

          You said no mastectomy and no chemotherapy, may I ask what sorts of things you are doing?

          1. I was on Letrozole for 3 years: I’m now on Faslodex. I have no side effects or reduced quality of life. They both work by blocking estrogen pathways and have only been in use since 2010 or so.

            There have been studies showing reduced mortality rates with Letrozole vs. a placebo:

            https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/480638

            My oncologist, a wonderful woman, has said she can’t be 100% certain that Faslodex is the reason I currently have no evidence of disease but why stop and take that chance? For the record, I was a vegan for ten years before my DX and continue to eat vegan. I was physically active before and continue to be active.

  20. Doctor Greger
    Can u please make a video talking about hypothyroidism and gow to treat it with diet ?
    I am vegan and i have high TSH , I was checking for celiac disease but it came out negative (i loaded with gluten for 2 weeks) and my TSH is 8.2 uIU/ml

    What should i do ?
    Are soy or gluten may be causing this ?

    I have IBS too and I believe that it’s a misdiagnosis

  21. I shared this video on twitter this evening and I got back a response I wasn’t expecting:

    Replying to @phineasflapdood
    “As a breast cancer survivor..you are wrong! The mammogram detected a spot..further testing..I ended up with a mastectomy..27 yrs later..I’m here tweeting you!”

    I wanted to share with all you experts. Thoughts?

    1. There will be people who have experiences like that.

      The statistics are the statistics, but there will always be exceptions to the rules.

      For instance if some of it is Breast density and obesity, a woman with a slight frame won’t have the same experiences at all.

      I was talking with someone about the three glasses of milk a day studies and she doesn’t believe them, because her father and mother drank milk and didn’t die of Cancer.

      Her family owned a dairy farm and ate lots of fruits and vegetables and ate lots of whole grains and maybe didn’t have the Cancer genes, but my relatives have had Cancer, so I am not going to go against the studies and statistics.

    2. Also, if you watch the other videos, it catches Stage 0 cancers, which women have their breasts cut off for, but those wouldn’t have become the lethal cancers.

      A few videos ago was a chart that it is very good at catching the non lethal cancers and the women who have mastectomies from those think their lives were saved, but the lethal Cancer rates weren’t changed.

    3. it is the lethal cancers which aren’t being caught in time and the ones which wouldn’t have become anything women are having their breasts cut off needlessly.

  22. They are getting their breasts cut off and feel like their lives were saved, but their lives weren’t in jeopardy from what they had and if she had certain treatments like radiation, she might have increased her risk of lung cancer and other things is the answer from this series.

    I am the one guessing about the obesity epidemic and mammograms not seeing through dense breasts as a possible explanation of why it isn’t catching the ones that are growing for ten years.

  23. Now I go to do we know whether The lethal Cancer death rate is for people younger than menopause or after menopause or both?

    Is Tamoxifen going to end up being great at Stage 0 Cancers or is it genuinely effective when women have aggressive cancers?

    And what about the post menopausal women.

    Without those two situations broken into separate categories, I don’t feel like we can understand where we are at all?

    Did we make some process on the young persons cancers?

    Is the young people where the in situ cancers are or do both groups have those?

  24. Other than breasts getting denser as women age and they get heavier, what would cause it to miss something for ten years?

    The only thing I could think of would be it having a characteristic too similar to the Breast or it grows from a different place in the Breast and it catches the things growing more superficially?

    1. Deb,

      Breast density has nothing to do with obesity or how much you weigh. Dense breasts refers to having more connective tissue than fatty tissue and is more common in premenopausal women. Fatty tissue is easy to see through on a mammogram, while connective tissue may be harder to see though.

      Your breasts do not become more dense as you age (even if you gain weight), just the opposite, as you loose connective tissue post menopause.

      And a mammogram is only as good as the radiologist who’s reading it…things are missed.

      1. Still it is catching little things and not big things, and the big things would be there for a few mammograms, so lbreasts getting larger as women age and larger after childbearing and obesity might make it harder for the people trying to do the test or something?

        If it is growing for ten years…. And the mammogram is missing it… How many mammograms missed it with how doctors regularly do the process?

        My friends who get mammograms tend to go every year or two. Do ten radiologists or five have no skill?

        Or do women hate it so much that they wait ten years?

  25. It can’t be radiologists if it is a global issue.

    If women are like my friends who get mammograms, it isn’t just one mammogram, which missed the Cancer.

    Wondering if any countries got Tamoxifen, but not mammograms or the other way around?

  26. If it was one mammogram per woman missing it, I might think the algorithm would work, but years worth of mammograms missing from women all over the world makes me think that they are just trying to save the system.

  27. Do they keep digital copies of women’s old mammograms?

    They can look backwards and see if they find a pre-presenting sign that something is about to be revealed.

  28. To my mind, I would already be challenging the theory that it was there for 10 years.

    I need to hear the rationale for that theory.

    How did all of the mammograms over all of the world catch the Stage 0 and miss the lethal cancers 5 or 10 times per woman?

    Seems like, I would be asking, is there a warp drive that happens when it reaches the TOR pathway or something?

    I know I am not a science or math person, but the slow growth theory didn’t present enough arguments to persuade me.

    I am listening if anyone can say how they proved that.

    1. Deb,

      When something doubles in number at a constant time interval, it is said to have exponential growth. It is the nature of exponential growth to appear to grow slowly at first, and then “speed up” as time goes on. Maybe looking at a typical exponential growth curve would help. Take a look at the graph at this link:

      http://slideplayer.com/slide/6157539/18/images/4/J-shaped+exponential+growth+curve.jpg

      As you can see, it really starts to increase around year 8. (BTW, this seems to be referring to a population example, not cancer growth, but the mathematical concept is the same.)

      Hope this helps.

      1. BTW, I might add that I believe one theory of changing to a whole plant food diet is based on the concept of increasing the time interval at which cancer cell doubling occurs. This appears to be accomplished by beefing up our immune system and eliminating “growth factors” such as hormones and IGF-1. If the immune system can identify aberrant cells and kill them, it will slow down the growth rate. And eliminating the growth factors will increase the time it takes to double in size/number.

        Just my thoughts on the subject.

  29. I also do want to understand what age the “It’s been hiding there for ten years” process starts.

    Was it hiding from ten years old for the twenty year olds or is it maybe something hormonally happens like menopause and in that case it might be the older women whose mammograms are missing information, but my mind would still be wondering if something happens at that age like hormones changing or metabolism changing or something like fat storage changing producing something that might suddenly speed things up versus one of those factors causing problrms with the mammogram process or reading.

    Am I the only one bothered by the 10 year Cancer chameleon hiding out?

    The thing is, women get to that age and the ones who bought into mammograms go more vigilantly, because of the greater sense of health risk.

    If it is suddenly fast growing versus ten years as a chameleon then the logic of what to do changes.

  30. I was pondering the things I heard people say about Cancer a year or so ago.

    Things like women get cancer on the same side of their body as their root canals if they leave the dead teeth in.

    I had a lump and eczema on one nipple, both on the same side as the one root canal that I had, which I had left the dead tooth in.

    Didn’t have either thing tested and they are both gone, but…. that would be an example of an older woman factor.

    I also remember watching the Rife Frequency videos and watching people who used frequency and they said that they would kill one type of thing and another would suddenly grow bigger and stronger and they would have to change frequencies to kill that.

    I could write a whole list of reasons it could suddenly grow faster, unrestrained, in my pseudo-understanding of things, and I am not sure if the researchers would just say, “You are way off” and be right or if me being confused might help them think of their own list of things.

    Seems like with no improvement in mortality, except a mini-blip with Tamoxifen, they should be back in the “Back to the drawing board” and “Question EVERYTHING” stage.

  31. Seems like, no matter what, the “growing for ten years” is a theory, because if they knew it was there, they would have already dealt with it.

    Unless they have already replicated it in their 3D tumor lab or something.

    They could probably see if two tumors constrain each other or if two bad guy bacteria constrain each other – and if chemo wipes out the good guys, like mouthwash is said to, then maybe suddenly one set of bad guys has no competition and that could be another theory of tumor growing faster?

  32. I am still inverted day for night and still can’t sleep, so I end up pondering these results.

    Pondering the mouth bacteria and mouth care, maybe Diabetes would be something, which could suddenly cause tumors to grow faster?

    Or cause the bad bacteria to grow so fast that they can make the lethal tumors in a year?

    Maybe their is a perfect storm of factors?

    They know the gut bacteria makes tumors have they figured out if the mouth bacteria does?

  33. I have often wondered if the false mammogram effect was due to the change in classifications of cancer? I understand that this change made cancer treatment appear more effective as very early stages that were not truly life threatening (and in earlier years undetectable) were suddenly counted as cancer…?
    Also, I had understood that tamoxifen was NOT an effective treatment and was sold to consumers using both relative and actual statistics to skew the perceptions.
    curious.

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