Women Deserve to Know the Truth About Mammograms

Women Deserve to Know the Truth About Mammograms
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What do 9 in 10 women say they were never told about mammograms, even though they thought they had the right to know?

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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.

Fueled by “good intentions” (and “economic conflicts of interest” with the multibillion dollar mammogram industry), “many women [are] being given diagnoses of breast cancer” unnecessarily, “producing unwarranted fear and stress and exposing them to treatment” they don’t need. This is the overdiagnosis problem I’ve been talking about: “the detection of pseudodisease”—mammogram-detected “abnormalities” that look like cancer under the microscope. And so, you’re diagnosed with cancer, you’re treated for cancer, but it was just pseudodisease, and would “never progress to [actually] cause symptoms. The “human costs” include “mastectomies and [even] deaths. The chance that a woman will benefit from [mammograms may be] small—[in fact, may be] ten times smaller than the risk that she may experience serious harm in terms of [this] overdiagnosis.

“How many would elect to [go in for a mammogram] if they knew that for every one woman who is notionally saved by early detection, anywhere from 2 to 10 otherwise healthy women are being turned into breast cancer patients [unnecessarily]?”

Well, first of all: “Are patients [even told] about [the possibility of] overdiagnosis by their physicians…?” I mean, it is, after all, “now recognized as the most serious downside of [mammogram] screening.” Well, hundreds were asked, and less than one out of 10 said that they had been informed about it. And, when they were told about it, a little more than half said they wouldn’t agree to screening if it resulted “in more than 1 overtreated person per 1 life saved.” “Wow. That implies that millions of Americans might not choose to be screened if they knew the whole story; however, [90%] do not.”

Most “[w]omen are aware [about] false-positives…and [tend] to view them as an acceptable consequence of [mammograms].” But, “[i]n contrast, most women [were] unaware that screening [could] detect cancers that may never progress.” And, what they don’t know could potentially even kill them.

So, when considering the pros and cons of mammograms, it would be good to consider “total mortality.” Can it actually help you live longer, on average? And, mammograms have not been shown to do that, “and it is therefore misleading to claim that ‘screening saves lives.'”

Theoretically, “[r]outine [mammograms should] increase…a [50-year-old] nonsmoking woman’s overall survival chance from around 96.3%…to 97.1% over 10 years. [But] [t]hese statistics disregard deaths from overdiagnosis.” Deaths from the unnecessary radiation and chemo, “and thus increased mortality from heart disease and other [cancers] that may entirely outweigh the benefit in terms of reduced breast cancer mortality.”

You can’t irradiate the breast without exposing the rest of your chest to radiation—your heart, your lungs—explaining why breast cancer survivors can end up with “significant and marked impairment in cardiopulmonary [heart-lung] function.” “Radiation [treatments] increase…deaths from heart disease by more than 25% and from lung cancer by nearly 80%.” Now, we would accept that risk if we were beating back some deadly cancer, but “[t]he main effect of screening is to produce patients with breast cancer” for which treatment offers zero benefit—since they “would have remained free of breast disease for the rest of their lives” without it, since “[c]ompelling data [suggest] that most overdiagnosed tumors would have regressed spontaneously without treatment.”

“Still, [women] who have had a cancer detected and then removed are likely to feel their life was saved.” But perhaps 10 times more likely their lives were actually seriously harmed, not saved. Ten times more likely you were told you had a cancer that could kill you, but you really didn’t, corralled into the operating room for surgery you didn’t need. Every doctor’s appointment, every sleepless night, all completely unnecessary—yet, you come out as mammograms’ greatest advocate; it saved your life. That’s the crazy thing about mammograms, about PSA testing for prostate cancer; the people who are the most harmed are the ones who claim the greatest benefit.

So, overdiagnosis creates this vicious “cycle…for more overdiagnosis,” because more and more people know someone—”a friend, a family member,…a celebrity—who ‘owes their life’ to early cancer detection.” So, the worse the test is, the more overdiagnosis it causes, “the more popular [it] becomes. The more mammograms harm women, the better they seem to work. The more breasts that are surgically removed completely unnecessarily, the more women swear by it.

Yeah, it’s maybe billions of dollars wasted for nothing that could be spent on doing more for women’s health. But, it’s the human costs; the “[h]arms from breast cancer-screening [may] outweigh the benefits if death caused by treatment is included.” Based on some best- and worst-case scenario estimates, “[f]or every 10 000 women invited for 10 years of [mammogram] screening, 3 to 4 breast cancer deaths [may be] avoided at [the] cost of” around 2 to 9 deaths “from the long-term toxicity of [unnecessary radiation treatments].” Yet, only one in 10 women undergoing mammography said they were ever told about overdiagnosis, even though nine out of 10 thought they had the right to know.

Now, overdiagnosis is not easy to talk about. It’s a sensitive issue, but “[j]ust because communicating with patients [can be] difficult” doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do it. Informed women deserve no less;” we have an ethical responsibility to let them know.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

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

Fueled by “good intentions” (and “economic conflicts of interest” with the multibillion dollar mammogram industry), “many women [are] being given diagnoses of breast cancer” unnecessarily, “producing unwarranted fear and stress and exposing them to treatment” they don’t need. This is the overdiagnosis problem I’ve been talking about: “the detection of pseudodisease”—mammogram-detected “abnormalities” that look like cancer under the microscope. And so, you’re diagnosed with cancer, you’re treated for cancer, but it was just pseudodisease, and would “never progress to [actually] cause symptoms. The “human costs” include “mastectomies and [even] deaths. The chance that a woman will benefit from [mammograms may be] small—[in fact, may be] ten times smaller than the risk that she may experience serious harm in terms of [this] overdiagnosis.

“How many would elect to [go in for a mammogram] if they knew that for every one woman who is notionally saved by early detection, anywhere from 2 to 10 otherwise healthy women are being turned into breast cancer patients [unnecessarily]?”

Well, first of all: “Are patients [even told] about [the possibility of] overdiagnosis by their physicians…?” I mean, it is, after all, “now recognized as the most serious downside of [mammogram] screening.” Well, hundreds were asked, and less than one out of 10 said that they had been informed about it. And, when they were told about it, a little more than half said they wouldn’t agree to screening if it resulted “in more than 1 overtreated person per 1 life saved.” “Wow. That implies that millions of Americans might not choose to be screened if they knew the whole story; however, [90%] do not.”

Most “[w]omen are aware [about] false-positives…and [tend] to view them as an acceptable consequence of [mammograms].” But, “[i]n contrast, most women [were] unaware that screening [could] detect cancers that may never progress.” And, what they don’t know could potentially even kill them.

So, when considering the pros and cons of mammograms, it would be good to consider “total mortality.” Can it actually help you live longer, on average? And, mammograms have not been shown to do that, “and it is therefore misleading to claim that ‘screening saves lives.'”

Theoretically, “[r]outine [mammograms should] increase…a [50-year-old] nonsmoking woman’s overall survival chance from around 96.3%…to 97.1% over 10 years. [But] [t]hese statistics disregard deaths from overdiagnosis.” Deaths from the unnecessary radiation and chemo, “and thus increased mortality from heart disease and other [cancers] that may entirely outweigh the benefit in terms of reduced breast cancer mortality.”

You can’t irradiate the breast without exposing the rest of your chest to radiation—your heart, your lungs—explaining why breast cancer survivors can end up with “significant and marked impairment in cardiopulmonary [heart-lung] function.” “Radiation [treatments] increase…deaths from heart disease by more than 25% and from lung cancer by nearly 80%.” Now, we would accept that risk if we were beating back some deadly cancer, but “[t]he main effect of screening is to produce patients with breast cancer” for which treatment offers zero benefit—since they “would have remained free of breast disease for the rest of their lives” without it, since “[c]ompelling data [suggest] that most overdiagnosed tumors would have regressed spontaneously without treatment.”

“Still, [women] who have had a cancer detected and then removed are likely to feel their life was saved.” But perhaps 10 times more likely their lives were actually seriously harmed, not saved. Ten times more likely you were told you had a cancer that could kill you, but you really didn’t, corralled into the operating room for surgery you didn’t need. Every doctor’s appointment, every sleepless night, all completely unnecessary—yet, you come out as mammograms’ greatest advocate; it saved your life. That’s the crazy thing about mammograms, about PSA testing for prostate cancer; the people who are the most harmed are the ones who claim the greatest benefit.

So, overdiagnosis creates this vicious “cycle…for more overdiagnosis,” because more and more people know someone—”a friend, a family member,…a celebrity—who ‘owes their life’ to early cancer detection.” So, the worse the test is, the more overdiagnosis it causes, “the more popular [it] becomes. The more mammograms harm women, the better they seem to work. The more breasts that are surgically removed completely unnecessarily, the more women swear by it.

Yeah, it’s maybe billions of dollars wasted for nothing that could be spent on doing more for women’s health. But, it’s the human costs; the “[h]arms from breast cancer-screening [may] outweigh the benefits if death caused by treatment is included.” Based on some best- and worst-case scenario estimates, “[f]or every 10 000 women invited for 10 years of [mammogram] screening, 3 to 4 breast cancer deaths [may be] avoided at [the] cost of” around 2 to 9 deaths “from the long-term toxicity of [unnecessary radiation treatments].” Yet, only one in 10 women undergoing mammography said they were ever told about overdiagnosis, even though nine out of 10 thought they had the right to know.

Now, overdiagnosis is not easy to talk about. It’s a sensitive issue, but “[j]ust because communicating with patients [can be] difficult” doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do it. Informed women deserve no less;” we have an ethical responsibility to let them know.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

For more on this difficult-to-understand concept of overdiagnosis, please review my other mammogram videos:

Stay tuned for my last four:

Yes, I could have squeezed (no mammogram pun intended!) all this into fewer videos, but feel that women deserve to know the whole truth so they can make up their own minds. I am not opposed to mammograms. I am opposed to the patronizing attitude that women should be simply badgered into them without being fully informed about the benefits and risks. Some women will still choose to get them. Others will not. It’s up to them to decide.

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

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

137 responses to “Women Deserve to Know the Truth About Mammograms

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  1. Okay, my question for today is:

    Is it even worse than that, because when the bad cancers come, does having done the chemo and radiation once for nothing make it more likely for you to not have an immune system and can’t fight off infections and the flu or a second round of Cancer?

    Is it you kill off the good gut bacteria and the bad guys have nothing restraining them work faster or something?

    Forgive me, because I know I don’t have a science background, I am just pondering if there might be a lot of risks that aren’t being accounted for?




    12
    1. I’d say even worse. First, because aside from compromising the immune system, radiation and some forms of chemotherapy act as mutagens, which in themselves can cause cancers that may develop down the road. Second, even treatments that seem effective in the short run may not kill off all cancer cells – and instead leave behind treatment resistant cancer cells, which can then proliferate down the time, and will prove much more difficult to treat.

      See for example https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2017/metastatic-breast-cancer-treatment-resistance-evolution

      “The cancer cells’ evolution followed a similar pattern in all four patients: As the cells that were sensitive to a given cancer treatment died off, surviving treatment-resistant subclones became the predominant tumor cell populations. When a new treatment was tried, it often worked for a time, too, until other populations of resistant subclones formed and came to dominate the tumor.”

      As I see it, ideally a cancer treatment would do three things. First, it either strengthens, or at least does not harm, the body’s own cancer fighting immune system. 2. It does not cause mutations that creates new cancer cells, or promote the development of treatment resistant cancer cells. and 3. It kills cancer cells, either directly, or indirectly, by making it easier for the body’s immune system to target and kill cancer cells.

      Conventional cancer therapy by itself seems a far cry from ideal, as it focuses almost exclusively on 3, killing cancer cells, while ignoring 1 and 2. A plant based WFPB diet, low in methionine (that promotes cancer growth) that also lowers IGF1 levels (high IGF1 also promotes cancer growth) does address points 1, 2 and 3. While some reports of success of people using this approach seem easy enough to find, I know of no research that has scientifically studied the effectiveness of this approach as compared to conventional chemotherapy. Nor does this at present seem likely.

      On the other hand, as a thought experiment, lets suppose one could take 200 of those women who through routine mammograms, and because of false positives and over-treatment, normally undergo conventional cancer treatment including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Now lets divide them into two matched groups of 100, the first group group undergoes conventional therapy as usual, while the second group goes on a WFPB diet.

      From the research presented in the previous videos we can predict what happens to the first group. For every woman with actual cancer saved, at least another from the false positive group dies, from over-diagnosis and over-treatment, from a group of at least nine healthy women who will have the quality of their lives severely impacted and shortened by years through undergoing a nightmare of unnecessary and grossly harmful treatments – having their breasts removed, their bodies damaged by radiation and poisoned by chemotherapy, etc. So of 100 women in group one, 10 have their lives saved – or at least extended – by conventional therapy, 10 actually healthy women die from conventional therapy, and 80 survive the treatment but have their lives severely impacted and shortened.

      Now lets compare that to the second group, who for treatment instead simply switch to a 100% WFPB diet. Even if one assumes (which I do not) that a WFPB diet will do nothing for the 1 in ten women who actually has cancer and do not seem false positives, one ends up with 10 women dead, and 90 not just intact but much healthier women who on average will live much longer and healthier lives.

      Something to think about.




      9
      1. Aleph1

        Like you, I am not sure that it is absolutely the case that a “WFPB diet will do nothing for the 1 in ten women who actually has cancer.” There is some evidence that low fat WFPB diet will help. So will fat loss and exercise
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5112289/

        There is also some evidence that fasting may be beneficial

        “The researchers reported that fasting for fewer than 13 hours per night was associated with a 36% higher risk of breast cancer recurrence compared to fasting 13 or more hours per night. This difference was statistically significant, which means that it was likely due to the difference in fasting and not just because of chance.”
        http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/can-fasting-reduce-recurrence-risk

        “Short-term starvation (or fasting) protects normal cells, mice, and potentially humans from the harmful side effects of a variety of chemotherapy drugs. Here, we show that treatment with starvation conditions sensitized yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) expressing the oncogene-like RAS2val19 to oxidative stress and 15 of 17 mammalian cancer cell lines to chemotherapeutic agents. Cycles of starvation were as effective as chemotherapeutic agents in delaying progression of different tumors and increased the effectiveness of these drugs against melanoma, glioma, and breast cancer cells. In mouse models of neuroblastoma, fasting cycles plus chemotherapy drugs—but not either treatment alone—resulted in long-term cancer-free survival. In 4T1 breast cancer cells, short-term starvation resulted in increased phosphorylation of the stress-sensitizing Akt and S6 kinases, increased oxidative stress, caspase-3 cleavage, DNA damage, and apoptosis. These studies suggest that multiple cycles of fasting promote differential stress sensitization in a wide range of tumors and could potentially replace or augment the efficacy of certain chemotherapy drugs in the treatment of various cancers.”
        http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/4/124/124ra27.long




        4
        1. Thanks for the links.

          I agree – I just set up a worst case scenario. I’ve actually seen a lot of research that a WFPB diet, especially one low in protein to further reduce methionine, might do quite a lot. Some of the research that has appeared in the past five years seems pretty amazing, especially with respect to the importance of methionine restriction and lowering IGF1 as not only effective cancer prevention strategies, but as strategies that for many cancers may even work to stop tumor growth to a dead stop, and even to reverse it.

          For someone diagnosed with cancer, switching to a low methionine diet (basically a vegan diet, or perhaps even better, a low protein vegan diet) that will also decrease IGF1 (a potent cancer promoter http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-plant-based-to-lower-igf-1/) seems to me step one. In animals at least, this kind of diet can stop cancer growth dead in its tracks in animals (see T. Colin Campbell’s research and check out http://nutritionfacts.org/video/starving-cancer-with-methionine-restriction/), and the results in humans look extremely promising as well.

          See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22342103 (“A review of methionine dependency and the role of methionine restriction in cancer growth control and life-span extension” Cancer Treat Rev. 2012 Oct;38(6):726-36)

          In my opinion diet should play a essential and primary role in cancer treatment – anything else, whether more benign natural remedies (like vitamins, herbs, mushrooms, etc.) or the usual draconian conventional therapies at best can compliment this, and can not substitute for a diet that inhibits cancer growth.

          I also find the assumption that conventional therapies actually extend life in the 1 woman who actually has cancer in ten diagnosed and treated extremely dubious, as clearly, as most of the successes that the industry claims – 90% of them – treated by cancer therapies who survive would never have developed cancer in the first place. To see if conventional therapies really helps for those who actually have cancer, one would need to compare the survival rates of those who actually have cancer and undergo conventional treatment against a control group who do not. In this U.S. we consider this kind of study unethical, so we instead opt for example to compare a group of doing one kind of chemotherapy versus another group using another.

          Still, people have tried to look at this issue. From: http://www.icnr.com/articles/ischemotherapyeffective.html:

          “Wherever data were uncertain, the authors deliberately erred on the side of over-estimating the benefit of chemotherapy. Even so, the study concluded that overall, chemotherapy contributes just over 2 percent to improved survival in cancer patients.”

          To me given the way the prejudicial way they analyzed the data, 2% seems well withing the margin for error.

          The actual study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630849 See Table 2 to see the five year survival rates broken down for 20 different kinds of cancer. In two cancer types it helped quite a lot ( cancer of the testis and Hodgkins disease it helped quite a lot, improving 5 year survival rate by 40%, for others, like it did not help at all. For breast cancer it increased 5 year survival rate by 1.4%. Not I should note in comparison to those who underwent no treatment (or changed their diets!) , but in comparison to those who opted out of chemotherapy but did undergo surgery and radiation.




          3
          1. Thank Aleph1.

            I am a bit hesitant about 2004 Sydney study. It ignores data for a number of cancers for which chemotherapy is very effective and does not discuss the differences between mortality benefits, palliation and recurrence prevention. David Gorski has written several interesting articles about the problems with this study eg

            https://respectfulinsolence.com/2011/09/16/two-percent-gambit-chemotherapy/

            He also has one on sciencebasedmedicine.com but the link won’t post. It is called: chemotherapy doesn’t work not so fast. a lesson from history




            1
  2. They need a better name than a fecal transplant, but would one of those, plus dietary change help women after chemo and radiation. Probiotics post faux Cancer treatment perhaps?




    1
  3. Dr Greger, the fact that I am the only one who has commented so far, I think women don’t know how to emotionally handle the convoluted logic of Breast cancer.

    Thank you for presenting the information.

    I agree with you that women have the right to know, and that it will be likely to take hearing it quite a few times before the shock and horror and disbelief wears off and genuine transforming of the mind happens.

    Younger women would probably just be able to receive the information without an internal war.

    Changing my personal belief system and backing up from: my mother waited too long and my step mother had mammograms save her life is already a process that I wrestled through this weekend, but I am unlikely to tell my step mother or father and if I did, my father might shout at me and I wouldn’t blame him.

    Delicate topics, because Breast cancer is not nearly solved by this revelation.




    8
    1. Hi.

      Just reading “How Not To Die” for the second time and taking notes, very interesting and has inspired me to become a vegan. On the subject of breast cancer and mammograms my mother found her own lump 10 years ago and as it turned out she had the aggressive form of breast cancer Triple Negative. She is a survivor but is currently dealing with radiation and chemo side effects of severe bone loss. What is also VERY important is WHO looks at and interprets the mammogram. It actually showed up on her previous mammogram but was missed by the MD…well that is really scary. You should request 2 or 3 different MD to read and interpret the mammogram before deciding anything.

      I also tested positive for the BRCA 1 gene, so have been recommended to do not only mammograms but breast MRI with contrast. I was wondering what the risks are for the MRI done yearly?

      TJ




      1
        1. Actually, studies of the dye used in MRI have shown it that repeated use of gadolinium-based contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can leave trace amounts in the brain, leading to some pretty serious adverse effects.




          1
    2. Hi Deb, thanks for your comment. These videos are very empowering and at the same time covering very delicate issue. I was sharing these informations from Dr Greger videos of mammograms with two friends who are cancer survivors. These cancer survivors are encouraged to do the routine mammogram and there is this dilemma that should they do these routine follow ups mammograms or not?




      0
  4. I find this series to to be truly thought provoking and interesting.

    Having undergone 2 lumpectomies, 12 rounds of chemo, mono clonal anti-body treatment and radiation myself, for a stage 1a grade 8 (very aggressive) breast tumour found on mammogram, I really do wonder. Do aggressive cancers heal themselves? Would I have healed myself? I am very strong physically and always have been. In fact I barely had any side effects from any of these treatments and continued to work throughout. I don’t regret my treatment decisions because they were the best decisions for me and the information I had at the time. But yes, I do wonder.

    What I find dismaying in this series, are not the videos themselves that I have found truly informative and relevant, but rather the discussions have have accompanied the video series and the number of people who seem to interpret this to mean that “if you just eat a plant based diet you won’t get cancer”.

    That is simply not true and Dr Greger is not taking a reductionist approach or suggesting that all breast cancer can been avoided through a plant based diet. A plant based diet improves your odds but it does not remove your risk altogether. I also do not believe that Dr Greger is suggesting that we replace cancer screening with plant food. Vegans get cancer too as cancer triggers and disease promotion are very complex and even involve things like emotions and stress.

    My 2 cents.




    22
    1. Sorry to hear all that you have gone through with this disease.

      I appreciate you bringing up the reality that vegans still get cancer.

      Yes, there are other environmental factors which contribute to the disease, but getting rid of most of the factors which cause it and cause it to grow and cause it to spread and putting as much cancer fighting nutrition in the body to fight it versus using a broken system, which doesn’t have any proven benefit is what my logic is pondering.

      I am very curious about the vegans who get cancer. I wonder if the researchers would help some of us understand that part. If 100 year olds stop getting it, because of not having enough growth hormone, is it that those vegans just had more of it and it offset things? Or were they previously meat eaters or had a lot of antibiotics and had their good gut bacteria wiped out and didn’t drink their soy milk?

      How does the vegan cancer grow without the extra growth hormone and animal choline and methionine, I wonder?

      I can see vegans having factors like cooking things wrong and doing vegan junk food and I am wondering if that group is taken out, what the numbers become?

      Is it they do everything right, but it is bacteria in their mouths under the dead root canal teeth or the mercury needing to be removed?

      Even still, how does their cancer grow and metastasize?

      Or is it that they get lung cancer from smoking or something rather than breast cancer? How does that grow? Is it the same mechanism?

      Can we request research studies?

      Some of us are very curious about this whole issue and are now officially more interested in those areas and will never have a mammogram at all, even if I still do have some odds as a vegan.




      12
      1. I would love to see a correlation between vegans and vegetarians and cancer or on any of the other topics you mentioned above.

        I have always eaten a whole food plant based diet – my parents were quite hippi-ish for their time. I grew up on farmer’s market veggies and home made food and have continued down that path and now with my own children. Although I was not totally vegan when I got my cancer diagnosis, I was already following Dr Greger and very much into health and wellness, even was sprouting my own broccolli for sulforophane based on a video by Dr Greger. :-). So my diagnosis was shocking not only to me but to everyone around me.

        Would love to learn more.




        9
        1. Please google Dr. Hulda Clark, The Cure For All Diseases.pdf
          And the Cure For Advance Cancer.pdf

          You can download them for free.

          Cleaning up your environment and doing a parasite cleanse will get rid of many diseases. I had UC for 14 years and it worked for me. I also had my mercury fillings removed.

          I have my life back! Parasites are all around us as Dr. Hulda Clark says and she is right!




          2
        2. Monica, I understand.

          Based on “common USA logic” my mother ate healthier than all the rest of my family and got cancer, and my step-mother eats so much healthier than my father and she got cancer, too.

          I emailed some of my female friends the links to which animal products cause cancer and cheese and milk and eggs being such big contributors, I already know that we have to go all the way over to vegan to change the odds, and I had one friend become vegan this weekend, because she is afraid that she has Cancer and has been buying every supplement in the world and I just texted her Growth Hormones role, and Choline’s role and Methionine’s role in Cancer and she signed up for Dr. Barnard’s 21 Day Jumpstart that night and is already vegan and I went to a talk on Essential Oils and all of the people in the room had pain, except for me, and I was able to talk with the person next to me about this.

          Honestly, if they did Vegan and Adventist Vegan studies and figure out why Vegans don’t have the same levels as 100 year olds, that would help me more than any study on Mammogram even.

          I want them to get every detail on them.

          Fillings and root canals
          Distance from power lines
          Test their water
          And mouth and gut bacteria
          Check their Growth Hormone and Methionine and Choline levels
          Test their Cortisone levels
          See if they are actually eating any fruits and vegetables and whether they are doing organic
          Ask their cooking practices and check for pesticides and arsenic.
          (Yes, that would be the group where I would most have liked the arsenic in rice tests done)
          Check their genes & for missing nutrition
          Find out if they are supplementing with fish oil or vegan sources
          Ask their pot smoking, alcohol, drugs, smoking, soda levels, etc.

          If that could be narrowed, then, people like me could just adjust a few things here and there and I would be so grateful!




          2
          1. Okay, then we can add in parasites….

            And add in whether they close the toilet seat lid or expose their tooth brush to the bacteria of the meat eaters in their family

            And add in blood type and add in a PH test and have them figure out whether they are accidentally eating products like Go Veggie lactose free cheese, because the store puts both next to each other, like I did a few times.

            And add in their cooking pans and deodorants and cleaning products, etc.

            And whether they lean in and look in their microwave when they are cooking their ramen noodles in a plastic container?

            Can we get the Super Bowl winners to fund the study?




            3
          2. and x-rays…. My dentist always wants to give me x-rays to check between my teeth. I asked him how many fillings have I had between my teeth so far as of my age; (I am 70.) “None,” he said. What is worse–getting cancer from x-rays or having to get a root canal, say? He said, “Cancer….”

            x-rays to check our teeth, to check for broken bones, for orthodontic work, to check for TB, and the list goes on….




            3
            1. This is a big pet peeve of mine. Even the ADA came out a few years ago saying dentists should NOT perform routine x-rays unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Dentists have pushed me for years to get annual x-rays; i suspect they want to pay for those big expensive x-ray machines sitting in the exam rooms. They don’t pay for themselves unless they’re used. I am in my 50s and x-rays NEVER revealed any hidden cavities or other issues.




              2
      2. In 2013 I was diagnosed at age 56 with ovarian cancer and had chemo,surgery, chemo at UC Davis Medical Center. I’ve been a healthy eating organics and vegan since 2000. I strongly believe the tumor was caused by a powerful radio I wore on my hip for work. I was tested negative for the BRCA genes. When I asked my UCD oncologist/surgeon and my chemo oncologist separately how long they thought I’d had the cancer, both replied one to two years, surgeon added possibly as little as 6 mos. I wore the radio for 2-1/2 years up to that point. I agree with a vegan friend who has some medical knowledge/experience, who feels the effect of wearing the radio daily was too much for my healthy body to fight off, even if vegan. Who’s to say? (I went back to work and refused to wear the radio on my body again but have since left altogether.) Neither of my doc’s gave any recommendations for diet or nutrition to improve my condition. Only to take no antioxidants during chemo in order to ‘not interfere with its effects’. Hmmmm. I’ve read more recently that that is not true. After the BRCA test, my UCD oncologist decided perhaps with my vegan diet and eating mostly organic for the last 20 yrs, that perhaps the cancer indeed was caused by environmental factors. The tumor was right where I wore the radio. Yet I cannot find any studies done with radios and cancer–only aware of cautions against cell phones. The chemo wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be although wasn’t always great either. I’ve upped my nutrition, exercise since and have been feeling great. Friends visiting me couldn’t believe I had cancer by the ‘normal’ way I looked and acted. The cancer (stage IIIC) wasn’t all that detectable, symptoms light (common for ovarian). I believe my healthy vegan diet is what helped me get through the treatments and aided in my quick recovery. Four yrs since surgery and all is well. Although once one has had cancer, it’s hard not to wonder if the other shoe may drop. But I don’t dwell on it.




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    2. Monica, screening mammography tends to miss aggressive cancers; that’s because they can grow quickly between screenings. That’s not to say it misses all of them. It sounds as though your cancer was caught by a screening mammogram. But my sister’s was not; 8 months after a “clean” mammogram, she discovered a lump that was 2.5 cm, stage 2 cancer. Dr. Gilbert Welch explains this very clearly in his book “Should I Be Tested for Cancer? Maybe Not, and Here’s Why.”

      I also agree with you that eating a healthy plant based diet may improve your odds of not getting breast cancer, but that risk never goes to zero.

      But the problem with screening appears to be that it doesn’t actually save lives, and biopsies and treatments cause great harms. If that is true, then perhaps waiting for symptoms to be physically felt is a better way to go. At this time.




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      1. Dr J, I am pondering about waiting for symptoms to show up and whether the odds for that is represented in the numbers above.

        If the theories are that women waited too long or mammogram missed the aggressive tumors and treating at that point didn’t improve mortality or is it that if you subtract the women who got treated too early out does it improve the numbers?

        That isnt clear to me yet.

        This is hard for me to process logic-wise, but I feel like I need the numbers of the treated early people and whether they are also represented in the deaths above meaning the same people who get treated again.

        If they don’t get treated the first time, does that change the ratio or is it that the machines font catch the aggressive cancers soon enough and would self-screening have the same problem?

        I appreciate each person who adds to this conversation. I find it helpful to see your minds thinking this through.




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        1. I think we need the math department’s help, because each topic need its own “odds”

          Okay math department here are the things we need odds on so far:

          Over diagnosis of things which might not grow

          Might get Cancer from the mammogram

          Might get Cancer from radiating that area

          Might not have an immune system and might die from an infection

          Mammograms might miss your Cancer and you might start treating too late

          Self exam we don’t know how well that is for missing versus finding Cancer.

          Ultrasound and Thermogram need the same odds to be evaluated.

          Not enough information to make proper decisions seems to be the answer.




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      2. By the time you can “feel” an aggressive breast cancer tumour it has nearly always spread. Early detection for aggressive breast cancer can make an enormous difference for survival – 95% if caught in stage 1 and less than 50% if stage 3 (which means it has not metastasized but it has travelled to the lymph nodes. That an inherent part of the dilemma. By the time you can feel it, it will likely kill you.




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    3. http://www.ergo-log.com/low-inflammatory-index-diet-protects-against-cancer.html

      “Cancer cells grow and spread faster through the body the more inflammatory factors are present. These include interleukin 1-beta, interleukin-4, interleukin-6, interleukin-10, tumour necrosis factor alpha and C-reactive protein. We know that nutritional factors have an influence on carcinogenic inflammatory factors.

      So a diet that reduces the synthesis of inflammatory factors should in theory reduce the chance of cancer developing. And because aging is accompanied by a cascade of inflammatory reactions, a diet like this may also increase life expectancy.”

      “The more calories you consume daily, and the more carbohydrates, bad fats, proteins, cholesterol, vitamin B12 and iron you consume, the more inflammatory factors your body produces.

      Nutritional factors that reduce the synthesis of inflammatory factors include unsaturated fatty acids, fibre, magnesium, beta-carotene, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B11, C, D, E, anthocyanidins, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, flavanones, flavones, isoflavones, garlic, ginger, pepper, onions, tea, eugenol, saffron, selenium, turmeric, zinc, thyme, oregano and rosemary.”

      “The researchers followed 6542 adults for about twelve years, and recorded who developed cancer and who didn’t. The researchers also knew the content of the participants’ diets, and were able to calculate a Dietary Inflammatory Index for each person. ”

      “Among the women who drank little alcohol, a diet with a low inflammatory index reduced the chance of developing breast cancer by a factor of four.

      So the answer is: a low inflammatory diet….




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      1. That is a low carb website. Naturally, therefore, it is somewhat misleading.

        It says that carbohydrate is inflammatory. Using the DII, it is. However the site doesn’t tell us that fat is much more inflammatory.than carbohydrate according to the DII Nor does it tell us that fibre – a type of caarbohydrate – is strongly anti-inflammatory.




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  5. I found this video very misleading….
    You are trying to scare woman from having mammograms- Really?
    What exact diagnoses are you speaking of that get treated as breast cancer but are not cancer?
    For sure mammograms can find things that lead to benign biopsies instead of cancer but these would then not get treated as cancer.
    Please ladies, discuss mammograms with your own doctors- become your own advocate – educate yourself – ask for the facts –




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    1. Astrid, I suggest you watch the whole video series. They are very informative and evidence based. Dr. Greger is NOT trying to “scare woman from having mammograms.” Quite the contrary, he is trying to counter the scaring of women INTO having screening mammography. His approach is that women are intelligent, and if presented with research facts and evidence about screening mammography, will be able to make an informed decision as to what screening is appropriate for them.




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    2. Exactly.One can read all kinds of stuff,wonder what to do etc. Try to eat healthier and excercise,monitor your health.Glean info that may work for you and live your life.(because next yr we will read all new data and be told what we have been doing was wrong)




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    1. I agree with that sentence: Woman take charge of your health

      However, all of the women I know think they are taking charge of their health by going to “experts” called “doctors” who push them to have mammograms in the first place.

      We need the issue talked about on Dr. Oz and The Doctors and by Oprah, then, it might slowly filter out to the busy working women who don’t watch television.




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    2. Mamocha, I did not read it that way.. I check the written transcripts and it says that less than 1 out of 10 women are told about the serious harm that can come from mammogram screening, and of those that were treated, half said that they would not agree to screening if it resulted in more than 1 overtreated woman per life saved. Apparently, 90 % of women do not know the full story of the risks involved says Dr Greger.

      Dr McDougall, another plant-based doc has a page on the topic also https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/hot-topics/medical-topics/breast-cancer/




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  6. I have very much appreciated this series. One thing you have not covered to date is false negative results. I’d appreciate your information on this topic.

    I am a breast cancer survivor. I had discovered a 2+ cm lump and was sent for a mammogram. This came back negative. However when the lumpectomy was done I was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently had a mastectomy with some lymph node involvement.

    So it seems to me that either way the mammogram is not a good tool for diagnosis.




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  7. I would love to see a correlation between vegans and vegetarians and cancer or on any of the other topics you mentioned above.

    I have always eaten a whole food plant based diet – my parents were quite hippi-ish for their time. I grew up on farmer’s market veggies and home made food and have continued down that path and now with my own children. Although I was not totally vegan when I got my cancer diagnosis, I was already following Dr Greger and very much into health and wellness, even was sprouting my own broccolli for sulforophane based on a video by Dr Greger. :-). So my diagnosis was shocking not only to me but to everyone around me.

    Would love to learn more.




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    1. There doesn’t appear to be a strong association between diet and breast cancer – at least as shown in the Adventist health studies. Such papers go back to at least 1975.

      The latest one is here.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4907539/

      However, ignoring the statistical qualifiers, it does seem that the figures consistently show reduced risk for women eating totally vegetarian diets (called “vegans” in this paper). See Table 2
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4907539/table/T2/




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  8. Dr. Gregor, I am in my late 60’s and have been dating now for a bit and most of the men I have dated have all had their prostate removed… being a nurse I am disturbed at the frequency of this! My fellow now was told it was up to him and scared him. So, he had it taken out…. it is sad to see the amount of corruption going on here. If the PSA test shows cancer then it is in the blood stream and nodes probably already? I was taught anyway. So, if it is fast moving it is not good and slow moving something else a man will die of….. these doctors are removing prostates from older men just like the breast screening is doing damage to many women!! This really angers me!!! My nursing director told me….. “Carole medicine is a business!”…. true!!!




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    1. I was watching Dr. Lisle a few weeks ago and he mentioned a few studies, which I remember from my psychology classes.

      65% of people “do the wrong thing” if there is an insistent authority figure or peer pressure.

      One of the studies 65% of the people gave a wrong answer to an obvious question, knowing it was the wrong answer, because the peer pressure in the group.
      The other study, the same percentage, 65% of the people were willing to shock someone to a level where the person was screaming in pain and begging them to stop and when the machine they were using said, “Danger, Deadly” at the level of shock they thought they were giving, because an authority was telling them that they had to do it.

      Doctors are the ones who are accountable, and the shift has to be made where the women and men are educated enough to not simply obey.

      65% of people will just do whatever the doctor says.

      That is the truth about dynamics with authority figures and peer pressure.

      Women need to hear this information.

      To those who are terrified that more women will die, that isn’t happening right now.

      I know someone needs to have the peer pressure and authority figures thinking “This is not working.” AND “We need to not just dismantle this system, we need to find Door #3.”




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    2. Carole, prostate cancer seems like gray hair and wrinkles: the older the man, the more likely he is to have it. But for most of these men, their prostate cancer is very slow growing, especially if they are older, and they would be more likely to die with untreated prostate cancer than from it. In fact, PSA screening is no longer recommended, since the harms of treatment outweighed any benefits. As appears to be true with screening mammograms. At least with prostate cancer, there is some idea as to how aggressive the cancer is, based on Gleason score and some other scoring systems as well.

      And no, higher PSA scores do not necessarily mean that the cancer has spread. Though they might indicate a recurrence after treatment. The problem is that once a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, even an indolent one, most opt for surgery — because they are frightened, and because that’s what surgeons advise. Other options include radiation (external beam or brachytherapy, which are little metal “seeds” containing radioactive material that are implanted in the prostate) and even watchful waiting. My husband opted for brachytherapy (he took two years to research his options) 10 years ago, and is doing very well. Knock wood. Radiation can be ultimately as damaging as surgery. There is no cancer treatment free from harm. Unfortunately.




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    3. In the UK, the number of deaths from prostate cancer has now overtaken deaths from breast cancer
      http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42890405

      In the US, there are still significantly more breast cancer deaths than prostate cancer deaths – except in the age 65 and above population where there are more deaths from prostate cancer
      https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2018/estimated-number-of-deaths-for-the-four-major-cancers-by-sex-and-age-group-2018.pdf




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      1. Part of the higher prostate cancer stats in the US is the drugs they use to slow the enlargement of the prostate have been found to convert benign lumps to malignant. My brother-in-law had that happen with him. All the MDs wanted to put my husband on them. Dr. Greger has a video or several on it and my honey now takes at least 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds every day. They are supposed to work as well and may even shrink tutors.




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  9. When facing a difficult decision between X or Y, there always exists things in the rejected part that could make it look good. That is why it is difficult. Usually, people look at other people to see what they do. Thus they allow to be influenced in their deliberation (easier). However, if there is a novel discovery it could tilt the balanced. Sometimes presenting the information in a different way (remaking the story), can tilt the balance and make the choice easier too. What choice is better?




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  10. Interesting article. I was diagnosed recently with CLL, chronic lymphocytic leukemia. CLL, in itself is not frightening, however, the higher risk of other kinds of cancers is. I do try to eat a lot of “plants” but being married to a die-hard meat eater, it’s next to impossible to eat a total plant based diet. I have a question regarding the above comment referring to vegan junk food- what exactly is vegan junk food?? Just curious. In addition to the breast removals, back in the early 90’s hysterectomies were common. I was encouraged to have a hysterectomy nearly 28 years ago, probably unnecessary as well. Seems that there is “disease” of the decade that gets pounced on and causes a lot of potentially unnecessary surgeries! Becoming your own advocate is indeed a noble quest. However, I certainly don’t trust my own opinion when it comes to medical necessities…




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    1. [[I have a question regarding the above comment referring to vegan junk food- what exactly is vegan junk food?? ]]

      Here is your answer, and the list could go on and on:
      Doritos and many other types of crisps
      Oreos and many other biscuits
      French fries
      Pizza with vegan cheese
      Vegan cheese-burger (bread, vegan burger, vegan cheese, …)
      Sodas
      Burritos




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    2. Susan, . . I think there are going to be a lot of opinions about the topic “what is vegan junk food”. But I think in general it means consumable items that are not made from animals but also have virtually no nutritional value. That’s why some people distinguish between a vegan diet and a whole food plant based diet. Dr. McDougall relays a story about an intern of his that was vegan and consumed no animal products. His diet was pop and potato chips. While technically vegan one wouldn’t call that healthy. When I am discussing my diet with others I refer to it as a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet as I am trying to consume a diet with no animal products along with the most nutrition I can work into it. There are now many products on the market like imitation meats, imitation cheese that, while technically vegan, may or may not be healthy and offer nutrition. Some might argue that those products are healthier than eating true animal products. And there was a time I would consume those products upon occasion to keep me from falling off the wagon (so to speak). Others may have additional opinions to add.




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    3. Susan, more vegan junk food: sodas, candies, chips, pretzels, cookies, cakes, cookies, highly processed “meal” items like pizza and meat substitutes and frozen dinners, etc. I think of highly processed foods — especially with added sugar, salt, oil, and refined flour — as “junk.” Non dairy yogurts and frozen desserts with all kinds of additives, same for breads and cereals and granola bars (I call them “granola cookies” and avoid them).




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  11. at one time there was a pink pad you could use to do self exams and the mammogram industry shut it down. What was that and what are stats for self exam finding cancer?




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  12. Interesting to see how many questions posed here have already been addressed in Dr. Greger’s book, “How Not to Die”. Similarly, the answers can be found just by going to the health topics index and watching a few older videos.




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  13. Just as a outsider to this and I will only make one comment on it …Dr Greger to my opinion has hit on the most important part of this. Women are simply not told or informed about the whole process of this, testings probable cause dietary influence and the rest which is a great tragedy. My mom suffered from this and was told absolutely nothing, though she did successfully fight it. They paired up peoples in the hospital to assist the patients in their treatments which was quite innovative at the time. She was paired with another who refused to get a mastectomy, and I distinctly do remember as a child going to her funeral.

    Peoples back in that day and it continues, are simply treated in a way, like cars to be fixed. We are not given the ability to participate in our own bodies which is the most personal item we may own. With breast cancer it appears many of the docs themselves do not fully understand things regarding this. So we must educate ourselves. Though it is not my issue in a sense, I applaud Dr Greger for making this issue known of.
    This video seems the most important for all to know.




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  14. About the exercise recommendations.

    There are some observational studies and some comments from cardiologists that seem to point out that there might exist something like “too much exercise”. This shouldn’t be so suprising when you realise that, even in nutrition, there can be something like; “too much broccoli”, right?

    This would mean that exercising for health, is not identical with exercising for fitness. The benefits of exercise are said to lower towards the levels of sedentary people once you reach a certain treshold of intense activity.

    I know Dr. Greger recommended in 2017 to do 90 minutes moderate intensity workouts, like walking. Or 40 minutes of hi intensity exercise, like running, daily.

    But is it really true that there isn’t something like too much exercise? What if people were made for (endurance) walking and not for (endurance) running?

    Some pieces of information seem to hint just at that ; there appears to be no end (relative) at the health benefits one can expect from increasing walking activity.

    But there does seem to be an end in the health benefit curve for running…, even dipping back to the levels of sedentary people, and below, when a certain amount of high intensity exercise is reached for each week.

    Running a marathon migth be a great idea for ideal fitness, but this would not be such a great run for health. Maybe the new slogan should be “the more moderate intensity exercise the better.” But also “to moderate high intensity exercise…” if health is the real goal one has in mind.

    http://www.berkeleywellness.com/fitness/exercise/article/hazards-too-much-exercise




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    1. Exercise is relative. People in poor shape will bring down the expectations so that they mentally feel Ok. But as it relates to cancer, exercise is very important as it is the engine that moves the lymphatic system (no heart there). And the lymphatic system is the landscape of war for the immune system.




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    1. Hello

      1 How come you did not look for the ones that are not bold?

      2 How come there are people that are not vegan yet are still bold?

      3 And is aging or inflammation related to boldness?




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    2. :-D good observation!

      While I am running the risk of answering a rhetoric question… Yes hairloss and greying hair can be a result of early aging, but some harmless genes are probably at work here.




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    1. Hi, Andrea Majeski. I am not a doctor, and so I cannot give medical advice. As a 53-year-old woman, I can give you my personal opinion. I have tried infrared thermography, but have not had a mammogram. I do not have a family history of breast cancer, and have every reason to believe that my risk is low for developing it, based on my lifestyle. If I had higher risk factors, I might make different decisions for myself. You might be interested in this study. I hope that helps!




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    2. Unfortunately, there is not a standardized body of literature strongly supporting one method of breast cancer screening for all women. It’s complicated and frustrating. Hopefully one day in the future, there will be an optimal screening method for the majority of women. -Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer




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  15. To Administrator:
    This video series has a lot of information in it. I can see myself referring to it in the future and/or sharing the series with others. I would like to know what the title of this topic is going to be so that when I search for all of these videos as a group they will all come up. Would I search for mammograms? breast cancer? Will the video titled “Overtreatment of Stage 0 Breast Cancer” come up under the mammogram umbrella? I ask this question because sometimes I search for a topic and I know I’ve seen video’s related to the topic that I remember but cannot seem to pull them up using the search function and an obvious topic or title. The information is under a title that is more obscure. Thanks!




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  16. This same phenomenon — that patients most harmed by overdiagnosis or other overzealous medical intervention become the most ardent supporters of those interventions — is seen in the world of childbirth as well.

    Most women arrive at hospitals with healthy pregnancies, capable of delivering healthy babies through an uneventful vaginal birthing process. But once they’re admitted, the clock starts to tick… and women whose labor doesn’t “progress” along a prescribed timetable face immense pressure to receive Pitocin or other medical procedures to speed the birth along.

    Then, those interventions themselves cause the baby to go into distress, and a caesarean birth is performed. The American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology has itself named these interventions as part of the reason the USA has a higher rate of caesarean births than other countries around the world.

    One might expect that these same women, having endured unnecessary surgery and all the associated complications, would become advocates for allowing for greater patience during the birthing process. But instead, believing that fetal monitoring and caesarean surgery “saved their baby’s life”, they become ever more ardent about the importance of medical supervision of childbirth. It’s just what we see with women who believed mammography saved them too… when in all likelihood they were harmed instead.




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    1. I will comment on this as it perhaps speaks of another area…specifically litigation.
      Normally I am a proponent of litigation as one means and perhaps the only means a common person has to hold others accountable.

      That being said, statistically child birth receives by far the most amount of claim of harm or fault in the medical profession.Everyone expects a well healthy baby.. So when one does not occur, often fault is assumed and litigation is the result. I had a close family member who had what was most probably a simple still birth, or so it was called. She would advise to her dying day she thought she heard a nurse saying some thing to the effect that they had dropped the baby and killed it. Which is about impossible. She did have a c section with is aside the point here.

      So in the context of probable litigation in the event of any harm to the baby, a quick easy c section is the preferred option. Is it the best thing for the mother….probably not. Litigation may be singular in that in America as opposed to other nations.It is more likely and possible here.So c section becomes the preferred option for a doc. I know surgeons who have gone their entire career without litigation. Child birth docs…no.

      Not to justify it or say it is right, but to venture a probable cause. Mammography however has no such predominance of litigation which favors it.Peoples are inclined to self justify choices made to include medical ones. They do this through affirmation to others of the procedure. We see this in diet and dietary choices all the time. Peoples justify bad diets in conversation as they have bad diets and participate in them. A allowance of a medical procedure is a participation in them..




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  17. Having just undergone aggressive treatment for breast cancer, I can’t help but be disturbed by this video. The thought of being among those more harmed than helped by treatment is very troubling after surviving the hardest year of my life.

    I would like to know more about the false positives described in this video, the cells that look like cancer but aren’t. What kinds of cells are these, and how was it later determined that they weren’t cancerous?

    Also, if mammograms are causing this false-positive issue and some tumors would regress on their own, what is the recommendation beyond understanding these risks? What is the best way to approach breast cancer screening?

    Thank you.




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    1. Kate, I am sorry for each woman who has to face this issue.

      Yes, those are the questions, which still need to be answered.

      I suspect that every researcher in the world who studies breast cancer will be figuring out how to figure that out next.

      I am wondering if there are Cancer Think Tanks (Though I suspect some topics have so much emotion attached that Think Tanks might become Slug Fests.)

      Pondering it myself, I know that I am a personality, which would err at not doing any of it and I have friends who would err at doing all of it.

      With data like this, I can’t imagine anyone has a right answer yet.




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    2. It’s an enormously frustrating problem. As you’ve learned through your many trials, mammograms (a kind of x ray) don’t detect abnormal cells directly, but show areas that look differently in several ways from normal breast tissue. If the mammogram gives a picture that shows, for example, a “bright” area on x ray, that could be cancer. That usually prompts additional mammogram pictures, which may or may not be able to tell with greater certainty that an area is concerning. If the area is concerning by it’s x ray appearance, a biopsy (needle into the area to pull back cells). Then the cells are “stained” with special dye and examined under a microscope. Sometimes, this shows clear cut changes from normal that are cancer for sure. Other times, the cells may look slightly different than normal, or “atypical.” If cancer cells are clearly found, for most stages of cancer they excise the tumor, and make sure the edges of the incision look normal under the microscope. If atypical cells are found, the may also excise the area. Then, they stain and examine all of the tissue that’s been removed (a much bigger amount of tissue than the biopsy). Sometimes, they find that the big sample wasn’t cancer after all, and that the small biopsy just looked a bit different, but wasn’t a part of cancer. When that happens (normal excised tissue with possibly abnormal biopsy tissue), the biopsy is called a “false positive.”

      No breast cancer screening test is perfect. There are many organizations that publish breast cancer screening guidelines, and they are all slightly different from one another, reflecting a lack of scientific consensus on one best way to screen. We certainly hope this changes in future!

      -Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer




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  18. Alicia Silverstone, Oprah, any of you out there, can you help us get a study to give us a better plan of action than banging our heads against the wall uselessly or putting our heads in the sand as our only real options?




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  19. Let’s face it, with odds like those women are going to be choosing either WFPB or thinks like Gerson or lLaetrile or blood root or essential oils or enzymes or Keto or denial as their Door # 3.

    I have chosen almost-Whole Food Plant Based and am okay living with whatever the consequence of that decision, but if we really see WFPB as Door # 3, we really do need studies so in depth on that door.




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  20. How is breast cancer found if not through a mammogram? If you decided not to get mammograms due to the risk of a false positive diagnosis, how would cancer be detected if you actually had cancer? If you are given a positive result are there other tests to determine if you actually have an agressive cancer that needs treatment?




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    1. The safest, and also reliable, method for cancer detection is infrared thermography. It is relatively inexpensive, the results are read by a doctor and then if a potential problem is found you take the images to the doctor of your choice. It detects any disease that causes increased blood flow or a temperature increase. So you might even discover you have gall bladder issues and need to correct your diet. :-)

      Here is a link to a study done on breast cancer detection: http://www.americanjournalofsurgery.com/article/S0002-9610(08)00475-3/abstract

      You can do more searches for scholarly articles and get even more proof.




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    2. Hi I’m a RN and health support volunteer with nutritionfacts.org. Thanks for your great question. When we talk about mammograms, there are screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms which would be done if there were symptoms of breast cancer such as lumps, breast pain, changes in the appearance of the breast, nipple discharge. The question Dr. Greger is addressing is if the risk benefit ratio truly favors doing screening mammograms on women who have no symptoms of breast cancer and low or even no risk factors for it. Dr. Greger is not recommending against screening mammograms, but more suggesting that there should be an honest discussion between a woman and her doctor about the risks versus the benefits. Evidence suggests the risks are not being adequately discussed and women aren’t given the information to make an informed decision. They are more or less being told to get their mammograms. There is national discussion on this and I think in the next few years, recommendations may change as to how often screening mammograms should be done. Perhaps every 3 or 5 years instead of every year for low risk women which would decrease the amount of over diagnosis.
      If you opted not to have screening mammograms, you could still do self breast exams and get a diagnostic mammogram if you find a lump or have any symptoms of breast cancer.
      Once breast cancer is diagnosed, it is usually followed up with a breast ultrasound, mammogram and biopsy to determine the type of cancer and guide treatment.
      I hope that helps answer your question.
      NurseKelly




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  21. Dr. Geiger,

    How should this information affect my practice personally? Are you saying that, based on this research, we should educate women on the risks and allow them to make the decision themselves? In this day in age where quality metrics are being driven into our heads because reimbursement is being driven by quality measures (read: patients receiving colonoscopies, mammograms, A1c q 3 months etc), I’m concerned about the effect on my job a decrease in mammograms might have. Our medical group grinds numbers and gives us reports on how many eligible patients received mammograms or colonoscopies. We are met with if we aren’t meeting the goal percentage. What should be done in this situation?




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    1. EXACTLY! And the patient is up against the “system.” Sad! I want to have a checkup to see my blood work numbers, etc., but if I go in to see my doctor, I am bombarded with additional tests–colonoscopies, mammos, bone density, etc.




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  22. How not to get sick:

    1) Don’t smoke.

    2) Don’t use recreational drugs.

    3) Abstain from, or limit, alcohol intake.

    4) Eat a whole foods, plant-based diet.

    5) Exercise.

    6) Be conscientious. That is the trait that is most common to long-lived people, according to the author of the other “How Not To Die” book, Jan Garavaglia, MD.

    7) Laugh, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

    8) Have good friends, and be a good friend.

    9) Don’t worry so much; don’t try to micromanage your life.




    3
    1. Great list Mike Quinoa! I would only add regular meditation or spiritual practice but it might go under the ‘don’t worry, be happy’ line.




      1
  23. Also, don’t live or work in the city or other polluted areas if you can avoid it. According to the World Health Organization

    “n the year 2012, ambient air pollution was responsible for 3 million deaths, representing 5.4% of the total deaths. Worldwide, ambient air pollution is estimated to cause about 25% of the lung cancer deaths, 8% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) deaths, about 15% of ischaemic heart disease and stroke, and about 17% of respiratory infection deaths.”
    http://www.who.int/gho/phe/outdoor_air_pollution/burden_text/en/

    More recent studies suggest even more deaths from pollution
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/19/global-pollution-kills-millions-threatens-survival-human-societies

    Those of us living outside the US might also suggest that, ideally, you should consider moving to eg Canada or some European countries where traffic fatalities and gun deaths are much lower. Although since I am currently living in the Philippines, I should also take that same advice. Traffic fatalities here occur at the same rate as in the US and firearms related deaths aren’t much lower than in the US




    4
    1. Yup. 23 years in Manila and my husband has scar tissue in his lungs that is not TB! Cebu is much better – at least where we are. And that includes 14 years of quality vegan and 6 year of WFPB. The cost of working with the urban poor. Going back to our home country soon. I will say that I got off 5 drugs for allergies and asthma when we became vegan!




      0
  24. I feel like this really does need the math department, because it seems like women need to figure out the complicated equation of how to thread the needle between not doing something too early and not doing something too late.

    Probably some statistics of what ages women are when they find the tough cancers might help.

    Sorted by risk factor.

    Something like the hourly weather forecast….

    Do you know anybody who could set that type of thing up?

    Then, it could be fine tuned after that.




    1
  25. I know that I am talking to the scientists and statisticians out there someplace.

    There is officially a gap so large that women are going to be hearing the trickle down version of “Don’t even bother doing anything.” and I suspect that there will suddenly be some creative conversations.

    I am laughing, because I am pondering the fact that dogs are beneficial for kids, because of the shared bacteria, would they be able to help women who already did this process get their immune system back?

    I want the artists and engineers to enter the conversation.




    1
  26. Can we change the name of fecal transplants to something closer to intermyocellular lipid? Or use initials and would that be a very disgusting way of helping repopulate the gut flora and slowing down the tumors?

    Could there be vegan saliva transplants? Or 30 minute kissing booths with selected good bacteria donors which can war with the hiding bacteria in the mouths of people who never flossed one day of their lives and didn’t want gaps in their mouths? How about cold laser? Would that shrink the mouth population of bad bacteria? Maybe?

    Can we have the researchers who did the food dripping on the petri dish do a Predators versus the Alien version of Growth Hormone versus 1/4 cup of flax seeds and Choline versus Broccoli Sprouts on the 3D Laser printer tumor so that the people who haven’t totally gone vegan will be able to figure out their “Should I get a Mammogram” actuarial tables properly?




    1
  27. LOL! I messed up the joke.

    It would be Growth Hormone versus Choline for Alien versus Predator.

    Batman versus Joker is the old school Growth Hormone versus Flax seed.




    1
  28. Even better, people can get cancer sniffing dogs and have them do double duty as beneficial bacteria donors and it can be like the seeing eye dog trainers, but the dogs have to be raised by healthy vegans.




    1
  29. And I am semi-joking, but not at all.

    Do Cancer sniffing dogs work better than self-exam? I already know the answer will be “Yes” and that the women who are getting angry are angry, because this series really leaves us back at square one and if there was a symbolic person to email or send letters to, some of us would already be doing it.

    Posting on your blog like a Chinese Water Torture is my contribution to the cause, until I figure out who else to toss notes, to.

    I have to go back and read the names on the studies again.




    1
  30. I am older than you and I want to pull rank and hold you accountable for this message series.

    I respect you for sharing it, but you had better be one of the people on the phone with doctors who now genuinely won’t know what to do and you, yourself presented these arguments and backed up into “I am not against mammograms” and I want to ask you, whist got you to suddenly act like a turtle pulling your head back in the shell?

    Or did you do the same logic process which I did that there is evidence that things like Tamoxifen works, but now there is no logic to support getting screened or doing the process at all.

    I am going to challenge you to not back up people pleasing sentences like that.

    You already spoke the truth. Backing up doesn’t suit you, unless it is a way to change lanes to move forward again.

    If it is your way of emotionally distsncing yourself from the implications of the study, I am going to ask you not to.

    You, Dr Greger are an authority figure and people are turning to you for guidance and 65% of the people will just do what you say and some of us may not do anything you say and blame it on the sixties.

    That is my two cents.

    Honestly, the press will already be rudderless and women already have Cancer and have to make decisions and I am not putting that all on you, but if this is a war, it is time for the generals to get back in the war room.




    1
  31. I go back to the Growth Hormone, choline and Methionine and wonder can doctors test women for those? Are there other markers they can do instead of exposing people to the radiation and pain of mammograms?

    Are there 3D whole body scanners, which could make the Cancer money people happy?

    I hope so, because technology should have improved back when the test was so painful that women don’t want to go through it.

    Wake Forest Institute might know where to get the good equipment.

    I genuinely want a conversation, because even if it happened today, nothing at all will change in care for decades, because of how slowly things move, so should women opt out for a few decades until the money people decide to change things faster?

    A mammogram boycott? Are there enough billions in Breast Cancer dollars that if someone tossed Oprah that concept, maybe things would actually start to change?




    1
    1. I am pondering that mammograms don’t see the tumors in dense breasts.

      Is it that the women got heavier – rendering the machine worthless for seeing the lethal tumors.

      Women get heavier as they age and tumors become more likely as they age?

      If so, the thinner women might get more accurate results?




      0
  32. I said Wake a forest Institute, because I do believe they had a new technology.

    I wonder if someone knows who might have a list of emails to the presidents of hospitals yo recommend updating to newer and less controversial equipment, before women opt out in droves.




    1
  33. And I am sorry if my sense of humor doesn’t translate.

    I am not trying to boss you around or put you down.

    You are doing something brilliant here, but I never want you to write the sentence that you aren’t against mammograms ever again.

    They cause Cancer and might not catch the invasive cancers in time and can’t see through dense breasts.

    I really think Wake Forest was scanning with something higher tech and less painful.




    0
  34. At 2:05, the truly overlooked FACT, is, that conventional, but HIGHLY profitable, method of treating cancer, IS the cause of death, and not the cancer itself. Mammogram causes cancer. Period!




    3
  35. Hello Michael Greger´s expert friends,

    I have a question about IGF-1. I eat a plant based diet and I love to read about all of the new insights about lifestyle, food and aging.
    In the Bio-hacking industry some people say that IGF-1 is a good thing (to a certain extend) because it is linked to cell growth but it´s also linked to cancer.
    Drugs that stimulate telomerase growth have also been linked to cancer in mise studies.
    What is your view on IGF-1?
    I was wondering about the link between exercise – IGF1 and cancer? I am really confused about IGF-1 and if it´s a good thing or not.
    I know that people with dwarfism have a low IGF-1 – don´t get cancer and live longer. So should we see the IGF-1 produced by exercise as a bad side effect?
    I hope you can help me!




    2
    1. Hi Alissa,

      I am not an expert at anything, but I can tell you that I am not worried about IGF-1 from exercise, because there are studies where exercise helps breast cancer patients, and I don’t see a whole list of studies contradicting this. (Tom, you are better at the study gathering than I am. If there is a study on it, post it for this kind woman.)

      Here is wording from PubMed: (Don’t know if the links will stay, but you can go to PubMed and search Breast Cancer and Exercise and find it)

      To date, the majority of evidence for exercise benefits comes from studies of breast cancer survivors (154), though research in other cancer populations is steadily increasing. Numerous systematic reviews and meta-analysis have been published (71, 87, 154, 171) and exercise recommendations have been issued (138). A synopsis of the current information on exercise benefits after cancer treatment is described below with an emphasis on the physiologic adaptations that directly benefit cancer survivors.

      Here is Dr. Greger’s site explanation about having too much IGF from food sources. Watch his videos, and watch your food sources.

      https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/igf-1/




      2
      1. Alissa, I say that to you and it is my first thoughts, but, like you, I have intellectually pondered if there are processes other than diet for people who have excess growth hormone. I don’t know the answer, but know that if I had Cancer right now, I would be thinking like you are thinking and would want to decrease my growth hormone levels lickety-split and would genuinely be pondering “Is it safer to be a couch potato if my IGF is high?” so even though I answered the way I did, my mind has already thought the way you are, so maybe I should have waited for Tom to answer.




        1
    2. My understanding is that exercise reduces IGF1 and increases IGF binding protein …… which is a good thing if you have or are at risk of having cancer

      https://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12885-016-2733-z#Sec17

      This may help explain why people who exercise tend to be at lower risk of cancer, and why people with cancer who exercise seem to live longer.than those who don’t

      https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet
      https://www.nbcnews.com/health/cancer/exercise-keeps-breast-cancer-survivors-alive-longer-n724196




      1
    3. Hi I’m a RN and health support volunteer. Thanks for you great question. Dr. Greger has numerous videos on IGF-1 and cancer. The consensus is, IGF-1 is linked to cancer. Here are links to more information.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/igf-1-as-one-stop-cancer-shop/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/2013/02/14/animal-protein-and-igf-1/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/igf-1/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/2013/02/07/how-do-plant-based-diets-fight-cancer/

      Lots of information there for you. Hope that helps.
      NurseKelly




      0
  36. I have a great new family doctor. We have not had this conversation yet, but I sure will discuss it with him. I may even find out that he agrees with Dr. Greger. Ido not feel inclined to doing anymore mammograms at this point and I don’t make that decision easily. I am going on the facts about my healthy lifestyle and the last 5 mammograms being negative. Hope it all works out.

    A healthy and proud monthly supporter of nutritionfacts.org




    2
    1. Bobbi,

      I will be interested in hearing what your doctor says. It will be interesting to hear how many of them are going to even have heard these studies and if they will change their perspective or not.

      Congratulations on 5 normal screenings! Hooray for the empowerment to make our own decisions and for the wisdom of how to decrease our risks!




      1
  37. I am genuinely interested in the psychology of this particular series.

    Dr. Greger, you backing up even before you get to the end of the series tells me that this is going to take a while to emotionally process.

    Nine out of ten had never been told and I definitely hadn’t heard these studies and the implications are genuinely perplexing to me.

    So is the sensitivity issue, because women have had their breasts cut off and are dying right now and are also making the decision between do something and do nothing and I am wondering if women and doctors hated the first video and now have started through a process like the stages of death or if they got the revelation and then immediately went back into their belief systems.

    I feel like it is complicated by reality.

    Almost all of us of a certain age will face people who are making these decisions almost every time we turn around.

    I have several friends who are yearly mammogram oriented and that psychologically is them being a “healthy and health-oriented” person and there is “pride” in that and I probably had so many misgivings that I put my head in the sand and secretly consider myself irresponsible about it, but right now, I realize that I just wasn’t comfortable and sometimes that is when it is wiser to not do something. I thought I was in denial, but now they are and because it was already easier for me to not have it done, it will be easier for me to not stay in denial and they are so medical model obey doctor oriented that unless their doctor switches, they may not even listen to these videos or just listen to one and shut the rest off and put their fingers in their ears and argue to refuse to let anyone speak it out so they don’t have to hear it.

    Feels almost like politics. (Is my joke, but I am going to put my fingers in my ears if any of you start talking about politics, too, because I am uncomfortable with so many things in such a complicated way now and can’t take this person’s view of one topic and that person’s view on this other topic and make my own personal candidate with a 3 D laser.)




    1
  38. Thank you so much for explaining! I was also wondering if there is such a thing as a to low IGF-1 level. What is optimal?
    Than I found this great link from Dr. Fuhrman.. he just warns that eating a plant based diet after 65 one should eat enough protein :

    https://www.drfuhrman.com/learn/library/articles/27/igf-1s-link-to-cancer

    Hope it is helpful to some people ! I remember Greger made a video about eating more protein after 65. I don´t remember if he talked about IGF-1.




    1
    1. Wow, Alissa, thanks for that link. I have only been here for a few months and trying to go through the topics is daunting!

      There are over 500 videos linked to the topic of Cancer alone. i had symptoms a year ago – I had both a lump and eczema on one nipple and itching etc. I also had things like horizontal nail ridges and things pointing to Diabetes and had thyroid problem symptoms and was in the middle of such a serious cognitive breakdown where it was an experience like Dr Hyman saying his brain shattered and there were other things.

      I feel like I have read everything by every doctor on the Internet, but ended up getting to the vegan doctors last. They need better Google and YouTube placement.

      I ponder topics like this, because women like me who have never really taken science have to really understand things even to decide whether to drink green tea without the milk and to not make mistakes of using the pasteurized carrot juice – two mistakes that I made briefly.

      There isn’t someone showing up and handing people flax seed muffins and a kale and broccoli sprout and pecan salad with cranberries.




      0
      1. What surprises me is that there aren’t restaurants or hospital menus incorporating the concepts.

        I am a Christian and there are people who bring good to sick people, but they need food for sick people recipe sites and a vision to bring the superfoods.

        There isn’t one of those on-line food delivery sites which is making anti-Cancer meals.

        Seems like people need so much help and they could do meals and throw in a box of Matcha and Dandelion leaf and root tea and packets of flax seed for their oatmeal and things like that.

        My cousin said that it is so hard to eat with his DiAbetes and kidney failure and edema etcetera and he worries about who would even know how to figure the food out if he gets more feeble.




        0
        1. Maybe Dr McDougall would add some Cancer support flax seed muffins and sell them even at the hospitals.

          The grocery store near me sells superfood bars, which was another mistake I made for a while, because they didn’t have their food ingredients on-line, but along with twenty superfoods was eggs. I can say that I would rather eat those peanut butter bars than take ten zillion supplements. Can enough broccoli sprouts be added to a muffin or a bar to make it actually beneficial?

          Because if there isn’t enough then don’t bothet, but I am planting the idea on the Internet.




          0
          1. And if the hospitals wouldn’t sell them, Starbucks is into causes.

            Maybe a flaxseed muffin with a percentage of the profits going toward a cure

            That is my “joke” because all the good deed people might have the tumors, which they won’t know are there anymore, because they are learning not to get mammograms.

            Then we need broccoli sprout and flax seed pot edibles and have the dying Cancer patients not know what happened that they feel better suddenly and they can do “I was cured by pot” videos on YouTube




            0
            1. I honestly mean it about the muffins.

              These doctors, including Dr Greger, but even more Dr McDougall, who has told wome not to even do self-exams….

              Women don’t have anything now, except diet and if they Google Cancer, they get The Truth About Cancer, which recommends Keto.

              Dr Greger, could you make a:The Real Truth About Cancer web-site or figure out which WFPB researcher might want to sell flax muffins and maybe pair up with Oprah and her women group to demand a change in the way things are done for Breast cancer and prostate cancer – maybe a tomato muffin for the men?

              It would be an education and healing movement and church ministries and friends and families could bring muffins to the ones who get diagnosed and don’t know how to figure out which stage it is.




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              1. Does the “no extra mortality” include the women who are supposedly getting an increase in mortality from eating flax seed?

                Does that move things a tenth of a point or something?

                I ask, because I don’t know whether I can get these ideas to someone who can get these ideas to someone else, but there might be a Cancer doctor who is getting paid for using chemotherapy who is doing the writing is on the wall process who might want to switch careers and sell muffins instead.




                0
                1. Think about it. Women who have already had their breasts removed could eat flax muffins while waiting for Wake Forest Institute to grow them a new 3-D pair of breasts.

                  And the women who have decided to ignore that tumor and gamble on Stage 0, would probably already be reaching for some comfort food, if they are like the women who I know.

                  Forgive my saying it with my sarcastic, but very serious, sense of humor.

                  Sense of humor is why I used to test perfect in logic, back when I used to take logic tests.




                  0
                  1. What is the other option? Teaching women how to figure it out using Goldi-locks-for-Cancer and the three stages of tumor videos.

                    This one is too early. This one is too late and you won’t have improved mortality. This one is just right.




                    0
                    1. And, yes, I am heckling the good doctor and pelting him with concepts, which could potentially, maybe at least change the mortality rates a little bit.




                      0
                    2. So what is your official opinion about what we should talk about during Breast Cancer awareness month?

                      Should we put the pink ribbons away, because we need to forget to remember to tell women to not think about it at all now.




                      0
                    3. What are the doctors going to say to their patients? “Just ignore that tumor” or are they going to go through the motions as they have for all these years and not even educate their patients on any of it. That is what is more likely to happen. Even if someone has the moral resolve to attempt to influence the issue, there is no longer a simple coordinated way to educate anyone.

                      You and Dr. Barnard and Dr. McDougall and Dr.Furhman and Dr.Ornish etc are all best selling authors and speakers and I was six degrees of separation from all of your thoughts, even actively seeking information.

                      I am not upset with any of you, but I feel like someone needs to actually speak about the implications and you might do it at the end of this series, but you might not, because nobody wants to tell any woman how to figure out whether she should do something about the potentially stage zero tumor or whether she should even get the probably lethal tumor examined at all.

                      I already have done the Chris Beat Cancer video route, but I know that not one of my friends or relatives would do that and I know that millions of women need the boy who told the truth to actually tell the truth.




                      0
                    4. How many lawyers will it take to figure out whether the doctors could be sued from treating too early or whether they will be more likely to be sued for telling her to wait?

                      And what are the insurance companies going to do with this information.

                      Again, I want the truth to come out, but we have a system where even legally and financially and organized crime and Big Pharma and big and little doctor are going to be wrestling for power and women will be scratching their heads for years and the people on this site will point to WFPB and some of us know that if I said there are a few more people eating the SAD than WFPB and those stats were in the 90-something percent range and people who haven’t eaten one piece of fruit or one leaf of lettuce are going to still want some sort of answers by somebody.




                      0
                    5. Okay, if I can ask something serious….

                      Since women are going to be having to “wing it” from now on and either ask the Holy Spirit or a tarot reader or whichever source of supernatural guidance they use or perhaps if they don’t believe in anything, maybe they will use “the rhythm method” of deciding whether they have Stage 0 Cancer…. or maybe just flip a coin. Will that be what the doctors do, too? Or are they going to be dogmatically building ridiculous arguments without evidence behind it? Or maybe the doctors will just fess up and say, “I have no idea what you should do.” Do you think that would ever happen in our culture? It probably won’t happen at a culture like UConn, but will there be any hospitals who will get a vision of having “no pressure” zones so that 20 year olds don’t end up having their breasts cut off over a pimple? Could at least a brief educational process of the risks and benefits be mandated somehow or is it that we have a “You can’t handle the truth” situation going on?

                      And if the doctors can’t tell the difference between a pimple and cancer, can we find out if the sniffer dogs know the difference between Stage 0 and the deadly cancers and we can give the doctors their own version of “seeing eye dogs”?




                      0
  39. So if mammograms are not the answer for early detection of breast cancer, what is? At what point does breast cancer present itself? What are the symptoms? BRCA-1 runs in the family and several members have not survived. What are the younger generation to do?




    0
    1. Hi I’m a RN and health support volunteer with nutritionfacts.org. Thanks for your great question. This is definitely a difficult subject Dr. Greger has tackled.
      Dr. Greger is not discouraging all mammograms or attempting to usurp your personal doctor’s recommendations. The point is that there should be an honest discussion between a woman and her doctor about the risks versus the benefits of screening mammograms. The doctor should be helping the woman make an informed decision about what is best for her. This is different than, “It’s time for your yearly mammogram . . .” Some of the concern with recommending routine screening mammograms across the board is that a lot of women who have very low risk of breast cancer are being screened and the risk benefit ration may not favor this. If you have a strong family history of breast cancer or have the BRCA-1 gene, the risk benefit ration may be different for you than someone without these risk factors. Again, it should be discussed with your doctor.

      General symptoms of breast cancer are
      Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt)
      Skin irritation or dimpling (sometimes looking like an orange peel)
      Breast or nipple pain
      Nipple retraction (turning inward)
      Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
      Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
      https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/about/breast-cancer-signs-and-symptoms.html

      One thing that is sadly left out of the discussion is the strong link between breast cancer and diet and lifestyle. We recommend a healthy, plant based diet for everyone. But it’s all the more important for you if you have risk factors for breast cancer. There is strong evidence that healthy diet and lifestyle can greatly reduce your risk of cancer. And that is far better than early detection. Here is some of the information Dr. Greger has on diet and breast cancer:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/breast-cancer/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/brca-breast-cancer-genes-and-soy/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-not-to-die-from-cancer/

      Dr. McDougall (mentor of Dr. Greger’s) has said a lot on this as well. You might like some of his information:
      https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/webinars/webinar-09-18-15/

      All the best to you.
      NurseKelly




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    1. Nancy, that is cool.

      Seems like there was a place on-line I had found a year ago, which did hormone tests for people and one of the tests was for Cancer.




      0
  40. These vids on Mammograms point to a larger picture of any kind of early detection for cancer. I am wondering if Dr Gregor has covered thermograms in the past. I was not able to find anything in a search. There are also more recent cancer detection tests such as oncoblot, which detects a protein in the blood which is given off by cancer cells. This can detect cancer as early as 8 years before other more established means. As these types of test come on the market it becomes more and more important to put these early results into proper perspective for treatment, and to know what the odds are for different cancers to proliferate to the point of actually needing attention. Out of fear, in many areas of life we tend to more and more pro-activity as we gain knowledge of possible danger.




    0
  41. If medical science can’t tell the difference between a bad cancer that will kill you and a “good” cancer that won’t ie the over-diagnosed ones, how are we supposed to know what to do when a cancer is found. This video seems to be implying that we should not even look for the cancer and consequently sacrifice a minority of women to bad cancer so that the majority ie those with “good” cancer don’t get over-treated.

    Thanks to a mammogram an aggressive, large, but difficult to feel tumor was discovered in my mother’s breast. She is alive today because of a mammogram.

    Personally I would prefer that the cancer was treated until medical science can tell the difference between the cancer that kills and those that won’t.




    0
  42. I do appreciate Dr. Greger’s continued reporting of evidence based science. We all have the right to know the truth about what our western medically trained doctors believe is safe and effective testing and treatment. On this note ~ I would love for him to tackle the lack of evidence based science in regards to the safety of vaccinations, in particular, infant and childhood vaccinations. Has he seen the docuseries; “Vaccines Revealed”? If not, I strongly recommend and encourage he watch it and then do a report on it.




    0
  43. The associations between vaccines and a net increased incidence of disease has been studied repeatedly. No link has ever been found. While it is tempting to associate someones disease with a recent vaccination, in the vast majority of cases, there is no cause-effect. There is is some slight/rare possible association in some cases, but on the whole, vaccines save lives. If one person gets sick from a vaccine but 100 lives are saved, then the vaccine is beneficial. If you are aware of a published study that refutes this, we’d all very much like to see the reference. Please keep in mind that “expert” websites, testimonials and youtube videos are not objective evidence.

    Dr. Ben




    0
  44. Many cases of stage 0 DCIS will be found, true. But you also fail to note that the majority of American women are overweight or obese, which by definition puts them at significantly higher risk – and of more invasive types of breast cancer based on a more pro-inflammatory biochemical / body environment from that. Also, many women have dense breast tissue, African American women are at higher risk, anyone that grew up eating a lot of seafood because I’d bioamplified PCBs, Mercury, etc.

    Your mythical “average” woman is assumed to be normal weight, healthy, and eating a healthy diet and exercising. New flash: most aren’t and they don’t.

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and in this case encouraging screening for all is probably better. I don’t like it, but the degree of nuance required – AND having to tell most women they’re at higher risk because of diet and lifestyle is NOT an easy conversation.

    But by definition, no woman is “average”

    In any case – how can you possibly expect a lay person to understand that data?




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