What Every Woman Ought to Know About Mammography But Usually Doesn’t


by Rolf Hefti

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” (Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American Author)

What is intelligence or sanity? When you follow the whims of the majority? What if the majority is wrong, are you still intelligent or sane?

The majority of women have been led to believe by the orthodox medical industry, in conjunction with the massive support of various “breast cancer awareness” organizations, that mammograms are indispensable, pretty harmless, and “save lives”. Consequently, a great number of women have made the choice to get this diagnostic screening test regularly, believing they’ve made an “informed” choice about it.

But how many of these women are aware their decision is not an informed choice, but rather a misinformed choice, because it is founded on only a very selective, one-sided set of data in favor of mammography presented to them by the mainstream medical profession, various “breast cancer awareness” organizations, and the popular media outlets?


Here Is What The Medical Industry Fails To Tell Women About Mammograms

“[…] medical mishaps and adverse drug reactions are covered up like a rug. Only about TEN PERCENT see the light of day.” (Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, Co-Author Of “Death By Medicine”, in 2013)

In a corporate culture, exemplified by most industrialized nations, big commercial enterprises such as the medical industry, have enormous fiscal influence and authoritative clout to obfuscate, manipulate, and carefully hide the type of scientific facts that threaten their (financial) self-interests.

Since the 1980s, medical research in the US (and elsewhere) has been increasingly funded by private industry (primarily the medical industry), representing a significant percentage of scientific studies [1]. The influx of private money sponsoring medical research resulted in preferentially industry-positive findings and conclusions in the industry-financed study papers [1]. (This makes the compliance with Twain’s admonition in this article’s opening quote even more relevant and urgent in today’s times.)

It is not uncommon, for instance, for funding entities to “use” indirectly (e.g., via sponsoring the study authors or offering them lucrative jobs) so-called premium research investigations, such as randomized studies, to accomplish this objective [1]. This is a very effective undertaking as both conventional doctors at large and the public on the whole live under the impression the findings and conclusions of such superior studies, appearing in the most prestigious medical journals of the world, proffer great scientific reliability, credibility, and significance, rather than that such prime studies could be utilized as practical tools of deception.

For example, a myriad of randomized studies on screening tests for breast cancer, whether they are mammography, MRI scans, or ultrasound, rarely mention or quantify the damage from some of the worst risks of screening, such as overdiagnosis [2]. Overdiagnosis leads to unnecessary deaths and other severe harm. Overdiagnosis is prevalent with mammography (and mammogram alternatives such as MRIs [3]), having caused the death of millions of essentially healthy women over the last three decades [1].

The fact that studies found an increase in total mortality with mammogram use is commonly discounted as irrelevant by the most zealous pro-mammogram researchers in their study papers [1].

The very large number of women who will develop breast cancer because of the extremely toxic radiation deployed in broadly administered programs of mammography, or who will develop secondary cancers from invasive cancer treatments following a mammographic diagnosis of breast cancer, scenarios that frequently result in excess or unnecessary deaths, is routinely played down or even entirely ignored in the “scientific” pro-mammogram literature [1].

Hence, it is rather easy and convenient for the medical industry to claim the benefits of mammography outweigh its harms if the advocators of this doctrinaire perspective (=mostly the medical establishment) minimize, ignore, and bury the greatest damages of mammography in the medical literature.

Would the conclusion that mammography is a racket be unreasonable based on this affirmed reality on the denial and suppression of this test’s true dangers and damages?

It is common for scientists who conduct studies in support of mammography to have conflict-of-interests (vested interests), predominantly in connection with the medical industry [1]. But, akin to the whitewashing of the risks of mammography, this incriminating and illuminating connection is frequently hidden or denied in the medical literature [1].

Would the conclusion that mammography is a racket be unreasonable based on this affirmed reality on the denial and concealment that (primarily) “big money” and other self-serving private interests sustains this test’s favorable image?


Medical Research: Vehicle For Commercial Advertisements

“American medicine is big business.” (Otis Webb Brawley, MD, Oncologist & Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society, in 2012)

Commercialized science, a ramification of the dominance of corporatism in a culture, routinely “produces” alleged top-notch research studies minimizing, overlooking, and whitewashing risks (and exaggerating benefits) of a product or service of mainstream medicine or some other powerful corporate outlet.

Apart from mammography, other fitting cases on how the influence of big money from private industry has skewed, falsified, and corrupted the real scientific truth from public view are abound.

By the late 1920s solid, substantial research evidence (not conflicted by “grants” from private industry) had established a notable causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer. The tobacco industry, however, managed for over half a century afterwards (with the willing assistance, cooperation, and massive support of the orthodox medical industry during roughly two decades of that time period) to obscure, manipulate, and deny this causative link with the fabrication of numerous “scientific” studies.

The US National Football League (NFL), a for-profit private outfit worth billions of dollars, has been downplaying and denying the well-documented causal association between (longterm) football playing and serious brain damage for over two decades by sponsoring questionable, shady research projects and hiring influential medical authorities to promulgate their biased, unscientific position [4].

The insidious, nefarious situation concerning tainted medical research prompted some astute investigators to recommend the public view (conflicted type of) medical research as “advertisements” instead of science [1,5]. And Otis Webb Brawley, MD, the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, warned that along with such medical advertisements you get “a corruption of the truth” [5].

Similarly, other observers denoted the public ought to expect the true danger of any orthodox medical product or intervention is multiple time larger than what the medical profession officially assures it is [1].

Moreover, mammography is an ambiguous procedure because its effectiveness and benefits stand on shaky grounds as several sound studies did not find a discernible reduction in breast cancer mortality from its administration [1]. Some investigators, therefore, declared the real harms of this screening modality must be particularly well outlined and reported, or, conversely, the benefits of mammography have to first be strongly confirmed with robust research data [2].

In actuality, neither of these two aspects -the truthful recognition and assessment of mammography risks, and the precise documentation of meaningful mammographic benefits- is available in the official references the medical orthodoxy deems “scientifically” viable in support of this screening method.

It’s a representative reflection of the general state of science. A top expert on integrity in biomedical science [1] and an official at the US National Institutes of Health [6] explained based on copious investigative data the vast majority of research findings are unreliable.

An informed choice about mammograms encompasses the ready assessment and comparison of benefits and harms -if they both are accurately documented and reported in the medical literature. In the current absence of, or severe lack of, such a comparative framework it is “often difficult or impossible to weigh benefits against harms in cancer screening” [2]. Therefore, both doctors and (potential) patients cannot (easily) make an informed choice about breast cancer screening [2].

Now, how many women know their decision in favor of mammography is not an “informed choice” but rather the regurgitation of orthodox medical dogma (instead of sound science) and the end effect of scientific “advertisements” (instead of sound science), as the decision generally rests on neither correct information nor all of the available crucial data?

Evidently, the recognition of modern medicine and medical science as conglomerates or vehicles of commercial enterprise suggests a woman ought to always wonder about, count on, and search for what the medical establishment is NOT telling them in regard to mammography (or any other product or service of theirs).


Most Doctors (Unwittingly) Misinform Their Patients About Mammograms

“The typical doctor is authoritarian. He or she, as a medical student or a qualified doctor, accepts what is imparted to her/him from the medical teachers, textbooks, and journals as gospel, “the revealed Truth”, not to be questioned.” ( Erik T. Paterson, MD, in 2006)

The suppression and manipulative use of critical research data on mammography by the scientific enterprise leads to a situation where most conventional physicians have also a poor understanding of the relevant science on the screening method [1,7]. Consequently, the majority of doctors rarely inform patients about highly injurious risks, such as overdiagnosis and overtreatment [1,8] or radiation side effects [1].

Now, how many orthodox physicians know their decision to encourage women to get regular mammograms is not an “informed choice” but rather the end effect of scientific “advertisements” (instead of sound science), as their decision generally rests on neither correct information nor all of the available crucial data?


Breast Cancer Awareness Groups & The Mainstream Media Are Complicit In Spreading The Medical Orthodoxy’s Disinformation On Mammography

“It is impossible for anyone to begin to learn what he thinks he already knows.” (Epictetus, AD 55-135)

When I began investigating mammography I recognized stark diverging findings and conclusions in the medical literature about the value of the test [1]. What also soon became evident is that on the heels of the medical industry’s highly selective pick of pro-mammogram data, other immensely influential authoritarian forces were perpetuating and augmenting this action by preferentially publicizing the gravely one-sided viewpoint among the broader popular culture.

Overall, the pink ribbon outlets and the corporate media have continuously endorsed and popularized the slanted pro-mammogram perspective of the mainstream medical profession. Just take a look at what comes out of “the cannons” of these two huge conglomerates during the official month of mammography, October. Many marketing professionals would readily identify these sound bites of information as glaring advertisements for mammography (akin to infomercials) .

Some research evidence opposing the dominant view is reported on, albeit relatively rarely and then often inadequately. Yet in general, the majority of highly incriminating scientific data deflating the mammogram-supporting outlook almost never get to see “the light of the day”, implanting an erroneous perception among the public about this medical procedure [1].


Acting According To The Teaching Of A Famous Saying

“The history of medicine abounds with dogmas assumed and later overcome. Nowhere is that dynamic more evident than in women’s health.” (Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD, in 2013)

Erroneous medical practices, frequently illustrative of the presence of dogmas, most often live on for many years and decades -even at this day in time.

In part because of economic-sociological factors but also because of flawed study methodologies, publication bias, fraud, a profoundly inadequate, ineffective peer review process, and because much more false or mistaken findings are published in the official medical literature than are afterwards corrected or removed [1,6].

Most people probably have heard of the saying that instructs a person to SEEK the truth in order to FIND the truth. “To seek” means “to actively look for” something.

The aphorism does neither say to passively let the reigning public health authorities, the medical officialdom, or some breast cancer awareness group tell you what the truth is, nor does it say for you to faithfully and passively rely on the messages and recommendations of the official power-brokers of a nation as a way of receiving the truth.

In other words, the truth doesn’t simply come to you, you must look for it. Not seeking, therefore, means to mainly remain ignorant (=not knowing) of the truth.

Apparently, an implicit core point of the aphorism is the realization that people in power, at any time in human history, tend to deceive others for personal gains. Hence, the dictum admonishes for a person to take a pro-active, alert, inquisitive approach to finding the truth of things -such as about mammography. After all, the saying seems to strongly suggest the truth is (commonly) not what is officially advocated by authorities or what the majority of people believe in, indicating you ought to seek OUTSIDE the confinements of the widely accepted, prevailing messages of the commercialized culture.

A generally pro-active, analytical approach to the authoritarian medical culture increases an individual’s probability of arriving at an actually informed choice about mammography, instead of a disinformed choice based on “a corruption of the truth” [5].

An informed choice is useful because it is based on comprehensive, accurate information. Naturally, the orientation towards this objective is especially vital when it comes to matters affecting your health.

If ALL the pertinent scientific facts on mammography are acknowledged and properly taken into account, it decidedly depicts the famous medical procedure does more harm than good for the vast majority of women [1]. Some traditional medical doctors have recognized this. David H. Newman, MD, for instance, admitted in a New York Times article, “For years now, doctors like myself have known that screening mammography doesn’t save lives, or else saves so few that the harms far outweigh the benefits.” [9]

Additional investigative corroboration of this is, and most telling, that if women are told ALL the actual facts about mammography, representative of a setting where a true informed choice can reasonably be derived from, many of them will decide not to have mammograms [1].


Sources & References

[1] Hefti R, “The Mammogram Myth: The Independent Investigation Of Mammography The Medical Profession Doesn’t Want You To Know About”, (e)Book, 2013 (Available at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Sony, etc.)

[2] Heleno B, Thomsen MF, Rodrigues DS, Jørgensen KJ, Brodersen J, “Quantification of harms in cancer screening trials: literature review”, BMJ. 2013 Sep 16;347:f5334. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f5334.

[3] Killelea BK, Long JB, Chagpar AB, Ma X, Soulos PR, Ross JS, Gross CP, “Trends and clinical implications of preoperative breast MRI in Medicare beneficiaries with breast cancer”, Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Aug;141(1):155-63. doi: 10.1007/s10549-013-2656-1. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

[4] FRONTLINE, “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis”, Pbs.org Documentary, 8-Oct-2013

[5] Smiley T, “Cancer expert Dr. Otis Webb Brawley”, pbs.org, 7-March-2012

[6] The Economist, “Briefing Unreliable Research: Trouble at the lab”, Vol. 409, No. 8858, Pp. 26-30, 19-Oct-2013

[7] Wegwarth O, Schwartz LM, Woloshin S, Gaissmaier W, Gigerenzer G, “Do physicians understand cancer screening statistics? A national survey of primary care physicians in the United States”, Ann Intern Med. 2012 Mar 6;156(5):340-9.

[8] Wegwarth O, Gigerenzer G, “Patients Report Doctors Not Telling Them of Overdiagnosis Risk in Screenings”, JAMA Internal Medicine Release, Published online, October 21, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10363. (Available pre-embargo to the media)

[9] Newman DH, “Ignoring the Science on Mammograms”, The New York Times (online blog), 28-Nov-2012


About The Author

Rolf Hefti is the founder and editor of www.Supplements-And-Health.com and the author of “The Mammogram Myth: The Independent Investigation Of Mammography The Medical Profession Doesn’t Want You To Know About” (More at http://www.TheMammogramMyth.com. The (e)book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Sony, Smashwords, and other fine (e)book retailers)

Copyright © 2013 by Rolf Hefti. This article has been written exclusively for http://www.naturalnewsblogs.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.


Rolf Hefti
Rolf Hefti is the founder and editor of www.Supplements-And-Health.com and the author of "The Mammogram Myth: The Independent Investigation Of Mammography The Medical Profession Doesn't Want You To Know About" (More at http://www.TheMammogramMyth.com. The (e)book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Sony, Smashwords, and other fine (e)book retailers)