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The Mammogram Myth: The Independent Investigation Of Mammography The Medical Profession Doesn't Want You To Know About

The Mammogram Myth: The Independent Investigation Of Mammography The Medical Profession Doesn't Want You To Know About

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The Mammogram Myth: The Independent Investigation Of Mammography The Medical Profession Doesn't Want You To Know About

Length:
531 pages
8 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Aug 5, 2013
ISBN:
9780989741903
Format:
Book

Description

"The Mammogram Myth", the result of an independent investigation by Rolf Hefti, dismantles -error by error- the official medical claims about the value of mammograms, such as that they are very safe and greatly reduce breast cancer mortality.

This (e)book describes the "inconvenient" research data that has been dismissed and disregarded by the traditional medical profession. It is the largely ignored but factual scientific evidence against the use of mammograms.

The official medical claims made by orthodox medicine about mammography appear convincing to both doctors and the public at large. Yet, the theory and claims promoting the screening practice are based on flawed research data and sustained by omitting and discounting relevant dissenting scientific evidence. Mammography is a case of "dogma over science" says the author of "The Mammogram Myth".

In the foreword to "The Mammogram Myth", Ray Peat, PhD stated, "Women concerned about the risk of breast cancer will obviously want to read it, and if doctors who regularly advise their patients to have mammograms decide to read it looking for justification of their policy, they will encounter information about cancer in general and health in general that should change their life."

"The Mammogram Myth" also explores how politics and sociological-economical factors keep the true facts about mammography hidden from the public at large and most "well-meaning" orthodox doctors alike. And the real truth is, by any reasonable standard: mammograms do more harm than good.

Publisher:
Released:
Aug 5, 2013
ISBN:
9780989741903
Format:
Book

About the author

Rolf Hefti is an independent health researcher. He is the founder and editor of http://www.Supplements-And-Health.com where he publicizes his investigative findings, mostly for free. For more background information about the author visit the "About Me" page on his website. To get updates on the release of his latest articles, special reports, and other works sign up for his free newsletter. For more background information on the creation of my (e)book "The Mammogram Myth" visit the link/icon called "The Mammogram Myth" off the Supplements-And-Health home page, or simply go to http://www.TheMammogramMyth.com which also takes you to that site page.

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The Mammogram Myth - Rolf Hefti

The Mammogram Myth

The Independent Investigation Of

Mammography The Medical

Profession Doesn't Want

You To Know About

Rolf Hefti

Foreword by Ray Peat, PhD

* * * * *

Copyright (c) 2013 Rolf Hefti

Smashwords Edition

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without prior written permission from the copyright owner/author of this book.

Please Note:

Smashwords Edition - License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal use only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this (e)book has been compiled from a variety of sources and is subject to differences of opinion and interpretation. The information herein is not to be construed as a source of medical or nutritional advice. Acting on this information, and any consequences resulting thereof, are solely your own liability and responsibility. Please consult with a qualified health professional.

~~~~~

Dedication

This treatise is dedicated to all women, especially my beloved sister Maya

and Brenda Craven, MFT, and to Raymond Peat, PhD because of his

tireless commitment to do the right thing and to make this

a better, healthier world.

~~~~~

"The great tragedy of science, the slaying of a beautiful theory

by an ugly fact." (Thomas H. Huxley, 1825-1895, Biologist)

Table Of Contents

Foreword

Introduction

Section I: Background

Ch. 1 ~ Common Knowledge, Doctrines, And Myths

Ch. 2 ~ What Exactly Is The Mammogram Controversy All About?

Ch. 3 ~ How Mammography Became A Global Success

Ch. 4 ~ The Focus Of The Critic On Mammogram Breast Exams

Section II: Mammogram Risks

Ch. 5 ~ The Ignoring, Undermining, And Downplaying Of The

Dangers Of Mammograms By The Medical Orthodoxy

Part A) Direct Risks: Mammogram Radiation Exposures

Part B) Indirect Risks: Overdiagnosis And Overtreatment

Part C) Collateral Damage From Direct And Indirect Risks

Ch. 6 ~ Is Your Medical Doctor Knowledgeable About The Serious

Risks From Mammogram Testing?

Ch. 7 ~ Why YOU Should Not Ignore The Serious Risks Of

Mammography

Section III: Mammogram Benefits

Ch. 8 ~ The Myth That Early Cancer Detection By Mammogram

Screenings Leads To A Lesser Use Of Invasive Treatments

Ch. 9 ~ The Myth That Earlier Cancer Detection By Diagnostic

Mammograms (Significantly) Decreases Mortality From

Breast Cancer

Ch. 10 ~ A Decline In Breast Cancer Mortality? If So, It's NOT

Because Of Mammogram Breast Cancer Screening

Section IV: Mammogram Fallacies

Ch. 11 ~ The Fallacy Of The Theory On Mammography

-Overdiagnosing Symptoms, While Underdiagnosing

(Ignoring) Causes Of Diseases

Ch. 12 ~ Mammogram Procedures: Preventive Medicine -Or

Maybe Not?

Section V: Mammogram Politics

Ch. 13 ~ Pro-Mammography Claims (Benefits) Established And

Verified By A Continuous String Of Flawed (And,

Conceivably, Fraudulent) Studies -The Skewing And

Exaggerating Of Benefits By The Medical Establishment

Ch. 14 ~ Conflicts-Of-Interests (Vested Interests) By Profiteers Of

Mammography

Ch. 15 ~ System Justification (The Authority Syndrome Or

The-Parents-Know-Best Syndrome)

Ch. 16 ~ System Justification Is Usually The Justification Of An

Authoritarian Ideology Rather Than The Vindication Of

The Truth

Section VI: Mammogram Alternatives

Ch. 17 ~ Are There Safer, More Effective Alternatives To

Mammogram Breast Examinations?

Section VII: The Women Who Choose NOT To Use

Mammograms

Ch. 18 ~ Women Who Know The Facts About Mammograms (And

Do NOT Ignore Them By Falling Prey To The Authority

Syndrome) Tend To Avoid The Medical Procedure

Section VIII: The Path To The Truth About Mammograms

Ch. 19 ~ The Truth In Science Is Not Easily To Come By In The 21st

Century -Why You MUST Dig Deeper To Find The Facts

Section IX: Personal Observations & Final Comments

Section X: Bibliography

About The Author

* * * * *

Foreword

The Mammogram Myth by Rolf Hefti is very very good, so much more than just a study of mammograms. Women concerned about the risk of breast cancer will obviously want to read it, and if doctors who regularly advise their patients to have mammograms decide to read it looking for justification of their policy, they will encounter information about cancer in general and health in general that should change their life.

And it's a good introduction to political-economics, anyone interested in propaganda analysis and in how science works is likely to find it worth spending some time with.

Raymond Peat, PhD

www.raypeat.com

Introduction

"The fundamental problem with the mammography screening program is one common in highly interdisciplinary work: nobody sees the whole." (John C. Bailar III, MD, PhD, in 1997)

Mammograms epitomize the most scrutinized and scientifically studied medical test among the procedures of early diagnosis or preventive medicine (Welch, 2010). Nevertheless, it remains a very controversial hotly debated topic, even after the first decade of the 21st century.

The central meaning of the mammogram controversy provided the inspiration for creating this treatise. Here is what I mean by that...

After noticing huge discrepancies among the findings of many studies on mammograms, which left me wondering what or who is right, I decided to get to the bottom of what the true facts are about mammography.

My approach of the subject is neutral or independent in the sense that I'm neither associated with the pro- or anti-mammogram scientists, nor the orthodox medical profession which is strongly committed to the utilization of mammography. My work here is a solitary endeavor and is entirely self-sponsored, the outcome of many hours of research.

My investigation supports Bailar's notion of a compartmentalization of knowledge on the side of the various scientists and analysts involved in the mammogram field (as in probably most arenas of science today).

For example, some mammogram experts narrowly focus on the influence of overdiagnosis while practically remaining unaware of the true impact of ionizing radiation from mammography. Other analysts myopically concentrate on the damage of only the irradiated cells, and only in terms of genetic mutations or cell fatalities, while overlooking the serious non-targeted, non-mutagenic, long-range effects and ramifications from irradiation. Still other healthcare professionals, among them the vast majority of doctors, repeat and propagate the pro-mammography doctrine of the medical establishment while failing to recognize, either by lack of awareness, denial, or by mere intention, the intrinsic manner knowledge is assimilated in a culture and the larger political-cultural context which is affecting the way mammography is presented to the public, and to them through their medical education.

The overall situation is reminiscent of a comment made by a medical writer, Bruce Wilson, in 2012:

"Over my twenty-year history working in the medical community, I’ve met precious few scientists who are able to see the full implications of what they are studying."

Similar observations by the psychologist Arthur Janov, PhD corroborate this:

"Point by point research leads to facts and more facts; rarely to a broad understanding." (Janov, May 2012)

And...

"Scientists are too often content to do stand-alone research. […]. We don’t have to engage in pesky thoughts beyond what we see and measure. We don’t have to posit implications. […]. Is is why we have rigid, inflexible, dry results. And scientists seem to prefer it that way; equating dryness with science." (Janov, Nov. 2012)

Or equating rigidness and inflexibility with science, which isn't fundamentally different from equating dogma with science.

A main problem in understanding something accurately is (unwittingly) drawing conclusions from a one-sided set of data. Specialization and subspecialization among the community of science (as Bailar's opening quote is eluding to), exemplified in the multitude of medical specialists (e.g., oncologists, radiologists, obstetricians), fosters the creation of partial knowledge, of a narrow perspective (which frequently attains the status of a dogma), hindering the acquisition of a broad understanding (Janov) of an intricate medical procedure such as mammography. A very long time ago, José Ortega y Gasset, PhD (1883-1955), had described the nature of a specialist:

"The specialist knows very well his own tiny corner of the universe; he is radically ignorant of all the rest. […] We shall have to say that he is a learned ignoramus, […]." (Ortega y Gasset, 1930)

A holistic physician uttered similar, more current observations:

[...] medicine has changed, becoming wealthy, specialized, rigid, intolerant and more like a church than a learned profession. Specialists have become so specialized they know more and more about less and less until too many have forgotten why they are physicians–to heal their patients using any method available that Will Do No Harm. (Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, 1917-2009, in 2008)

However, specialization in medicine, unlike integrative science, supports and sustains the dominance of the basic approach of the medical profession to disease -that is, mechanistic reductionism, which misses and neglects (thus ignores) contextual, systemic, and interrelated processes, connections, and factual evidence thereof.

(The compartmentalization of knowledge is also strategically used in the political arena to hide the bigger truth (a broad understanding) from as many people as possible, extending very high up the chain of command, to pander to and protect the special interests of a few elitists of the corporate state. [Kohls, 2013; Noble, 2013].)

Ultimately, this means that without you knowing the actual facts, without you knowing all the information -especially the information that is ignored, suppressed, abnegated, minimized, distorted, or exaggerated (by the medical establishment and other influential institutions and authorities)- it is impossible for you, or anybody else, to judge the value of what you're being told (by the authoritarian medical profession and other proponents, or opponents, of mainstream medicine).

Therefore, data is addressed here in this treatise from both the supporters of mammography as well as its critics -but with a central focus on the facts that have been disregarded or obfuscated, and on data that has been falsely represented, respectively.

It is the type of information you most probably haven't been told by representatives of organized medicine (such as your doctor) or the mass media since the following aggregation of actual facts has received, and keeps receiving, relatively little media attention. It is a rather extensive collection of solid data that has been woefully neglected by the mainstream medical establishment: the evidence against mammograms, the largely unknown information that invalidates the common knowledge-assumptions about mammograms. It is the compelling evidence that dismantles and debunks, piece by piece, the widely-held beliefs that mammograms are harmless, necessary, and will most certainly save you from an early breast cancer death.

Beyond that, and of most pertinence, I'm examining the cultural framework and the politics behind the controversies about mammograms. Why it is, for instance, that many well-established facts have been, and continue to be, fully ignored by modern medicine to the detriment of consumers of its services, and why it is that authoritarian dogmas tend to (temporarily) triumph over scientific facts and common sense.

In reference to Bailar's opening quote of this introduction, this (e)book, therefore, is a humble but serious attempt to see the whole (or at least close to it) about mammography, to make the topic less controversial (less confusing), by documenting the most accurate and complete big picture about the popular screening procedure.

Rolf Hefti

www.TheMammogramMyth.com

Los Angeles, California, USA

Summer 2013

=================

Section I: Background

=================

~ CHAPTER 1 ~

Common Knowledge, Doctrines, And Myths

"Every field of science is ruled by a doctrinaire establishment. […].

Doctrines are admitted into the scientific canon by those who

have the power of censorship."

(Raymond Peat, PhD, Biologist, in 2006)

Generally, people in virtually any culture have a tendency to rely on and believe in whatever is common knowledge or politically correct. Ruling authorities from diverse private corporate industries and federal institutions shape public opinion (i.e., the perception of what is commonly known) primarily via the media outlets, public education, and other culture-dependent sources of influence.

In industrialized nations it is the powerful medical orthodoxy that predominantly dictates what people usually believe to be true in matters of health and disease. So that, for example, it has become common knowledge, as a dominant medical paradigm and doctrine (=a belief sustained by authorities) postulates, that mammograms do no harm (or very little), are very necessary, and save many lives (by preventing an early death from breast cancer). Yet this common knowledge or reigning doctrine about the alleged great merits of mammograms is an example of how Harri Hemilä, PhD, MD, defined a typical urban legend: a story that is retold, yet no-one confirms that the story is true.

Because... common knowledge and prevailing medical paradigms aren't necessarily a representation of the true facts. Oftentimes, common knowledge and doctrines depict, produce, or morph into, common myths which are unfounded assumptions repeated over and over again by propaganda (persuasive but misleading information) gaining the appearance and the status of truth. This is exactly the case with the formally propagated, rosy claims about the use and merits of mammograms.

~ CHAPTER 2 ~

What Exactly Is The Mammogram Controversy All About?

"Controversy is only dreaded by the advocates of error."

(Benjamin Rush, MD, 1745–1813)

Mammography is a medical screening procedure, using ionizing radiation, to detect cancers in the early stages. The public is made to believe that the discovery of early cancers helps to reduce the need for invasive medical treatments, and that it leads to a lowering of breast cancer mortality by preventing the progression of low-grade cancers into advanced, deadly types as the mammogram-detected early-stage cancers primarily get treated with less invasive means.

Well, that, at least, is the theory -or rather the doctrine- postulated by the medical establishment, representing the rationale for which the use of mammograms is founded on.

According to modern medicine and public health authorities, the theory of mammography is verified, or proven, by much sound evidence. For instance, a number of scientific studies showed a significant reduction in mortality from breast cancer, ranging from most commonly about 25-30%, to as high as 76%, over unscreened control groups. However, several independent (neutral) scientists and investigators disagreed with these findings. Their scientific studies, on the contrary, uncovered that mammograms reduce breast cancer mortality in non-significant ways, somewhere between 0-10%, whereas the upper figure is almost certainly an overestimate. What is more shocking, some researchers claim that the regular screening with mammograms is more harmful than beneficial.

This portrays the backdrop from which the controversies about mammograms originate. Why the hugely diverging results? Who is right, who is wrong? What are the facts, what are the erroneous findings, what are the lies?

The perplex situation makes two things immediately obvious:

[] something (or someone/some people) is not right, and...

[] whatever is wrong has little to do with sound science.

~ CHAPTER 3 ~

How Mammography Became A Global Success

"Universal acceptance of a procedure [in medicine]

does not necessarily make it right."

(George Crile, Jr., MD, in 1993)

The history of mammograms began roughly a couple of decades after the discovery of x-rays (ionizing radiation) in 1895 by Nobel Prize winner Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845–1923). For most of the 20th century, however, it didn't gain much notoriety. By 1960 mammography was still sparsely used by radiologists (Bassett & Gold, 1988). Things changed noticeably with the Health Insurance Plan (HIP) trial of 1963-1966 (Gold, et al., 1990), and especially during the 1970s when improved screening technology and some more comprehensive, randomized, controlled studies documented a significant breast cancer mortality reduction by mammograms alone (Gold, et al., 1990). These developments initiated and brought about the application of mammography on a global scale, particularly for the early detection of cancers (HHS, 1977; Gold, 1992; Picard, 1998).

In many industrialized nations (North American and Europe), one of the biggest factors in the widespread social acceptance of regular testing with mammograms was a large long-term study -the Swedish Two-County trial, which began in 1977 and ended in 1984- led by the radiologist László Tabár, MD (Gold, et al., 1990; Baines, 2003; Gøtzsche, et al., 2006; Goldberg, 2007; Twombly, 2007). The research data of the Two-County study (Tabár, et al., 1985) revealed overwhelming benefits with regular screenings over unscreened control cases. A remarkable 31% reduction in breast cancer mortality (an almost identical result was reported by the HIP trial). In updated versions of the original study, published in 1992, 2000, and 2011, the Tabár teams postulated the rate remained at around 30% (Tabár, et al., 1992, 2000, 2011).

Tabár is one of the most prominent researchers of the diagnostic test and has been supporting the routine use of mammogram screenings for several decades, claiming in various other scientific papers (sometimes as a co-author) that the procedure significantly reduces breast cancer mortality (e.g., Tabár, et al., 2001; Duffy, et al., 2002; Holmberg, et al., 2009; Tabár & Dean, 2010; Duffy, et al., 2010; Hellquist, et al., 2011). Other research papers confirmed the remarkable reduction in breast cancer mortality by screening, in some cases to a very remarkable degree. For instance, Dutch scientists, Otto, et al. (2012), found a 49% reduction in breast cancer mortality, while another study (Paap, et al., 2010) reported a staggering 76% mortality reduction by screening compared to unscreened control cases.

~ CHAPTER 4 ~

The Focus Of The Critic On Mammogram Breast Exams

"[...] the net benefit of all medical treatments is a continuous function of three factors: the risk of morbidity or mortality if untreated, the treatment's relative risk reduction [=benefits], and the treatment's risk of harm [=risks]." (Kerianne H. Quanstrum, MD & Rodney A. Hayward, MD, in 2010) [emphasis & explanation added]

In essence, the opponents of mammograms have criticized the pro-mammography orientation on two basic fronts: the benefits and the risks of the screening procedure.

More specifically, the critics have proposed:

[] that the pro-mammography supporters ignore or downplay the risks of

screening with mammograms (including direct risks, that is, the rather

immediate dangers from the actual screening procedure itself using

ionizing radiation; and indirect risks which are the ramifications or

collateral consequences from medical interventions brought about by

a breast cancer diagnosis after mammographic screening),

[] that screening advocators greatly exaggerate the benefits of mammography,

such as the effects of screening on mortality reduction from breast cancer

or the procedure's impact on the need for invasive breast cancer treatments.

=======================

Section II: Mammogram Risks

=======================

~ CHAPTER 5 ~

The Ignoring, Undermining, And Downplaying Of The Dangers Of

Mammograms By The Medical Orthodoxy

"A small, determined group, working energetically for its own narrow interests,

can almost always impose an injustice upon a vastly larger group, provided

that the larger group believes that the injury is 'hypothetical,' or

distant-in-the-future, or real-but-small relative to the real-and-large

cost of preventing it." (John W. Gofman, MD, PhD, 1918-2007)

Part A) Direct Risks: Mammogram Radiation Exposures

"Some medical journals and most of the mass media have been perpetrating a major fallacy about the breast-cancer problem. Most commonly, they list risk-factors for breast-cancer without even mentioning ionizing radiation. Or sometimes they assert that there is no proven cause of breast-cancer." (John W. Gofman, MD, PhD, 1918-2007, in 1996)

What is ionizing radiation?

Basically, ionizing radiation can be thought of as invisible, tasteless, odorless, noiseless packets of high energy (photons). All forms of ionizing radiation are proportionally high energy, high speed electromagnetic vibrations, waves, or rays, containing electrons and other subatomic particles of different speed and size, depending on the type of radiation. When the energy of these rays or waves reaches a level where the radioactive particles rip out electrons from molecules and cells they collide with, it is commonly referred to as ionizing radiation (as opposed to non-ionizing radiation).

Medical x-rays are an example of ionizing radiation of relatively high energy where the particles (photons, electrons) travel at very high speed, making the energy rays relatively highly tissue penetrating -but not nearly as penetrating as gamma rays which can easily travel right through the human body (U.S. National Toxicology Program, 2011). In addition to containing similar higher energy, smaller-sized particle ionizing radiation, as used in medical x-rays, fallout from nuclear bombs or nuclear reactor sites also contains proportionally lower energy radiation with particles of bigger size (e.g., alpha particles) and thus of lower speed and penetrability.

The Medical Profession's Denial About The Dangers Of

High Dose Ionizing Radiation

"The history of mammography provides women with a reason to think very

seriously about the need for eternal vigilance --- and for watchdogging of

some technology buffs who are inclined to claim that their pet technology

is safe, without any evidence for such claims."

(John W. Gofman, MD, PhD, 1918-2007, in 1996)

The allopathic medical profession had been denying for about half a century that high doses of ionizing radiation (100-500 rems or roughly 1000-5000 mSv) causes human cancer (instead they claimed it is harmless) despite that clear, well-established facts affirmed its serious toxicity (Gofman, 1996).

Within less than a decade after the discovery of medical x-rays, several scientists, among them Thomas A. Edison (1847–1931), warned about the serious threat from irradiation after his assistant died from radiation poisoning (Peat, April 20, 2009). At around the mid 1920s geneticist and Nobel Prize winner Hermann J. Müller, PhD (1890-1967) generated solid evidence showing that high dose ionizing radiation causes genetic mutations in fruit flies (Müller, 1928), and thus questioned the usefulness of medical x-rays. But the medical establishment virtually ignored his findings at the time although other researchers, subsequently, validated them in the late 1920s.

Between the 1920s and 1950s, conventional medicine used high dose radiation therapies routinely and with great enthusiasm to treat acne, warts, various skin diseases, depression, backaches, parasitic infections, pneumonia, diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), bursitis, bronchial asthma, and in mass screenings for tuberculosis, and to induce menopause in certain women (Simon, 1964; Glicksman, 1978; Godlee, 1992; Gofman, 1996; Montague, 2000). Medical x-ray technology was even commonly used as a shoe-fitting method (Gofman, 1996). Yet despite that numerous researchers warned about the dangers of irradiation during the same time period (1920s-1950s), the traditional medical profession disregarded their admonitions (Gofman, 1996).

One health author remarked:

"Such uses of X-rays would today be viewed as quackery, but many of them were accepted medical practice into the 1950s." (Montague, 2000) [emphasis added]

This raises a reasonable and serious question. Are there any accepted medical practices in current times (today) that, in actuality, are quackery?

In the 1970s studies demonstrated that children whose scalp got irradiated with high dose radiation to treat ringworm had a significantly higher incidence of thyroid and brain cancers, as well as leukemia (Modan, et al., 1974 & 1977).

The Shift Of The Medical Orthodoxy's Denial Of Radiation Dangers

From High To Low Doses (As Used In Mammograms, For Example)

"Yet today, the same sort of ignorance and wishful thinking produce the same

mistaken assurances --- about low doses [i.e., low dose ionizing radiation is

practically harmless]. Reality: There is no safe dose or dose-rate."

(John W. Gofman, MD, PhD, 1918-2007, in 1996) [explanation added]

Controversies about mammography surfaced concomitantly with its ascent as a common preventive medical practice in the 1970s. Critics expressed concerns that the medical use of ionizing radiation to detect cancer may induce and lead to malignant types of cancers at a later date (HHS, 1977). Particularly, after Ian MacKenzie, MD unmistakably revealed in a study on almost 800 women in the 1960s that those women who underwent medical procedures using x-rays had a many-fold (about 25 times!) increased risk of breast cancer over unscreened women (MacKenzie, 1965). Also, since at least the 1970s it had been known that breast tissue is very sensitive to irradiation, carrying an increased susceptibility to produce cancer (Center for Medical Consumers, 1992).

In addition, some researchers denoted the evidence that mammograms alone are able to significantly reduce mortality from breast cancer is weak and indirect (Bailar, 1976). Critics, such as John C. Bailar III, MD, PhD and Norman Simon, MD also warned against a general nationwide introduction of mammograms because of a lack of data on the long-term effects of screening with mammograms (Bailar, March 1977; Simon & Silverstone, 1976; Simon, Feb. & Oct. 1977), particularly since it was known that the doses of ionizing radiation used at the time in mammograms will cause some breast cancers (Pochin, 1976; Bailar, June 1977). As a matter of fact, the radiologist Norman Simon, MD suggested that any radiation dose, even the lowest possible amount, has a carcinogenic effect on the breast:

"It is prudent to regard the carcinogenic effect of radiation on the breast as proportional to dose without a threshold." (Simon, Feb. 1977)

And...

"[...] we must add ionizing-radiation as an additional and serious risk factor in the causation of breast cancer." (Simon & Silverstone, 1976) [emphasis added]

The medical community explained that any excess cancer produced by screenings with mammograms will get detected in its early stages by subsequent mammograms and thus will get cured (Bertell, 2010). Moreover, the medical allopathy argued that the radiation doses were lowered to such a degree by improved technologies that they merely posed theoretical risks, which, supposedly, were hugely overpowered by the benefits from screening with mammography (Bassett & Gold, 1988). For example, the radiology industry and the American Cancer Society claimed the risk that ionizing radiation from mammograms causes cancer is extremely small and seems negligible in comparison to the far outperforming benefits attained by screening (Feig, 1984; Moskowitz, 1984). This remains, virtually unchanged, the standard consensus of conventional medicine after the first decade of the 21st century (Kopans, 2011; Yaffe & Mainprize, 2011).

The pro-mammography industry declared that the average radiation dose of a screening is extremely low at 0.1-0.8 rad or 1-8 mGy (Feig, 1984) -equaling roughly 0.1-0.8 rem or 1-8 mSv- as compared to the well-established increase in breast cancers from large radiation doses (100-2000 rad) among Japanese survivors of the Atomic bombings during World War II (Feig, 1984).

While the dose of a single mammogram has been drastically decreased since the late 1970s, the average range of what is considered a low dose medical x-ray procedure has actually increased, and is now roughly between 0.001-2 rem (or 0.01-20 mSv), but even 3-9 rem (or 30-90 mSv) are considered low doses by the medical profession and have become more commonly used in diagnostic screening procedures (Einstein, et al., 2007; Huang, et al., 2009).

Ionizing Radiation: Profoundly Destructive

"[...] an estimated 75 percent of recent and current breast-cancer cases

would not have occurred as they did, in the absence of earlier medical

(and other) irradiation." (John W. Gofman, MD, PhD, 1918-2007, in 1996)

For many years John W. Gofman, MD, PhD, (1918-2007) did extensive research on the effects of ionizing radiation. He used to work for the Atomic Energy Commission (later renamed the Department of Energy to drop the connection to Atomic bombs and militarism) during the 1960s and actively supported the nuclear and radiation community for many years, assuring the public that ionizing radiation is pretty much harmless. Until in the late 1960s, when Gofman had an epiphany. He realized, since it is well established that high doses of ionizing radiation are hugely destructive, that it is wrong and unconscionable to assume and claim that low dose ionizing radiation is safe without evidence to support it (Peat, Jan. 2011).

Because of his radical change of position he practically lost any subsequent funding for his research, both from federal institutions and the radiation industry. But during much of the rest of his life he produced his best and most important work as an independent researcher studying and publicizing the profoundly injurious effects of (low dose) ionizing radiation.

To my knowledge, his shocking research findings still have not been disproven by anyone with sound science (or maybe only by extrapolating opposing perspectives from corrupted research databases -more details on that later in this chapter and in chapter 16).

Gofman's in-depth analysis, laid out in his book Preventing Breast-Cancer: The story of a Major, Proven, Preventable Cause of This Disease, covering data from about 1920-1960, led him to conclude that past exposures to ionizing radiation (mostly from medical x-rays) starting in utero until womanhood, accounts for around 75% of breast cancers in the United States (Gofman, 1996).

Mammograms were not included in Gofman's evaluation (Gofman, 1996) because they only began to be used more commonly after 1960.

Gofman denoted clearly that medical x-rays are the dominant, but not the only, cause of breast cancer:

"[...] the 75-percent estimate is based on synergism [=mutually enhancing co-action with other causes] and how it already incorporates other causes." (Gofman, 1996) [emphasis & explanation added]

Gofman's main findings are:

"There is just no doubt that past radiation exposure accounts for a major share of our recent and current breast-cancer problem. The evidence for our finding is overwhelming --- if one simply looks." (Gofman, 1996)

And...

"[...] past exposure to medical x-rays is a major non-inherited cause of the breast-cancer which has occurred, is now occurring, and is already committed to occur in the future in the USA. […] [and] medical radiation is surely a non-inherited cause of other cancers, also." (Gofman, 1996) [explanation added]

The underlying principle explaining this phenomenon was a very solid causal association (per Gofman's analysis of the data): the more doctors per capita, the more medical x-ray procedures, the more cancer -particularly breast cancer.

In other words, modern medicine is a direct major cause of a

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