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Posts: 7,476
Reply with quote  #1 
I am reprinting this from my blog here because it is so dangerous and should not be followed!

Dangerous Nonsense

From Bloomberg News:
Screening for Breast Cancer May Spur Unnecessary Treatment

By Michelle Fay Cortez

Nov. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Mammograms may lead to unneeded treatments for breast cancer that might have regressed naturally, according to new research that revives a debate over frequent screening.

Doctors and public health officials have debated the risks and benefits of regular mammograms for years. While the common assumption is that finding small, easily treated tumors will prevent the development of larger, deadly cancers in the future, studies have yielded mixed results.

The report, published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that the rate of cancer among women who received biannual mammograms over six years in four Norwegian countries was 22 percent higher than those who didn’t. That may mean that tumors in those who weren’t tested regressed without being treated, researchers said.

“Our findings simply provide new insight on what is arguably the major harm associated with mammographic screening, namely, the detection and treatment of cancers that would otherwise regress,” said the researchers led by Per-Henrik Zahl at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health‘s epidemiology department in Oslo.

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed tumor in U.S. women, excluding skin cancer, and is second only to lung cancer in the annual number of deaths. Robert A. Smith, director of cancer screening of the American Cancer Society said the conclusion that more than one in five invasive breast cancers may regress without incident if not detected by mammography “is nothing more than an overreaching leap in logic.”

The study was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Natural Regression

Spontaneous regression has occurred with other tumors, including melanoma, kidney, cervical and colon cancers, the researchers said. While there have been only 32 such reports in breast cancer cases, that doesn’t mean it is rare, they said. The vast majority of breast cancers are treated immediately and aggressively, with few tumors following a natural course.

The cancer society said the authors’ conclusions were flawed. The excess number of cancers found is simply a reflection of the lead time gained with mammograms, alerting women to tumors years before they would normally be detected, Smith said.

There is little evidence that breast cancer can regress, Smith said. Given that many cancers are missed during mammograms, there is plenty of opportunity to compare current to past films, he said in a statement. While there are harms from screening, including false positives and unnecessary biopsies, “the benefits of regular screening far outweigh these limitations.”

Not Life-Threatening

There is growing evidence that a “considerable proportion” of breast cancers aren’t life-threatening, like many cases of prostate cancer, wrote Robert Kaplan, from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Health and Franz Porzsolt, from the University of Ulm in Germany, in an editorial that accompanied the study.

If the researchers’ hypothesis about natural regression is correct, 20 percent of women who got biannual mammograms were treated unnecessarily, Kaplan and Porzsolt said. The other possibility is that women who didn’t get the tests had undetected cancer and missed a shot at early treatment, they said.

The spontaneous regression hypothesis is hard to rule out, Kaplan and Porzsolt wrote.

“If the spontaneous remission hypothesis is credible, it should cause a major re-evaluation in the approach to breast cancer research and treatment,” they said. “We must also consider the ethical concerns associated with over-diagnosis and over-treatment.”

If women read this and feel they can skip their next mammo because they might get lucky and have their tumor regress, this article could be one of the most dangerous ever printed.

The line, "The rate of cancer among women who received biannual mammograms over six years in four Norwegian countries was 22 percent higher than those who didn’t. That may mean that tumors in those who weren’t tested regressed without being treated, researchers said."

No, that means that they caught their cancer early and were treated and are now alive and well.

Here are two examples from my own personal experience:

If I did not have a baseline mammogram at age 34 and followed up every year, my cancer would not have been found until I was 40, and that would have been too late. My tumor was a triple negative breast cancer that is very hard to treat successfuly. The only way to beat it is by finding it at its earliest stage, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Because my gynecologist insisted on early screening, I survived my highly aggressive cancer.

Five years later, when a new lump was found, my former breast surgeon said it was probably nothing and we shouldn't do any "unnecessary" surgery that would cause scarring and make future mammograms harder to read. We waited a year. I finally got the biopsy and had a 2.5 centimeter tumor with four positive lymph nodes. The mammogram picked up this tumor a year and a half earlier, when it was still tiny, had not become invasive, and had not spread to the lymph nodes.

I am lucky I had a great new surgeon, a top oncologist and the best treatment to fight this second, new cancer. But it wasn't easy. It was a very long year of surgeries, chemo and specialized radiation.

Contrary to what this article states, and ignoring ACS guidelines, women should get screened starting at age 35. African American women should get their baseline at age 30, because they are more likely to get basal, triple negative tumors that must be found early for best survival.

You can be proactive and fight cancer before you are ever diagnosed, or you can hope against hope you have the kind of tumor that magically disappears on its own. There is no middle of the road when dealing with cancer. Those who stay there wind up being run over by a Beast that does not fight fair. Ignore this article and this study and fight.




Princess Kindheart
Posts: 974
Reply with quote  #2 
Yikes ...  scary indeed ...   I think they are insane ...  Hmmm...   wonder if they'd wait to see if their tumor would naturally regress if they had cancer ...   crazy indeed.  No way I'd ever wait to see if my tumor would naturally regress.  Those guys must be in some insurance companies back pocket or something. 

Heck -  they told me I had something suspicious and recommended I watch and wait for 6 months and have another followup mammogram/ultrasound ..  I said if there's something suspicious I want to know what it is ..  and pushed for a biopsy - no way in hell I'd wait to see if it would naturally regress.  


"Cancer May Leave Your Body, but It Never Leaves Your Life" - Lance Armstrong Foundation Manifesto.

Goddess Forever
Posts: 1,218
Reply with quote  #3 

What the f***!!!  That is such bulls***.  I had a baseline at 35 as that was gyn's protocol and then  started  having regular mammos at 40 - missed a couple years when pregnant and nursing Miriam but had 5 or 6 years in a row when BC was Dx.   I was told that Leah should have her baseline mammo 10 years younger than I was at Dx or at 40 (pretty much the same age).  NO WAY. I will insist that she get one no later than 35 - but as I hear more and more of young women being Dx with BC, I am thinking maybe age 30 - even if I have to pay out of pocket for it.  She is very buxomy - don't know if that makes a difference.  Also I want her to have more than the regular mammo. As they say ... early detection.


Posts: 105
Reply with quote  #4 
Just when you think you've read it ALL, and there cannot possibly be anymore nonsensical studies, here come ANOTHER ONE!!!

Spontaneous regression, wtf??? 
"While there have been only 32 such reports in breast cancer cases, that doesn’t mean it is rare" Hello, and how many thousands of women have BC??
Could it be that even these so called 32 cases were really just cysts that went down???

I'd really love to find out how I could get a grant to do a study, about research studies that are totally useless!!  


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Goddess Forever
Posts: 2,525
Reply with quote  #5 
I seriously doubt that our lovely health insurances, that absolutely and without hesitance, would spend gazillions on treatment if in fact, these lovely tumors could retreat 'naturally'.
I think they erred on the date of publishing this study, it should have been posted on April 1st!!!!

No doubt that our bodys fight cancer cells every day and the immune system gobbles those cells up but once they proliferate, the horse is out of the barn and enjoying the roam......

to all the newbies out there, be your own advocate, read between the lines and rely on your instincts.
Breast self exams and mammograms safe lifes!!!!

~ There are lies, damned lies and statistics ~
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