Is There a Downside to Mammograms?

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Is There a Downside to Mammograms?

Written by Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND

There is no question that early detection and treatment of breast cancer is the best current strategy for reducing mortality rates of the disease.  An ideal screening method would be one that is sensitive enough to detect breast cancer early but safe enough that it will not increase the risk of more future malignant tumours.  Consider the following facts:

FACT1 in every 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime

FACT – Yearly mammograms reduce the death rate by 30% in women over 50 years old because of early cancer detection BUT the same yearly mammograms increase death rates by 50% in women who gets yearly mammograms from the age 40 to 49 years old because of the accumulation of radiation toxicity.

Unfortunately, mammograms have some limitations:

  • A fairly low sensitivity particularly in those with dense breasts
  • A fairly high false positive rate, with up to 50% of women getting annual mammograms for 10 years, which lead to unnecessary biopsies of benign lesions in 25% of these women.
  • There is a measurable risk from the increase radiation when used repeatedly, particularly in those who start using mammograms yearly from the age of 40 years old.

Even with these limitations, mammograms are currently considered the best imaging tool for detecting breast cancer early.  But do we have other alternatives? What is the most responsible way to use mammograms?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I want to have a discussion on this very important topic and many other ones that relate to the health of our breasts.  I am happy to announce that I working on a 3-week online program that will be starting Wednesday, Oct 7th, 2020.  My intention is to teach women easy natural strategies such as nutrition, lifestyle tips, exercise and more ways to prevent any breast problems such as cancer but also cysts, pain or any other lumps.

If you think you may be interested in joining me online for this important discussion, then please email me at and I will add you the list of people who I will be giving more details on this program.

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