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County offering breast exams for uninsured women
Original post made
on Oct 26, 2012
Uninsured women in Contra Costa County can take advantage of free breast exams and mammograms at health centers throughout the county on Thursday as Breast Cancer Awareness Month draws to a close.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Monday, October 22, 2012, 3:14 PM
Posted by Bayareamom
a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm
You may want to do a bit more research:
Mammography screening and breast cancer mortality in Sweden.
Autier P, Koechlin A, Smans M, Vatten L, Boniol M.
International Prevention Research Institute (iPRI), 95 Cours Lafayette, 69006 Lyon, France. firstname.lastname@example.org
Swedish women aged 40-69 years were gradually offered regular mammography screening since 1974, and nationwide coverage was achieved in 1997. We hypothesized that this gradual implementation of breast cancer screening would be reflected in county-specific mortality patterns during the last 20 years.
Using data from the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare from 1960 to 2009, we used joinpoint regression to analyze breast cancer mortality trends in women aged 40 years and older (1,286,000 women in 1995-1996). Poisson regression models were used to compare observed mortality trends with expected trends if screening had resulted in breast cancer mortality reductions of 10%, 20%, or 30% among women screened during 18 years of follow-up after the introduction of screening. All statistical tests were two-sided.
From 1972 to 2009, breast cancer mortality rates in Swedish women aged 40 years and older declined by 0.98% annually, from 68.4 to 42.8 per 100,000, and it continuously declined in 14 of the 21 Swedish counties. In three counties, breast cancer mortality declined sharply during or soon after the implementation of screening; in two counties, a steep decline started at least 5 years after screening was introduced; and in two counties, breast cancer mortality increased after screening started. In counties in which screening started in 1974-1978, mortality trends during the next 18 years were similar to those before screening started, and in counties in which screening started in 1986-1987, mortality increased by approximately 12% (P = .007) after the introduction of screening compared with previous trends. In counties in which screening started in 1987-1988 and in 1989-1990, mortality declined by approximately 5% (P = .001) and 8% (P < .001), respectively, after the introduction of screening. Conclusion County-specific mortality statistics in Sweden are consistent with studies that have reported limited or no impact of screening on mortality from breast cancer."
Link: Web Link
"..."Our analysis found no or limited influence of mammography screening on breast cancer mortality," said Dr. Philippe Autier, at the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France. The report is published July 17 in the Journal of The National Cancer Institute..."
Link: Web Link
..."Because the cumulative incidence among controls did not reach that of the screened group, we believe that many invasive breast cancers detected by repeated mammography screening do not persist to be detected by screening at the end of 6 years, suggesting that the natural course of many of the screen-detected invasive breast cancers is to spontaneously regress."
Link: Web Link
..."Why Getting a Mammogram Can be a Risky Decision
The long-held conventional medical advice has been for women to get an annual mammogram once they hit 40. A couple of years ago, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force decided to alter their mammogram recommendation, advising women under the age of 50 to avoid mammograms, and limit them to every other year after the age of 50. The revision caused outrage among many cancer organizations. What was overlooked, however, was the reasoning behind the Task Force's decision to change their recommendation.
The prior advice was given in 2002, before a host of new research came out showing the problems of overdiagnosis, including false positives.
If a mammogram detects an abnormal spot in a woman's breast, the next step is typically a biopsy. This involves removing a small amount of tissue from the breast, which is then looked at by a pathologist under a microscope to determine if cancer is present. However, early stage cancer like ductal carcinoma in situ, or D.C.I.S., can be very hard to diagnose, and pathologists have a wide range of experience and expertise. There are actually NO universally agreed upon diagnostic standards for D.C.I.S., and there are no requirements that the pathologists doing the readings have specialized expertise...
Many conventional physicians view DCIS as "pre-cancerous" and argue that, because it could cause harm if left untreated it should be treated in the same aggressive manner as invasive cancer; however the rate at which DCIS progresses to invasive cancer is still largely unknown, with the weight of evidence suggesting it is significantly less than 50 percent -- perhaps as low as 2-4 percent.
This suggests that watchful waiting may be the more sensible approach, but most women are not informed of this option and instead go through invasive breast cancer treatments like surgery, radiation and toxic chemotherapy that often turns out to be unnecessary. As discussed above, it's really hard to justify harming 10 women with surgery and toxic chemotherapy treatment in order to possibly save the life of one woman ...
New York and Virginia followed the lead of Connecticut and Texas and recently passed laws requiring women with dense breasts to be informed they may need to seek alternative screening methods. The Federal Breast Density Bill is (HR 3102) is also currently being considered.
Mammography and its subsequent tests, such as MRIs and stereotactic (x-ray guided) biopsies, likely contribute to cancer because of the cumulative radiation exposure that occurs over a lifetime and the particularly radiation-sensitive nature of breast cells, e.g. BRCA1/2 genes confer greater risk for breast cancer, in part, because they interfere with the repair of radiation-induced DNA damage. Even the National Cancer Institute states that "repeated x-rays have the potential to cause cancer."