Facts and Persisting Concerns: Mammograms

Facts and Persisting Concerns: Mammograms

 

More women are refusing mammograms. This is reflected in the dramatic decline of 4.3 percent in 2010. Previously, mammography use had increased annually by 1 percent between 2005 and 2009. Mammograms:

• Are incorrect 80 percent of the time (providing a false negative or false positive)
• Require repeated ionized radiation that can cause cancer
• Use compression, which can damage breast tissue or potentially spread cancer
• Are not effective for up to 50 percent of women (women with dense breasts or implants)
• Can lead to over-diagnosis and over-treatment of non-invasive cancers
• Can lead to the disturbing practice of “preventative” double mastectomies

Source: Dr. Johnnie Ham, MD

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