laboratory with mammography machine

by Dr. Brownstein
Holistic Medicine

Mammography has been promoted as the best way to screen women for breast cancer.  There is no question that mammography identifies breast cancer at an earlier stage when compared to older techniques like the breast exam.  However, the key question to ask is, “Do women who undergo mammography have a lowered mortality rate compared to women who do not undergo mammography?”

As reported in a September, 2015 study in JAMA Internal Medicine article, researchers studied 16,120,349 women over the age of 40 who resided in 547 counties across the U.S. during a one-year period.  The researchers correlated their findings with breast cancer incidence and mortality data during the ensuing 10 years. The scientists found a direct correlation between screening mammography and breast cancer incidence.  In fact, they found a 16% mean increased incidence of breast cancer in women screened with mammography.  However, there was no significant change in mortality in those screened with mammography.  The authors noted, “Although it has been hoped that screening would allow breast-conserving surgical procedures to replace more extensive mastectomies, we saw no evidence supporting this change.”


2 years ago, I wrote about the failure of mammograms in reducing mortality from breast cancer in my Natural Way to Health Newsletter (  Now, this new study confirmed that screening mammograms still do not change the mortality rate.  Folks, this study is very important.  For a breast cancer screening test to effective, the test should result in an increased detection of small cancers, decrease the detection of large, advanced cancers (since they would have been detected at an earlier stage) and, most importantly, reduce breast cancer mortality.   Unfortunately, screening mammograms, used for nearly 30 years, have never been shown to alter breast cancer mortality.  And, to make matters worse, mammography exposes sensitive tissue to ionizing radiation which actually causes cancer.  In fact, it is estimated that each mammogram increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 1%.  After 10 years of mammograms, a woman’s risk may increase by 10%.

Clearly we need a better path.  What should be happening is that the Powers-That-Be, such as the American Cancer Society and the Komen Foundation, should be promoting research that would identify why one in seven U.S. women have breast cancer instead of promoting a screening test—mammography–that has never been proven to  decrease the mortality rate from breast cancer.

We need more research on what is actually causing the breast cancer epidemic. Remember, mammograms are used to diagnose breast pathology.  What are some of the factors leading to the epidemic of breast cancer?  I have no doubt that the synthetic, estrogen-like hormones in our food supply as well as the synthetic, unnatural hormones commonly prescribed by conventional health care providers are both a large part of the breast cancer problem.  We need to identify which hormones are problematic and which are not.  We know that synthetic hormones like progestins (synthetic progesterone such as Provera) as well as those found in birth control pills increase the risk of breast cancer.  Women (and men) should refuse to use any synthetic hormone prescribed by their health care provider when a natural, bioidentical version is available.

Another factor that can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer is iodine deficiency.  Iodine levels have fallen over 50% in the U.S. over the last 40 years.  During that same time, breast cancer rates have skyrocketed.  Identifying and treating iodine deficiency could go a long way to eradicating the breast cancer epidemic.

More information about iodine and its’ role in breast cancer can be found in my book, Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, 5th Edition.

Unless conventional medicine chooses a different path, I fear the epidemic of hormone-sensitive cancers—breast, prostate, ovarian, uterine, and thyroid–will only increase.  However, you can take matters into your own hands and educate yourself about where synthetic hormones are found in our environment.  Then you can make better choices about which foods you eat, which drugs you take and which supplements you need.




Read the full article