Mammograms are a very personal choice and not necessarily the right one to make given multiple recent studies. That's why I'm going to share my breast cancer experience and opinion on the matter.
So as you know, I've had breast cancer. Mammograms were a yearly medical requirement and not one I was comfortable with because mammograms can cause cancer. That was until I decided to stop my remaining cancer treatment and sacked my specialist in 2013. I no longer had quality of life, so I changed paths in search for something better suited to me. Something that was more my truth. A happier, healthier alternative.
I discovered that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released evidence suggesting that mammography will cause 75 cases of breast cancer for every 15 that it diagnoses. No words.
There's a whole lot of research out there for those of you (like me) who want to find it so we can make better health choices. I've been reading, listening, watching and studying everything I could get my hands on since my diagnosis.
I also discovered recently a report by the U.S. Preventative Task Force (USPTF) in 2015 that rattled the conventional oncology community when it first came out. The report, which was finalised January 2016, recommended that women cut their exposure to mammograms by half: “The evidence reviewed by the USPSTF indicates that a large proportion of the benefit of screening mammography is maintained by biennial screening, and changing from annual to biennial screening is likely to reduce the harms of mammography screening by nearly half.”
Because of all my personal research, I was able to make the best-informed decision for my circumstances which was to never, and I repeat never, mammogram my breasts again. Instead, I have an annual ultrasound which is a much safer alternative. Same outcome but with no side-effects. #winning
Of course, my thoughts don't come without a lot of constructive criticism from people who haven't walked a day in my shoes. So I explain to them that once upon a time asbestos wasn't something we were concerned about. Hell, children would even play in it (check out google images). Now look at the extreme lengths we have to take to reduce the risk of exposure in accordance with the Workplace Health & Safety Act in Australia. These things take time and unfortunately I'm not going to wait until there's more research, more studies, more proof than there already is. I want to live, and I'm doing everything I can to ensure that. The end!
Are you picking up what I'm putting down? I hope you are because there are a lot of risks involved in mammograms and you don't want to end up in the same position as me, trust me. As the age old saying goes, prevention is better than a cure.