American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Prevention Page: Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
Leonard Berlin, M.D, FACR, Chairman of Radiology at Rush North Shore Medical Center, Skokie, was awarded the Distinguished Service Gold Medal Award of the Chicago Radiological Society, its highest honor on April 21, 2005 in Chicago, IL. The Gold Medal is awarded annually to an individual who has rendered unusual service to the science of radiology and will be presented to Dr. Berlin by his son, radiologist Jonathan W. Berlin, M.D. Berlin is Charman of Skokie Valley Hospital Department of Radiology.
Mammography Screening Can Survive Malpractice . . . If Radiologists Take Center Stage and Assume the Role of Educator by Leonard Berlin, MD. Radiology December 2004.
The missed breast cancer redux: time for educating the public about the limitations of mammography? Berlin L. AJR 2001; 176:1131-1134
Malpractice Issues in Radiology, Breast Cancer, Mammography, and Malpractice Litigation: The Controversies Continue Leonard Berlin, AJR 2003; 180:1229-1237, Excellent discussion of controversy of screening mammography and impact on mortality figures.
Perspective on Dot Size, Lead Time, Fallibility, and Impact on Survival Continuing Controversies in Mammography Leonard Berlin MD. AJR 2001; 176:1123-1130
STATEMENT of Leonard Berlin, M.D. To the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions Re: Mammography Quality Standards Act Reauthorization April 8, 2003. Leonard Berlin: Suffice it to say that research studies performed at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the United States reveal that as many as 90% of lung cancers, and 70% of breast cancers, can at least partially be observed on previous studies read as normal.
A Manifesto for Truth-in-Mammography Advertising by Leonard Berlin MD Imaging Economics, November 2004. "From cigarettes to pharmaceuticals to financial services, all advertisements feature a disclaimer: Why not those for mammography? Of all medical malpractice lawsuits filed in the United States that allege a delay in the diagnosis of breast cancer, radiologists are the most frequently sued specialists. Of all medical malpractice lawsuits lodged against radiologists, the most frequent cause is the allegation of a missed breast cancer on mammography. Why has "missed breast cancer" risen to first place in the medical malpractice standings? I suggest that it is because we have oversold mammography. We have marketed mammography without informing the American public all that we know about not only the benefits, but more important the limitations and potential harms of mammography."Endquote.
Breast Imaging: From 1965 to the Present Edward A. Sickles, MD, Radiology. 2000;215:1-16.) Examples of xeromammograms and film mammograms, speculated lesion, needle localization.
History: Narratives Radiology in Illinois By Franklin Alcorn, M.D. Dr. Alcorn's history appeared in the program of the Chicago Radiological Society at the Centennial of Radiology in 1995.
History: Narratives Radiology in Illinois By Franklin Alcorn, M.D. Dr. Alcorn's history appeared in the program of the Chicago Radiological Society at the Centennial of Radiology in 1995.
Breast Cancer Prevention and Iodine Supplementation by Jeffrey Dach MD, Iodine Supplementation Prevents Breast Cancer by Jeffrey Dach MD
Screening mammogram Swedish Study by Dr. Laszlo Tabar (1977- 1984) Population-based randomized controlled study showed 31% reduction in breast cancer mortality in women 50 plus. Breast Cancer Screening Southern Medical Association’s 98th Annual Scientific Assembly November 13, 2004 Pamela M. Otto, MD Associate Professor UTHSCSA, Dept of Radiology
INTERACTIVE MAMMOGRAPHY ANALYSIS WEB TUTORIAL. Images of benign calcifications, secretory disease, milk of calcium, etc. Molson Medical Informatics Project 1999. McGill University.
Tutorial 2 : CALCIFICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH A HIGH PROBABILITY OF MALIGNANCY
Molson Medical Informatics Project 1999. McGill University. Fine linear branching calcifications are high probability for malignancy.
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ of the Breast by Elisabeth L. Dupont, MD; Ni Ni K. Ku, MD; Christa McCann, BA; and Charles E. Cox, MD, FACS. Moffitt Cancer Center. DCIS, 60% of DCIS cases are discovered solely by mammography. Seven major autopsy studies of women not known to have had breast cancer have provided insight. Six studies found an incidence of 4% to 18%. DCIS now accounts for nearly half of mammographically detected cases of cancer.
Using Autopsy Series To Estimate the Disease "Reservoir" for Ductal Carcinoma in Situ of the Breast: How Much More Breast Cancer Can We Find? H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH, and William C. Black, MD Annals of Internal Medicine December 1997 Volume 127 Issue 11 Pages 1023." Conclusions: A substantial reservoir of DCIS is undetected during life. How hard pathologists look for the disease and, perhaps, their threshold for making the diagnosis are potentially important factors in determining how many cases of DCIS are diagnosed. The latter has important implications for what it means to have the disease. "
DOES LUNG CANCER SCREENING SAVE LIVES? by Janis Kelly, Respiratory Reviews April 2000.
Corporate Medical Policy Lung Cancer Screening, CT Scanning or Chest Radiographs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of N Carolina. No Policy coverage for Lung cancer screening with chest CAT or Xrays.
The Canadian national breast screening study. 1. Breast cancer mortality after 11 to 16 years of follow-up. Miller AB, To T, Baines CJ, Wall C. Ann Intern Med 2002;137:305 312
"After 11 to 16 years of follow-up, four or five annual screenings with mammography, breast physical examination, and breast self-examination had not reduced breast cancer mortality compared with usual community care after a single breast physical examination and instruction on breast self-examination. The study data show that true effects of 20% or greater are unlikely. Controversy will persist because other studies suggest that screening causes small reductions in breast cancer mortality."
Canadian National Breast Screening Study-2: 13-Year Results of a Randomized Trial in Women Aged 50-59 Years. Anthony B. Miller, Teresa To, Cornelia J. Baines, Claus Wall, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 92, No. 18, 1490-1499, September 20, 2000. "Conclusion: In women aged 50 - 59 years, the addition of annual mammography screening to physical examination has no impact on breast cancer mortality."
Screening for Breast Cancer: Recommendations and Rationale, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Humphrey LL, Helfand M, Chan BKS, Woolf SH. Ann Intern Med 2002;137:347 -360 The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening mammography, with or without clinical breast examination, every 1 to 2 years for women aged 40 and older.
United States Preventive Services Task Force concluded mammography reduces breast cancer mortality among women 40-74 years old.
Samuel Epstein MD
Dangers and Unreliability of Mammography: Breast Examination is a Safe, Effective, and Practical Alternative by Samuel S. Epstein, Rosalie Bertell, and Barbara Seaman. International Journal of Health Services, 31(3):605-615, 2001. Breast Cancer Coalition.
Cancer, Inc and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. by Sharon Batt, Liza Gross. Sierra, Sept, 1999" THEY MAKE THE CHEMICALS, THEY RUN THE TREATMENT CENTERS, AND THEY'RE STILL LOOKING FOR "THE CURE"--NO WONDER THEY WON'T TELL YOU ABOUT BREAST CANCER PREVENTION". Blistering Criticism.
Cancer Prevention Coalition. Samuel S. Epstein, MD founder and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, and is professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health. He has published some 260 peer reviewed articles, and authored or co-authored 11 books including: the prize-winning 1978 The Politics of Cancer; the 1995 Safe Shopper's Bible; the 1998 Breast Cancer Prevention Program; the 1998 The Politics of Cancer, Revisited.
The Politics of Cancer, Revisited 1998 By Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. Foreword by Congressman David Obey, Introduction by Congressman John Conyers In this book, world-cancer expert Dr. Samuel Epstein indicts the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society for responsibility in losing the cancer war.
Stop Breast Cancer Dot Org
Postmenopausal Hormone Replacement Therapy Scientific Review Heidi D. Nelson, MD, MPH; Linda L. Humphrey, MD, MPH; Peggy Nygren, MA; Steven M. Teutsch, MD, MPH; Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN JAMA. 2002;288:872-881.
French Cohort Study
Combined hormone replacement therapy and risk of breast cancer in a French cohort study of
3175 women. de Lignières B et al., Climacteric. 2002 Dec;5(4):332-40. French Cohort Study shows no increased risk of breast cancer from bio-identical human hormones.
Case 41: Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, by Alanna T. Harris, MD. "The detection of ductal carcinoma in situ has increased markedly in recent years secondary to the widespread use of screening mammography, and it now accounts for 25 to 40% of mammographically detected breast cancers."
Detection of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ in Women Undergoing Screening Mammography by Virginia L. Ernster, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 94, No. 20, 1546-1554, October 16, 2002. "Conclusions: Overall, approximately 1 in every 1300 screening mammography examinations leads to a diagnosis of DCIS. Given uncertainty about the natural history of DCIS, the clinical significance of screen-detected DCIS needs further investigation. "
Mammography Books available.
Pink Ribbon Madness: Say No to Breast Cancer Exploitation for Corporate Profit by Suzanne Reisman 10/06/2007
October is Breast Cancer Propaganda Month: Pinkwashing, Breast Cancer Action and Vitamin D
Thursday, October 11, 2007 by: Mike Adams. Critical of mammography. Advocates checking Vitamin D levels.
NORTIN HADLER. M.D.
Does Screening Mammography Save Lives? Numbers May Not Justify Practice for Routine Mammograms, OPINION By NORTIN HADLER. M.D. May 21, 2007, ABC News. Dr. Nortin Hadler is professor of medicine and microbiology/immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an attending rheumatologist at University of North Carolina Hospitals.
"In the United States, radiologists are so hesitant to read a mammogram as "normal" that false positive rates can reach 80 percent. This hedging on the readings is driven by the fact that "missing a breast cancer" on mammography is the most frequent reason for malpractice litigation in the United States.
But screening mammography is so terribly blunt that it approaches useless: It finds very few cancers that are truly treatable, it misses many of these and it is awash in false positives. Norway, Sweden, Australia and the United Kingdom are re-examining their national experience with screening mammography because of appraisals similar to mine.
If a woman's life was saved because of early detection of an evil breast cancer, she should thank her lucky stars rather than her mammographer. I would relegate mammograms to the archives of false starts, next to radical mastectomy" Endquote.
After 40 Years, Mammography Remains as Much Emotion as Science by Judith Randal, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 92, No. 20, 1630-1632, October 18, 2000
"For the better part of a century, it would have been unthinkable to treat primary breast cancer with anything but the operation pioneered in the 1890s by William Halsted, M.D., one of the most prominent surgeons of his day. Beginning in the 1970s, the Halsted era drew gradually to a close when randomized controlled trials found that the operation generally known as radical mastectomy was no more effective than less drastic surgery (sometimes in combination with radiation). Could a similar fate await the current gold-standard status of screening mammography? Will a time come when its popularity dwindles, too?...Mammography now a $4 billion a year industry in the United States alone...Absent unforeseen developments, it is probably safe to predict that mammography for screening will continue to be as much about strongly held opinions and political pressures as about science."endquote
David Plotkin MD
Good News and Bad News About Breast Cancer by David Plotkin M.D. The Atlantic Monthly, June 1998, "Breast cancer is a major public-health concern; it kills 0.04 percent of all American women yearly...Most of the time the news is reassuring; two thirds to four fifths of all biopsies reveal that the abnormality is not malignant. (Women in their forties are more likely than older women to have negative biopsies, because mammograms of their naturally lumpier breasts are harder to interpret.)...An official nationwide mammography program would be a huge commitment: 51.5 million American women are aged forty or above. And one must bear in mind the cost of needless medical procedures generated by the huge number of false-positive mammograms...two to four false positives for every true positive, according to some measures.
On balance, then, I reluctantly support the status quo. When my patients come in for their mammograms, I do not try to dissuade them. But I tell them that the most optimistic interpretation of the available evidence suggests that routine mammography has only a marginal effect on a woman's chances of surviving breast cancer, and that it may have no effect at all." endquote
High Prevalence of Premalignant Lesions in Prophylactically Removed Breasts From Women at Hereditary Risk for Breast Cancer by N. Hoogerbrugge et al.J ournal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 21, Issue 1 (January), 2003: 41-45. Full text.
"Conclusion: Many women at high risk of hereditary breast cancer develop high-risk histopathologic lesions, especially after the age of 40 years. Surveillance does not detect such high-risk histopathologic lesions."
Mammographic Screening for Breast Cancer Suzanne W. Fletcher, M.D., and Joann G. Elmore, M.D., M.P.H. NEJM Volume 348:1672-1680 April 24, 2003 Number 17
POINT COUNTERPOINT On the efficacy of screening for breast cancer by David A Freedman, Diana B Petitti, and James M Robins, International Journal of Epidemiology 2004;33:4355. Review of studies concludes mammography screening is effective.
Rejoinder,by David A Freedman, Diana B Petitti and James M Robins. International Journal of Epidemiology 2004;33:6973. More on effciacy of screening mammography.
Screening for Breast Cancer. Joann G. Elmore, MD, MPH; Katrina Armstrong, MD; Constance D. Lehman, MD, PhD; Suzanne W. Fletcher, MD, MSc JAMA. 2005;293:1245-1256. "All major US medical organizations recommend screening mammography for women aged 40 years and older. Screening mammography reduces breast cancer mortality by about 20% to 35% in women aged 50 to 69 years and slightly less in women aged 40 to 49 years at 14 years of follow-up.
Approximately 95% of women with abnormalities on screening mammograms do not have breast cancer with variability based on such factors as age of the woman and assessment category assigned by the radiologist. Studies comparing full-field digital mammography to screen film have not shown statistically significant differences in cancer detection while the impact on recall rates (percentage of screening mammograms considered to have positive results) was unclear. "endquote
Fear, Anxiety, Worry, and Breast Cancer Screening Behavior: A Critical Review Nathan S. Consedine, Carol Magai, Yulia S. Krivoshekova, Lynn Ryzewicz and Alfred . Neugut. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Vol. 13, 501-510, April 2004. "Women's fears surrounding breast cancer seem to encompass nearly "everything" but certainly include fear of a breast cancer diagnosis, fear of pain/discomfort, and more complicating, fear of embarrassment. To this list, we can add fear of the medical establishment, radiation, nonspecific "cancer worry" general anxiety, or phobia. " endquote.
Cancer: When it isn't a killer DCIS: Precancer, benign cancer or what? What Doctors Don't Tell You (Volume 13, Issue 10). "The cancer establishment was recently rocked to its core when Professor Michael Baum, an eminent and well-respected breast surgeon and researcher, claimed that screening for breast cancer should be scrapped because it caused hundreds of healthy women to undergo risky, mutilating and unnecessary treatments even when they may never develop the disease. His comments, made at a meeting of the Royal Society of Medicine, cut even more deeply because Baum was one of the physicians who helped set up the 50-million-a-year breast-screening service (Frith M, Scrap Breast Cancer Screening, Evening Standard, 10 December 2002, p 1). Baum has stated publicly that the most dramatic consequence of the rise in the numbers of routine mammographies has been a huge increase in the incidence of small, well-contained, relatively benign breast cancers known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) (BMJ Rapid Responses at bmj.com/cgi/eletters/325/ 7361/418#24945, 24 August 2002). " endquote
Re: Screening and Mastectomy rates, Letter to the editor of BMJ by Michael Baum, Emeritus Prof. of Surgery University College London The Portland Hospital, 212-214 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5QN.
'Scrap breast cancer screening' By Maxine Frith, Health Correspondent, Evening Standard 10.12.02
The man who helped to set up the NHS breast screening programme claims today that it does more harm than good.
Professor Michael Baum, a leading expert in the field, said that screening for the disease causes hundreds of healthy women to have risky, mutilating and unnecessary treatments even when they may never develop the disease.
Fifteen years after he established one of the first screening centres in the UK, Professor Baum has now called for the Â£50million a year service to be shut. He believes the techniques used for screening are not accurate enough and lead to too many false alarms.
Professor Baum, who is to address the Royal Society of Medicine in London today, has been a long-standing critic of screening but has never before gone so far as to say it should be scrapped entirely,
He is one of the most eminent breast surgeons in the country and a respected researcher into the disease. His comments have sparked a furious row among experts over the benefits of the NHS breast screening programme
Breast screen 'wrong care' fears, BBC News, 18 October 2006. "Breast screening may produce false positives. Concerns have been raised that breast cancer screening might lead to some women undergoing unnecessary treatment. Researchers looked at international studies on half a million women. They found that for every 2,000 women screened over a decade, one will have her life prolonged, but 10 will have to undergo unnecessary treatment. UK experts said women over 50 should go for their breast checks, but a screening pioneer raised doubts about the NHS programme's future. The report, published in the Cochrane Library, involved a review of breast cancer research papers from around the world."endquote.
Doubts raised by the pioneer of screening By Nic Fleming, Medical Correspondent 18/10/2006 .
Prof Michael Baum set up one of the first breast cancer screening programmes in England in 1987.
Screening for breast cancer with mammography. Gotzsche PC, Nielsen M Cochrane Reviews
Main results: Seven completed and eligible trials involving half a million women were identified. We excluded a biased trial from analysis.
Two (Canada and Malmo)trials with adequate randomisation did not show a significant reduction in breast cancer mortality, relative risk (RR) 0.93 (95% confidence interval 0.80 to 1.09) at 13 years; four trials with suboptimal randomisation showed a significant reduction in breast cancer mortality, RR 0.75 (0.67 to 0.83) (P = 0.02 for difference between the two estimates). RR for all six trials combined was 0.80 (0.73 to 0.88).
The two trials with adequate randomisation did not find an effect of screening on cancer mortality, including breast cancer, RR 1.02 (0.95 to 1.10) after 10 years, or on all-cause mortality, RR 1.00 (0.96 to 1.04) after 13 years. We found that breast cancer mortality was an unreliable outcome that was biased in favour of screening, mainly because of differential misclassification of cause of death.
Numbers of lumpectomies and mastectomies were significantly larger in the screened groups, RR 1.31 (1.22 to 1.42) for the two adequately randomised trials; the use of radiotherapy was similarly increased.
Authors' conclusions: Screening likely reduces breast cancer mortality. Based on all trials, the reduction is 20%, but as the effect is lower in the highest quality trials, a more reasonable estimate is a 15% relative risk reduction. Based on the risk level of women in these trials, the absolute risk reduction was 0.05%. Screening also leads to overdiagnosis and overtreatment, with an estimated 30% increase, or an absolute risk increase of 0.5%.
This means that for every 2000 women invited for screening throughout 10 years, one will have her life prolonged. In addition, 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be diagnosed as breast cancer patients and will be treated unnecessarily. It is thus not clear whether screening does more good than harm. Women invited to screening should be fully informed of both benefits and harms.
(52) http://www.cochrane.dk/research/Screening for breast cancer with mammography (Cochrane review).pdf
Screening for breast cancer with mammography Gotzsche PC, Nielsen M cochrane collaboration 2006 full text pdf
Should we offer routine breast cancer screening with mammography? - Cochrane For Clinicians: Putting Evidence Into Practice. by Sean P. David. American Family Physician, July 15, 2003
Row over breast cancer screening shows that scientists bring "some subjectivity into their work Susan Mayor, London, BMJ 2001;323:956 (27 October).
"The review claimed that there was no reliable evidence to support the value of mammo-graphy screening in reducing deaths from breast cancer and alleged an association with increased rates of breast surgery.
Ole Olson and Peter Gotsche from the Nordic Cochrane Centre, Righospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, reassessed as part of a Cochrane review a meta-analysis of seven randomised trials of screening mammography which they had previously carried out. This confirmed their original conclusion, they said, that there was no evidence of a reduction in either total or breast cancer mortality in two of the trials that they considered to be of sufficient quality to analyse.
They added: "We have also confirmed that screening leads to more aggressive treatment, increasing the number of mastectomies by about 20% and the number of mastectomies and tumourectomies by about 30%" (Lancet 2001;358:1340-2 )."endquote.
Letters Breast screening seems driven by belief rather than evidence. Hazel Thornton, independent advocate for quality in research and healthcare. BMJ 2002;324:677 ( 16 March )
Letters. Office of NHS cancer screening programme misrepresents Nordic work in breast screening row by Peter C Gotzsche, director. Nordic Cochrane Centre, Rigshospitalet, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ã¸, BMJ 2001;323:1131 (10 November 2001)
LÃzlo Tabar, M.D. Professor of Radiology Course Director 2007 BREAST SEMINAR SERIES Covering the world of breast diagnosis.
Opposed to Screening
National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) The Mammography Screening Controversy:Questions and Answers February 8, 2002
Position Statement on Screening Mammography Updated May 2007. National Breast Cancer Coalition 1707 L Street, NW, Suite 1060 Washington, D.C. 20036 (202) 296-7477 voice (202) 265-6854 fax
BreastCancerChoices.org cancer advocacy Iodine Supplement Information
contact lynne. Breast Cancer Choices, Inc., a nonprofit organization helping patients make informed choices about breast screening, diagnostic procedures and treatment.
Search and Destroy, Why Mammograms Are Not the Answer, By Shannon Brownlee, New America Foundation, The New Republic April 22, 2002
Disclaimer click here: http://www.drdach.com/wst_page20.html
The reader is advised to discuss the comments on these pages with his/her personal physicians and to only act upon the advice of his/her personal physician Also note that concerning an answer which appears as an electronically posted question, I am NOT creating a physician -- patient relationship. Although identities will remain confidential as much as possible, as I can not control the media, I can not take responsibility for any breaches of confidentiality that may occur.
Link to this article:
This article may be copied or reproduced on the internet provided a link and credit is given.
(c) Copyright Jeffrey Dach MD 2008-2009 All Rights Reserved