Prostate Cancer screening and Mammograms: two double edged swords

I am by no means trying to advise anyone on how to approach physical exams and such, but just trying to get some discussion and alternate opinions on something I have been researching.

To me, it's pretty scary, because I have been running across A LOT of evidence that Mammograms for women and PSA prostate tests for men are doing more harm than good.

I can never shake this feeling that so called "Money Driven Medicine" has somewhat got us in this place where we take for granted that these tests will take care of all our health concerns, and we should not question or research anything. If I can ever find a doctor where I can have a truly interactive relationship where I can discuss all my concerns, and get some detailed statistical information about the necessity and effectiveness of these tests, then perhaps I will feel a little more comfortable. I'm still amazed how 3 separate dentists mis-diagnosed my advanced periodontal disease. When I set an appointment for a physical, I get a 10 minute time slot. Hardly enough time to discuss anything in any detail. Sigh………..

In the mean time, test or no test, I am convinced that lifestyle choices, especially nutrition, is the best prevention for cancer. All that I have researched and learned allows me to relax on this subject matter. To a certain degree, doctors can only tell you what you have done to yourself. We are responsible for our own health and each individual has to fight to take control of our well being, to live happier and healthier lives.

I don't have cancer, and maybe talking about it from my perspective only means so much. But my mother and all 7 of her sisters had cancer, 6 of the 8 dying from it. I watched them die one by one growing up, mom and 1 other has survived, and I have always had interest in this subject matter. I recently learned from mom that they had severe bedbugs growing up and used to spray DEET in the beds every night, and we both agreed that may have been the root of it all.  

I have included a few links below of some of the articles I ran across. Once again, I could in no way tell someone how to approach all this, no internet link in and of itself is absolute truth, just a starting point to inform yourself to start to  find truth .

 I am simply an advocate for informed choices, and to do that, we need to see both sides of the evidence to have any chance of making an informed decision. If you are lucky, you might be able find some medical practitioners who can unbaisedly talk in detail about all of this……..luckier than me trying to get some real information from  my doctors at least.

Opposing opinions are always welcome here. That's how we learn from each other. Any of us can get called to jury duty and be expected as competent adults to make a decision given all the evidence. We should be able to do it in cases such as this about our own health and well being.   

~stay healthy~

 

Quick Note: From the great comments below it seems "Thermography" is something that perhaps at least warranting a look so far as breast exams are concerned. 

A commenter below listed a book called "Should I be Tested for Cancer" by a M.D. H. Gilbert Welch. I have not read it but it seems like and interesting read. I like to read both a pro and con book at the same time so I can give myself the most unbaised perspective. By Gilbert Welch. He as been "quietly" advising against testing. If anyone has a book that supports testing, let me know and I will post it as well.

Should I be Tested For Cancer? Book by  By M.D.H Gilbert Welch at Amazom.com.

 

Links pertaining to concerns about mammograms

Some doctors now saying mammograms may cause cancer and/or unnecessary treatments

British Journal of Medicine says Breast Cancer screenings should be scrapped

Probability of mammogram preventing death is less than 1 in 1000 at the expense of a nearly 50/50 chance of receiving a false positive

 

Links pertaining to concerns about PSA prostate tests

A top panel of health experts called the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says that men should no longer get routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests to screen for prostate cancer. The reason, it says, is that the tests may lead to treatments that do more harm than good.

value of mass prostate cancer screenings questioned

Prostate Cancer screening: Men should Forgo testing, Panel Advises

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12 Responses

08.03.12

Hi, I'm sorry to read how your family has had to go through such heartbreaking times. I thought I should share a link that has articles on the mammogram issues and also a procedure called Thermography, which is a much safer alternative. I worked for an MD that practiced Integrated Medicine and he also recommends Thermography. He is also one of the rare doctors that will listen and discuss options.The website for the articles is from Dr. Mercola and he also has articles on the prostate. I totoally agree with you that we need more discussion on these and so many other health issues! Oh, I'm not much of a techie, so hope I did this correctly. The link is http://search.mercola.com/search/pages/Results.aspx?k=thermography

08.03.12

Thanks for the link, I think it is important that people start to learn of alternatives and make some sound choices.

Doug Wallace

08.04.12

It is hard to make decisions about tests when we have so many choices. I have had three separate breast cancers and am now well, but the third one was in a tricky position and without a mammeogram and ultrasound would not have been discovered. I am not advising anyone what to do just telling my story , and that includes my new sustainable lifestyle which I share on my blog. I now grow my own food and have eliminated unnecessary chemicals from my life and have never felt so well.

08.04.12

I suppose that all I am trying to do is to get everyone to tell their stories. Everyone is going to go off and approach this differently, and I thinks that’s fine, because perhaps there are multiple approaches. I got into the healthy eating thing basically out of fear of cancer, but you’re right, I have never felt better. Thanks for the comment and stay strong and stay well 🙂

08.06.12

I'd like to follow up on what Cherie said about Thermography.  It's now being used by some holistic dentists because it can actually see inflammation and infection in the gums long before x-ray can see anything.  I have no doubt it would have seen  your periodontal disease in its early stages as it does breast cancer.

08.06.12

Actually I never heard Thermography before. But that’s why I wrote the article, to see if anyone had other experiences to share with the rest of us in case there are alternate choices out there. B.T.W. I’m not equating periodontal disease with cancer so far as severity is concerned, just how it seemed how the doctors were somewhat clueless, and seemingly just wanting to make some money off my insurance, and I was asking myself, “Can’t they do the same thing with a more severe disease”? Anyway I’d love to read up on Thermography and see what is going on there. Thanks for comment!!!!

08.07.12

Thermography definitely seems to be the way to go.  Breast thermograms can detect pre-cancerous issues MANY years before a mamogram, so the body can be healed naturally.   It is pain free and easy!   I have just recently had my 4th thermogram, after a mamogram did NOT detect some abnormality in one of my breasts.  (actually it did, but it was ruled out after an ultrasound).  I have not heard of dental thermography, but that would be fabulous!  I recommend Mercola's information, although I don't agree with everything he has to say, by any means, he does have good info on thermography. 

08.07.12

Thanks for the comment.

08.08.12

All I know is that without a PSA test after I turned 50, I could quite possibly be dead now.  An agressive cancer was detected, my prostate was removed (in the nick of time), and I am now cancer-free.  As my urologist said to me … PSA tests aren't perfect, but they are the only thing we have.

08.08.12

Thanks Kevin for your comment and I’m glad to hear you are cancer free.

08.09.12

Your Comments There is an excellent book on this topic: Should I be Tested for Cancer? by Gilbert Welsh MD.  It is not too technical but offers detailed explanations of the actual odds and implications of discovering early cancers through screening.  My own doctor is an internist who has been reading some of the recent literature and studies and has begun (quietly) recommending against mammograms, but she notes that you have to be able to live with yourself it you do turn out to be one of the few whose cancer might have been discovered early if you had been tested.

08.09.12

Very interesting comment Lorna, thanks for the info on the Book. It does seem like there is movement against testing, but it’s almost like a Catch 22. We all have to think about our approaches I suppose. Same for prostate which is more relevant to me as a guy.

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