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Some Cancers May Just Go Away

December 18, 2008 | 96,290 views

womenA group of researchers who track breast cancer rates have proposed the controversial notion that some tumors found with mammograms might naturally disappear on their own if left undetected.

Dr. Per-Henrik Zahl and his colleagues examined invasive breast cancer rates among nearly 120,000 women age 50 to 64 who had a mammogram over a six-year period. They compared the number of breast cancers detected with another group of about 110,000 women of the same age who were screened just once at the end of the six-year period.

The researchers said they expected to find no differences in breast cancer rates -- but instead, they found 22 percent more invasive breast tumors in the group who had mammograms every two years. This raises the possibility that some cancers somehow disappear naturally.

Mammography and breast self-examination for tumors are standard methods used for early detection of breast cancer.
 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

This landmark study suggests something that most doctors, even oncologists, would never consider: that cancer can go away on its own. Typically when this happens it’s brushed off as a fluke, but the new study found that even invasive cancers may go away without treatment, and it may happen more often than anyone thought.

In reality, your body has a remarkable capacity to heal, and that ability is fueled largely by your lifestyle. If you eat well, exercise, get enough sleep and sun exposure and address your emotional stress, your body should be able to maintain a healthy balance.

The problem with cancer often lies not only with ignoring these health principles but also with the invasive and highly risky treatments that conventional medicine relies on to treat it -- surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The alarming rates of cancer deaths across the world -- cancer has a mortality rate of 90 percent, according to Italian oncologist Dr. Tullio Simoncini -- speak volumes about the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of these treatments, yet they are still regarded as the gold standard of cancer care.

Chemotherapy is a classic example of a cure that is worse than the disease. In fact, many experts now say that cancer patients are more likely to die from cancer treatments than the cancer itself.

“The majority of the cancer patients in this country die because of chemotherapy, which does not cure breast, colon or lung cancer. This has been documented for over a decade and nevertheless doctors still utilize chemotherapy to fight these tumors,” said Dr. Allen Levin, MD, author of The Healing of Cancer.

It is indeed exciting that researchers are now pointing to the possibility that cancer may be better off left alone, especially if the patient commits to leading a healthy, restorative lifestyle. But there could also be another culprit in this study.

Did Mammograms Fuel the Cancer Rates?

In the study Dr. Robert M. Kaplan, the chairman of the department of health services at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues found 22 percent more invasive breast tumors in the group who had mammograms every two years, compared to the group who had just one mammogram over a six-year period.

Because they had expected cancer rates between the two groups to be very similar, this is what led them to believe that some cancers disappear naturally.

Could it be, perhaps, that the mammograms themselves also contributed to the skewed results?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women get a mammogram every year or two after age 40.

But I strongly disagree.

There is no solid evidence that mammograms save lives. In fact, research demonstrates that adding an annual mammogram to a careful physical examination of the breasts does not improve breast cancer survival rates over getting the examination alone. 

Meanwhile, the technology carries a first-time false positive rate of up to 6 percent. False positives can lead to expensive repeat screenings and can sometimes result in unnecessary invasive procedures including biopsies and surgeries.

Just thinking you may have breast cancer, when you really do not, focuses your mind on fear and disease, and is actually enough to trigger an illness in your body. So a false positive on a mammogram, or an unnecessary biopsy, can really be damaging.

Not to mention that women have unnecessarily undergone mastectomies, radiation and chemotherapy after receiving false positives on a mammogram. But perhaps the biggest danger of mammograms comes from the screening itself.

Mammograms expose your body to radiation that can be 1,000 times greater than that from a chest x-ray, which poses risks of cancer. Mammography also compresses your breasts tightly, and often painfully, which could lead to a lethal spread of cancerous cells, should they exist.

“The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each 1 rad exposure increasing breast cancer risk by about 1 percent, with a cumulative 10 percent increased risk for each breast over a decade"s screening,” points out Dr. Samuel Epstein, one of the top cancer experts.

Dr. Epstein, M.D., professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, and chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, has been speaking out about the risks of mammography since at least 1992. As for how these misguided mammography guidelines came about, Epstein says:

“They were conscious, chosen, politically expedient acts by a small group of people for the sake of their own power, prestige and financial gain, resulting in suffering and death for millions of women. They fit the classification of "crimes against humanity."”

Another Screening Tool for Women

The option for breast screening that I most highly recommend is called thermography.

Thermographic breast screening is brilliantly simple. It measures the radiation of infrared heat from your body and translates this information into anatomical images. Your normal blood circulation is under the control of your autonomic nervous system, which governs your body functions.

Thermography uses no mechanical pressure or ionizing radiation, and can detect signs of breast cancer years earlier than either mammography or a physical exam.

Mammography cannot detect a tumor until after it has been growing for years and reaches a certain size. Thermography is able to detect the possibility of breast cancer much earlier, because it can image the early stages of angiogenesis (the formation of a direct supply of blood to cancer cells, which is a necessary step before they can grow into tumors of size).

To find out everything you need to know about the risks of conventional breast cancer screening (mammograms) and the benefits of thermography, please read the free report on the topic in Breast Cancer Prevention’s Dirty Little Secret.

It is also very important for cancer patients to optimize their vitamin D levels into a high range, and you can find out the correct levels by watching my one-hour vitamin D lecture.

Of course, even better than a safe treatment is preventing cancer in the first place. I’ve outlined my top tips for cancer prevention in this past article, and I highly suggest you look them over and begin to implement these natural strategies in your life.

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