DCIS is a prime example of OVER-diagnosis.
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) was rarely diagnosed before the advent of breast screening, yet over 60,000 women are diagnosed with DCIS each year in the USA, according to a scientific study.
This leads to crippling fear, anxiety, and a significant cost to the patient’s finances and health. The worst part is the aggressive treatment for “stage zero” or “pre-cancer” can trigger the development of breast cancer.
When a benign tumor such as DCIS is found, traditional medicine will strongly advise repeated mammography scans and treatments such as biopsies, surgery, and radiation for a cyst that has not developed into cancer. With all the probing and prodding causing assaults on the breast, it often does develop into cancer.
When sensitive breast tissue is subjected to excessive radiation and chemical toxicity, it may actually stimulate the growth of cancer and can cause it to be more aggressive wrote Sayer Ji Founder, researcher and author.
There are repeated stories of women who are encouraged by their physician that a biopsy is a good idea, perhaps the next day, or a suggestion that the healthy breast may be affected someday as well and offer a double breast mastectomy when chances of developing breast cancer from DCIS is less than 1%!
Out of fear, and without more information, women who have one healthy breast choose to do a double mastectomy. According to an article from Mount Sinai Health System in the Huffington Post, “It is a misconception and not true when a woman is told that the other breast is high risk for developing cancer. There is an incredibly low, half percent, that the other healthy breast is likely to develop cancer”.
Over-diagnosis, and over-treatment in conventional medicine are serious and harmful. Women undergoing traditional breast cancer screenings (mammograms) have a 50 % chance of being diagnosed with a “false positive.”
In the last few decades, we’ve learned that the types of breast cancers that do not grow, or grow very slowly and do not spread, are more common than expected. So, they would never impact a woman in her lifetime.
Dr. Christiane Northrup points out studies show mammograms do not reduce mortality. Tight compression from a mammogram helps spread cancer cells. She believes a biopsy will enable a spread of cancer cells also. Besides increasing anxiety and more stress, mammograms do not encourage a change in lifestyle practices.
Given the frequency of false positive results, lack of benefit, and exposure to radiation, screening mammography is not an effective tool for detecting breast cancer in the general population. Diagnostic mammograms are an exception because they are done to evaluate known breast problems. For women with lumps, tissue abnormalities, nipple discharge, or a history of cancer, these tests can provide lifesaving information for diagnosis and treatment.
An ultrasound may be a more accurate way to see what is going on with a picture of the tissues inside the breast. It can show all areas of the breast, including the area closest to the chest wall, which is hard to study with a mammogram. A breast ultrasound does not use X-rays or other potentially harmful types of radiation. It is used to see whether a breast lump is filled with fluid (a cyst) or if it is a solid lump. A lump that has no fluid or that has fluid with floating particles may need more tests.
Preventive measures of self-care offer tremendous benefits. These include a change of lifestyle such as lymphatic breast self-massage, dry brushing, exercising regularly, maintaining an ideal weight, breastfeeding, avoiding pesticides, and eating a healthy diet that includes seven or more daily servings of vegetables and fruits, especially cruciferous and dark green leafy vegetables.
Excerpts taken from Breast Health Is in Your Hands, Tips for Breast Vitality and Sensuality, a book by Joyce Sobotta available here