Being on the alert for breast cancer symptoms early is important, as is knowing the limitations of breast cancer screening.
EARLY BREAST CANCER SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:
Often breast cancer symptoms such as lumpiness is a false alarm because only a small percentage of lumps are malignant.
"Current enthusiasm for screening is based more on fear, false hope and greed than on evidence" according to Dr. Cornelia Baines, professor emeritus department of health sciences at the University of Toronto, and breast cancer survivor.
Recognizing breast cancer's symptoms is important because screening-mammography is not without risks and limitations.
European research recently generated headlines there, including: “Breast Screening Concerns Raised,” and “Researchers Question Benefits of Breast Cancer Screening.”
Lead author Peter Gozsche, director of the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen, found that:
Dr. Gozsche also noted that women who undergo regular mammograms for breast cancer health and are diagnosed with breast cancer have a significant risk of being treated for the condition even in those instances where it does not pose a risk to their health.
In other words, the researcher said, while screening does reduce breast cancer deaths by a small percentage, it can cause harm through over diagnosis and over treatment.
Dr. Gozsche showed that for every 2,000 women who undergo mammography over a 10-year period, one case of potentially deadly breast cancer will be detected and successfully treated.
Is that trade-off worth it? Certainly, if you are the woman saved from a lethal cancer.
Even if you are a woman who has a false positive of false breast cancer, which can be a dramatic life-changing event, you may still feel that the risk is worth it.
Dr. Barnett Kramer, assistant director of the US office of Disease Protection, contends that breast cancer screening hasn't fully lived up to its purpose of saving lives through early detection of breast cancer symptoms.
"If you see only an increase in early stage breast cancer, but no decrease in late-stage, you have to be worried about over diagnosis," Kramer said, adding that could be potentially dangerous in rare instances.
Some women with slow-growing breast cancers that are not life-threatening end up undergoing risky treatment, he explained. Yet they would have been destined to die of something else, like cardiac disease.
One way to prove that breast cancer screening works is to show it has lowered the death rate. Although that's happened with breast cancer, he attributes the drop mostly to systemic therapy with Tamoxifen.
Dr. Cornelia Baines, a breast cancer survivor, has published some of the most important research on breast cancer health screening. In the British Medical Journal she states that there are three possible outcomes of screening:
Many of the X-rays give unclear results, so women need to undergo a biopsy, a surgical procedure, to determine if the breast cancer symptom or lump is benign or cancerous.
Being forewarned of these shortcomings – the possibility of false positives and over treatment – can help women be realistic about finding breast cancer symptoms.
We hope that you have been inspired by our postings for breast cancer health.
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Here are tips for your breast cancer diet as well as for breast cancer nutrition supplements to get you through chemo breast cancer treatment without worries!
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