A new study has yielded some surprising news about breast cancer in the United States: namely, that mammograms are responsible for a rapid increase in breast cancer overdiagnosis. The study, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that breast cancer was overdiagnosed in approximately 1.3 million American women in the past 30 years, including 70,000 women in 2008 alone. More
There is a new surprising trend in women’s health that is gaining momentum in America, and it involves wine, cheese and chests. More
After Susan G. Komen for the Cure pulled the plug on its funding last spring, Planned Parenthood got a windfall of donations from supporters who came out in droves to back the women’s health non-profit. Yesterday, they announced that the extra money will go towards a new breast health initiative–a slap in the face of critics who’d have you believe that their health clinics are just abortion super-centers disguised as health clinics. It’s hard–and, I recognize, very unpopular–to criticize anyone for providing free mammograms, but I’m going to say it: They might be proving critics wrong, but in sticking with the standard line in breast cancer care, I think Planned Parenthood missed an important opportunity to further women’s health. More
Why would a non-profit organization distort facts for profit? According to two Dartmouth professors, that’s exactly what the Susan G. Komen Foundation is doing with their ads for breast cancer screening, which they say oversell the benefits of mammography, while ignoring the potential negative side effects and spread “false hope” in patients. More
If you’re wondering what Obamacare means for you, you’re not alone; since the Supreme Court announced its support of the Affordable Care Act this morning, reactions have been firing from all corners of the internet, but many are still wondering what this means for their own health insurance costs and coverage. More
Anyone who has ever been called back to the doctor for a “suspicious” mammogram result knows the utter fear and anxiety that strikes the moment you receive that call. Even though the doctor’s office makes it seem perfectly routine to come back for another round of screening for an area that “didn’t quite show up on the original mammogram”, there is nothing routine about how your feelings at that point. According to new research though, more than half of all women will go through this unnecessary scare.
Giuliana Rancic, the reality star, E! red carpet host, author and voice behind the health newsletter FabFitFun, announced that she’s battling breast cancer on NBC’s Today show this morning. She says she discovered her early stage cancer through her efforts to get pregnant—she and her husband, Bill Rancic, have been open about their infertility and attempts to conceive using IVF—and plans to get surgery and receive chemotherapy. More
At what age should you get your first mammogram? Er … umm … well … The reason I’m stumbling here is that the when-to-get-a-mammogram debate has been a hot one over the past several years, with one camp repeating the old advice that women should start at age 40, and another challenging that idea, claiming most women should wait until age 50. Which advice you follow should take into account your breast cancer risk factors; ultimately, it’s up to you and your doctor. More
As breast cancer deaths rise among poor women, early detection and treatment for those without insurance or living in poverty becomes more important than ever. But how can women without the means to pay for a doctor visit, let alone the high cost of a mammogram (several hundred dollars without insurance), afford to get the screening they need? In some areas, charities and governmental agencies are coming to the rescue, by offering free and low-cost mammograms to low-income and uninsured women across the county. More
In her practiced everything’s-going-to-be-fine teacher voice, my mom recently called and told me that the doctor had seen something in her mammogram. Something that required further testing. My mom told me that she wouldn’t find out the results for several days, but that it was probably nothing.
The next day she called me as I was heading out of work to meet a friend and told me that she had breast cancer. The doctors caught it early, but it was still there — the C word.
Holy crap, cancer?! Is she going to be okay? What kind of treatment will this entail? Mastectomy? Chemo? Radiation? What about recurrence? Is this hereditary? Not to sound selfish, but are my sister and I doomed to get breast cancer, too? What about my little nieces? What will I do if something happens to my mom? More
At last month’s TEDwomen conference, Dr. Deborah Rhodes spoke about a new technology in tumor detection that can be up to three times more effective than mammograms (and far less painful) at detecting breast cancer. She’s been developing the technology with a team of physicists for nearly ten years, and has even put it through clinical trials. So why haven’t we heard about it? Because, according to Dr. Rhodes, “the breast has become a very political organ.” The detection method she developed, called molecular breast imaging (MBI), has gone through clinical trials, is FDA-approved, and the machines are sold by two companies so far, but she says that there are political and financial interests barring the technology from becoming widely available to women who would benefit from its use.
Mammography does save thousands of lives through early detection, but according to Dr. Rhodes, there’s a significant group of women for whom it doesn’t work well at all. More
Dr. Dempster is a licensed (and handsome) Naturopathic Doctor who practices in Toronto, and regularly contributes to Blisstree about health issues. Last time, the good doctor told us about his 10 food rules for treating pain – naturally. Today he’s back with the top 10 myths about breast cancer. Find The Dempster Clinic here.
With National Breast Cancer Awareness Month just a few weeks away, there’s no better time to shed some light on the #1 killer of women today: Breast cancer. Currently, a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer is a staggering 1 in 8 – and increasing every year. There’s never been a better time than now to consider what’s at the root of this debilitating and often fatal illness. Plus, there’s an increasing body of research demonstrating a link between cancer, diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors. So here are the top 10 myths about breast cancer:
1. Breast cancer isn’t preventable.
Actually, almost 98% of breast cancers are believed to be preventable by changes in diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Using supplements, getting safe amounts of sunshine, addressing chemicals in our households and workplaces, and managing stress are all huge factors that have been proven to play a role in breast cancer prevention – and many other forms of cancers and chronic disease. There’s an enormous amount of research demonstrating that optimizing Vitamin D levels can help prevent 77% of all cancers – including breast. And the good news is that there are many reliable, non-invasive tests to help detect some of these imbalances – all of which are offered at The Dempster Clinic.
2. The only proven treatments for breast cancer are radiation and chemotherapy.
Fact: Rates of cancer are still climbing, despite the widespread use of standard therapies. Currently, more and more research is being performed on natural cancer treatments – with promising results. Cancer needs to be addressed at the root cause in conjunction with directly killing and removing cancer cells. Naturopathic Medicine’s main tenant is “Treat the Root Cause of Illness” – thus is vitally important when addressing cancer and any other chronic diseases. This is not to say that we ignore standard therapies; they do play an important role in cancer treatment. Sadly, many allopathic practitioners often hastily push aside natural therapies that are showing promising results (claiming lack of research and interaction with standard therapies), and have been doing so for many years.
3. Chemotherapy is safe and doesn’t cause permanent damage to your health. More