i recalled a statistic when i was a med student doing surgery ward rounds. the lecturer said 1 out of 14 women will eventually develop breast cancer.
1 in 14.
if there are 14 lottery tickets & 1 of them will hit the jackpot prize, don't you think the chances are high?
that's about 30 years ago. with a change (deterioration?) of lifestyle & diet, wouldn't the odds be terrifyingly higher now?
women above 40 have been advised to carry out monthly breast self-examination as well are regular mammograms for early detection of that dreaded disease (a term used in many insurance policies) & some studies have shown that these screening procedures have reduced significantly the mortality from breast cancer. check out the academy of medicine website & read the Management of Breast cancer pdf.
but here's the twist...
there are recent reports that the annual mammograms themselves subject the women to a cumulative amount of radiation that MAY cause breast cancer!!
"Our work shows that radiation can change the microenvironment of breast cells, and this in turn can allow the growth of abnormal cells with a long-lived phenotype that have a much greater potential to be cancerous," says Paul Yaswen, a cell biologist in his report here. this is substantiated by a Cornell University report & a US National Centre for Biotechnology Information report.
so, where does that leave us? should the women continue with mammograms or not? it's down to risk-benefit issue again. is the benefit of early detection worth the possible risk of irradiation?
would you rather face the devil or the deep blue sea??