The Dangers of Mammograms: What You Need To Know (Part 2)Last time I explained to you why mammograms are so often ineffective at accurately detecting breast cancer. Today I want to tell you why mammograms can actually increase women’s risk of developing breast and other types of cancer. This shocking fact is well-documented, but you won’t hear it from most doctors. But knowing the truth can safe your life, and sharing the truth about cancer is what my mission is all about.
A Man Ahead of His Time
To fully appreciate the information I’m going to share with you today, you first need to know about one of the most brilliant and accomplished doctors and researchers it was my good fortune to know and learn from. I’m talking about the late Dr. John W. Gofman. Besides being a doctor, John was also a nuclear chemist and one of the world’s foremost experts on the dangers of low-level radiation, including low-level radiation emitted by x-rays and mammograms.
You may not have heard of John before, but chances are very good that you are familiar with at least one of his scientific developments. You see, it was John who, during the 1940s and 50s, discovered the full range of lipoproteins that exist in the bloodstream. More importantly, John’s work produced the first evidence that high blood levels of certain of these lipoproteins, including LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, were an important risk factor for heart disease. John, in collaboration with his colleague Frank T. Lindgren, created a variety of techniques that led him to discover both LDL and HDL (“good”) cholesterol, as well as a variety of other lipoproteins, including those in the triglyceride-class. Thanks to John, today doctors routinely screen their patients to determine their cholesterol and triglyceride levels to help determine their risk of heart disease.
Because of his pioneering work in this area, John received numerous awards and recognition from his medical peers. In 1954, he received the Modern Medicine Award for his “outstanding contributions to heart disease research.” In 1965, the American Heart Association bestowed him with its Lyman Duff Lectureship Award for his research on atherosclerosis and heart disease, and in 1974 The American College of Cardiology selected him as one of the 25 leading researchers in the field of cardiology of the previous quarter-century.
Impressive as John’s work was in the field of cardiology, his greatest contributions came in the field of nuclear energy, which he began working in during the early 1940s, while still a graduate student at Berkeley University. During this period, John was awarded two patents for his work in developing processes that enabled plutonium to be separated from the uranium and fission products of irradiated nuclear fuel. His work in this field eventually led to him joining the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). At the AEC’s request, at the beginning of the 1960s John established the Biomedical Research Division of the AEC’s Livermore National Laboratory in order to study the effects of nuclear energy on health. As his research in this area continued, John began to focus his attention on studying cancer and chromosomes, and the effect that radiation had on chromosomal mutations and gene stability.
By 1969, John, once a strong proponent of the nuclear energy industry, had concluded that human exposure to ionizing radiation was far more dangerous than scientists, including himself, had previously realized. From that point on, he became a leading spokesman calling for a moratorium on the expansion of nuclear power plants and an end to underground nuclear testing. In 1969, he urged that federal safety guidelines for low-level exposures to radiation be reduced by 90 percent, but was ignored. He was ignored. Soon thereafter, the AEC defunded John’s research on chromosomes and cancer.
After a stint as a professor at U.C. Berkeley, John chose to spend the rest of his life conducting pro-bono (free) research into the effects that radiation has on human health. He also founded the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility. His research led him to conclude that “by any reasonable standard of biomedical proof” there is no safe threshold of ionizing radiation for any human being, and that the use of medical diagnostic tools such as x-rays, mammograms, and CT scans, all of which expose patients to ionizing radiation was a co-factor in approximately 75% of all cases of breast cancer in the United States.
Nor was John afraid to speak his mind on this important topic. Here are excerpts from an interview he gave on the subject in 1994:
“The human experimentation that has been done is bad…But for 25 years the DOE [U.S. Department of Energy] has not shown any concern for the health of Americans. Their concern has been for the health of the DOE. Their falsehoods concerning the hazards of ionizing radiation have put not thousands of people at risk, not millions of people, but billions of people.”
“They have been conducting a Josef Goebels propaganda war, saying there’s a safe dose when there has never been any valid evidence for a safe dose of radiation…We can now say, there cannot be a safe dose of radiation. There is no safe threshold. If this truth is known, then any permitted radiation is a permit to commit murder.”
In spite of these views, John was not against the use of x-rays, mammograms or CT scans altogether. He was all for them if, as he said, “there’s a diagnostic gain for you, something that can really make a difference in your health and your life.” But, as he warned, there is another important part to this equation. As John often pointed out, government studies have repeatedly shown that most hospitals and radiologists “didn’t have the foggiest notion of what dose [of radiation] they were giving you for a procedure,” and that doses could vary by as much as a 20 times higher than what was actually needed for diagnosis.
In his book The Health Effects of Common Exams, which he co-wrote with Egan O’Connor, John showed that simply reducing the average dose of radiation used in medical diagnoses by one-third would prevent 50,000 fatal cancers each and every year. That adds up to saving one million lives in every generation!
Despite John’s stature as one of the world’s leading experts on the health effects of ionizing radiation, his claims about radiation’s link to cancer were strongly refuted by the medical establishment and the nuclear energy industry. But to this day, no one has been able to refute any of John’s claims.
John’s struggle to warn us about the dangers of ionizing radiation, including from mammograms, reminds me of the 19th century physician Ignaz Semmelweis, who was the first Western doctor and surgeon to recommend that physicians wash their hands before treating their patients, and especially before surgery. Dr. Semmelweis made this recommendation after his discovery in 1847 that the incidence of puerperal fever, a common life-threatening condition that killed many women during his time after they gave birth, could be reduced to as low as 1% if physicians would simply first wash their hands before they delivered babies. For making this simple and life-saving recommendation, Semmelweis was ruthlessly attacked by the medical establishment of his time, to the point that he suffered a nervous breakdown and was committed to an asylum where he died. He was only 47 years old. It wasn’t until years afterward that Semmelweis was proven correct, when Louis Pasteur published his famous theory of germs. Think how many lives might have been saved had Semmelweis been listened to instead of mocked and destroyed!
The Medical Establishment Is Still the Same Today
Though Dr. Gofman was also mocked and attacked by his peers over his findings about the health risks of radiation, x-rays, and mammograms, fortunately he was able to live a long and productive life (he passed away in 2007 when he was 88). And, unlike Dr. Semmelweis, decades didn’t have to pass before others confirmed John’s findings. In fact, others came to his defense even while he was still alive. Among them is Dr. Samuel Epstein, another outspoken critic of the cancer establishment.
In his book The Politics of Cancer Revisited, Dr. Epstein estimates that a 20% increased risk of breast cancer could be expected for pre-menopausal women exposed to ten yearly mammograms with two rads per exposure. Yet women today continue not to be warned about this very serious potential risk. Instead, as Dr. Epstein writes, they are “being falsely assured of the benefits” of mammograms, which are still being highly promoted as a preventive deterrent for cancer.
So, here we are in the 21st century, faced with the same arrogance and obstinance on the part of the medical establishment and our own government that Dr. Semmelweis faced two centuries previously. With the same unfortunate results—untold numbers of women who are developing and dying as a direct result of current widely accepted medical procedures, in this case the overuse of mammograms and other diagnostic techniques that emit ionizing radiation.
Fortunately, information, as they say, is power, and my mission is to empower you so that you can escape the clutches of the medical establishment when their recommendations are harmful. Next time, I will tell you about an alternative to mammograms that are not only much safer (completely safe, in fact), but also capable of detecting cancer up to ten years earlier than mammograms can. It’s called thermography, and I will tell you all you need to know about it in my next post. Be sure not to miss it.
To find out more about Dr. John Gofman and his work, I recommend you visit www.ratical.org.
I also recommend the Cancer Prevention Coalition, which was founded by Dr. Samuel Epstein. To find out more, please visit www.preventcancer.com.
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