~ A Gathering of Angels Supporting Women’s Health Issues ~ ~
Prevention is the Real Deal
Dr. James Coleman


Regarding breast cancers, it was disheartening to read all the information about mammograms, genetic testing, a prophylactic double mastectomy (a surgical removal of both healthy breasts), and risk factors published recently in two newspaper articles. The true and accurate information on these topics are already in the public domain through the mainstream medical journals.

Many women are not comfortable with trying to comprehend the contents of the medical journals. As a person who has a Ph.D. degree in the medical field from the University of Louisville School of Medicine and extensive experience in epidemiological studies and breast cancer research, I will summarize herein the true and accurate information with commentary.

Regarding the value of mammograms, there is not even one credible study published to date showing that mammography is a useful tool in reducing the death rate from breast cancers. Some women may have reached their conclusion about the alleged benefit of mammograms from marketing literature, which has no basis in medical facts. Since breast cancer is a life-threatening illness, it is very easy to exploit women using false promises augmented with fancy medical equipment. The prevailing medical evidence revealed that women who had mammograms did not live any longer after diagnosis than women who relied solely on breast self exams and annual clinical exams. The death rate from breast cancers has shown a gradual decline during the past decades. However, the decline is due to more effective treatments rather than early detection by mammograms.

The incidence of breast cancers has shown a generalized increase with time. This increase is most likely due in part to the ionizing radiation derived from the widespread use of mammograms. Many credible studies, including those by the National Cancer Institute, have well documented that a strong correlation exists between an increase in the incidence of breast cancers and the use of mammograms. Unquestionably, the radiation used in mammograms is a known human carcinogens. The mainstream medical community tries to minimize the danger of mammograms with the overused trite phrase of "risk vs. benefit." The plain truth is that the risk is well documented while there is absolutely no medical proof of any benefit. Mammography has been in existence longer enough for the definitive proof to be available from either the federal government or the manufacturers of the equipment. In the absence of such proof, women are well advised to rely on medical facts not speculation.

Treating breast cancer is big business. Accordingly, low income women, who invariably have a low incidence of breast cancer are currently being targeted with free mammograms. This marketing strategy is yet another means to induce breast cancers in unsuspecting poor women years later for expensive procedures to be paid for by insurance companies and Medicare.

About genetic testing, women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene are mistakenly lead to believe that they can avoid breast cancer by undergoing a prophylactic double mastectomy. All the breast tissue is never removed during this surgical procedure. These women can and do develop breast cancer at essentially the same rate as those women who declined to undergo the procedure. The article erroneously reported that the BRCA gene causes breast cancer. This disease is not caused by any such gene in the body. Breast cancers are caused by chemical carcinogens or ionizing radiation. Any and all women can develop breast cancer at any time.

The article listed age, family history of cancer and menarche (the onset of a girl’s period in her early teens) as risk factors for breast cancer. To imply that either of these factors has a causal relation to breast cancers is wholly irresponsible. Those misleading statements are to perpetuate the well advertised false notion that breast cancer cannot be prevent. On matters related to risk factors for and the primary prevention of breast cancers, unfortunately, women have been socialized to seek and rely on the advice of health care providers. Health care providers are experts at treating breast cancers. Primary prevention is an entirely different discipline.

Some of the information on what a women can and must do to prevent a first occurrence or remain in remission is on our Web site. The best way to avoid breast cancers is to become educated about the major sources and causes, and then make informed choices. All too often, a lack of knowledge leads to bad choices or a fatal outcome.

James W. Coleman, Ph.D.
Cancer Research Center of America, Inc.
8622 Blackpool Drive
Louisville, KY 40222

(502) 339-1282
Fax (502) 339-1134 Web site:Cancer Research Center of America, Inc.

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