When in doubt, cut it out!
That’s been the breast cancer industry’s sickening mantra for years.
The moment a mammogram or biopsy turns up a tumor — or even abnormal tissue — you’ll have some mainstream surgeon in your ear promising that a lumpectomy or mastectomy will save your life.
He’ll even tell you that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
But a massive new study proves that thousands of American women are being needlessly disfigured and traumatized ever single year. All thanks to aggressive breast surgery that we now know won’t add a single day to your life.
Evidence be damned!Earlier this year I told you about the crucial importance of getting a second opinion for a breast cancer diagnosis, especially if that diagnosis is ductal carcinoma in situ. DCIS, as its known, is the presence of abnormal cells in the milk ducts of the breast.
Note the key word here: abnormal. The cells are not necessarily cancerous and may never become cancerous. They’re simply abnormal.
That’s why DCIS rates a zero in breast cancer’s five stages. Zero!
And if that sounds like it deserves the lowest level of concern, you’re right.
But instead of actually educating women about DCIS, it looks like mainstream surgeons are just steering them into painful, disfiguring — and totally pointless — surgeries instead.
In a study in the most recent issue of JAMA Oncology, researchers followed more than 100,000 women for 20 years after they’d been diagnosed with DCIS. Nearly all of them ended up having either a lumpectomy or a mastectomy.
And, believe it or not, some were even encouraged to get a double mastectomy.
A double mastectomy! For a condition that might not even be cancerous. It looks like an awful lot of surgeons must be checking their ethics — and their shame — at the operating room door.
And here’s the worst part — it was all for nothing. The women who received surgery to treat their DCIS had the exact same chance of dying of breast cancer in the 20 years after the operation as they had before it.
These women were put through physical and emotional trauma that lasts forever. And they won’t live one extra minute for their trouble.
About one-quarter of so-called breast cancer cases in America today involve DCIS — so you can bet that tens of thousands of women are being victimized by these unnecessary surgeries every single year.
You can almost hear the disgust in lead researcher Dr. Steven Narod’s voice when he was asked what his study revealed about how we should be handling DCIS.
“I think the best way to treat DCIS is to do nothing,” he told The New York Times.
But as you can imagine, that’s been a pretty tough sell with the breast cancer industry that’s making a fortune off these operations. The chief breast cancer surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering and the top medical officer at the American Cancer Society both said surgeons should keep doing what they’re doing.
In other words, lop off those breasts — the evidence be damned.
But the truth is, you should never agree to any course of treatment or DCIS without having at least two pathologists look at your results. As I told you this spring, a large study involving several of the nation’s top hospitals found that pathologists misdiagnose DCIS all the time.
And no woman should have to suffer through a painful surgery, or have a breast removed, based on a faulty lab report.
If you’re worried about DCIS progressing, experts say there are some simple things you can do to slash your breast cancer risk. Regular exercise, sufficient sleep, reducing stress, and eliminating added sugars (which feed cancer cells) can go a long way toward prevention.
Plus studies have found that your breast cancer risk is lowest when your vitamin D levels are consistently high.
And all of these healthy habits sound a lot better to me than agreeing to an aggressive, disfiguring surgery that’s may wreck your life, but probably won’t save it.
“Doubt is raised over value of surgery for breast lesion at earliest stage” Gina Kolata, August 20, 2015, <i>The New York Times</i>, nytimes.com