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New Recommendations for Mammogram Screening
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recently made new recommendations for mammogram screening. This information will help explain the new recommendations as well as the benefits and limitations of mammogram screening.
What are the new USPSTF recommendations for mammogram screening?

1) Women should start getting screening mammograms at age 50, and if normal, should continue getting them every other year until age 74.

2) Women under 50 should not get mammograms unless they:
are having symptoms
are at exceptionally high risk or
the woman and her doctor believe it will be of benefit to her.

3)  After age 75, women can stop getting screening mammograms.

Why is the USPSTF making these new recommendations?  

1.  There have been large numbers of false diagnoses of breast cancer when screening mammograms have been used.
Mammogram screening exams are shown to prevent only 1 death in nearly 2000 women aged 40-49, while there are 99 false-positive results per 1000 screening exams.  That is a rate of nearly 10% false positive diagnoses.  False diagnoses lead to unnecessary emotional trauma of false cancer diagnosis and unnecessary, risky further procedures such as needle biopsies or radiation treatment.

2. Mammograms expose us to radiation.
Epidemiologists have calculated that cumulative radiation exposure from yearly screening mammograms commencing at 40 could cause a net overall increase in cancer deaths. The younger we are when exposed to radiation, the more sensitive our tissues are to the hazards from radiation exposure and from the extra images that are required in the event of a false positive result.

3. Over the past 30 years, mammograms have been shown to decrease breast cancer deaths in women over 50 years of age by 30%.
But a benefit for women in their 40's has never been demonstrated.  Mammograms are clearest when imaging fatty breasts, which are naturally more prevalent in older women. Higher hormone levels occurring in the premenopausal period naturally cause breasts to be more fibrous and harder to read on a mammogram.  

These new recommendations are in line with the recommendations followed by most European countries for the last 10 years, and the rates of death from breast cancer in the U.S. do not exceed those of most of Europe.

Are there any other screening options?

*_Thermography*_ is an excellent way to find large numbers of aggressive cancers as early as possible.

Thermography is radiation free using infrared sensing technology to identify areas of increased heat in the breast which represent increased blood flow, and inflammation, which are associated with breast cancer. A number of studies have shown Thermography to be sensitive and specific for detecting breast cancers.

Thermography offers the advantage for prevention because it identifies factors that can cause or encourage the growth of cancers.  Such factors are modifiable and women can make the appropriate changes needed to discourage prevent the growth of cancers.  

What measures can I take to promote healthy breast care?

Don't smoke.
Drink alcohol only in moderation.
Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (especially broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, kale, kohlrabi), healthy fats, and lean protein, including soy.
Take a daily high-quality multivitamin that contains iodine and selenium
Take omega-3's
Exercise 30–60 minutes 4 times per week and keep your body mass index low
Manage your stress in a healthy way
Discuss your family and personal history with your practitioner
Alkalinize your body! Try Mighty Maca Greens available on Amazon 

Wishing you a vida pura !
Anna Cabeca, DO, FACOG, ABAARM  

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne E wrote Jun 13, 2010
    • thanks for the info!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Jun 13, 2010
    • wow,,,
      now if there is a family history of breast cancer, should women in thier 40” get mammogram, even thought  the guide lines say they dont need too?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kyah wrote Jun 13, 2010
    • Good to know, Doc. I’ve been having mammograms since I reached 40 because it was what my primary physician wanted on record. Then about 5 years ago they wanted to do it every 6 months because of calcification in my left breast that they wanted to keep an eye on. But that is something several women on my mother’s side of the family have. I myself started skipping them because they didn’t seem to be doing anything but padding the pockets of the radiologists. Still do self exams every month.

      I’m probably glowing in the dark by now....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rose Nino wrote Jun 13, 2010
    • Great info Dr. Cabeca! Over the last few yrs my dr has not been happy with my decision not to have mammograms. I’m going on 45 and have never had any symptoms (despite many other health issues). I’ve even had to sign consents that I do not want to have any done. I’ve been taking a very active role in my health for the last 5 yrs, and doing my due diligence including informing myself on thermagraphy, and having dramatic improvements in previous failing health. I have also been dr written suggestion free ever since I started nutritional cleansing.  

      Thank you again, for posting such awesome information.  

      P.S. Love incorporating Maca into my organic whey protein shakes.  

      estaticheart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anna Cabeca, D.O., FACOG, ABAARM wrote Jun 13, 2010
    • If younger than 50 with a family history of breast cancer, I do recommend that decision to be made between you and your doctor and consider thermography.

      Wishing you a vida pura !
      Anna Cabeca, DO, FACOG, ABAARM
      CabecaHealth.com 



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Jun 13, 2010
    • thank you Dr Cabecaheart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Jun 14, 2010
    • Why should women stop getting them at age 75?  That troubles me deeply.  My mom, now 77, will not be having mammograms any longer since Medicare will not cover them after 75.  She will be at risk now that early detection efforts are substantially reduced for her.

      That doesn’t seem fair, unless there is scientific evidence that women over 75 don’t get breast cancer.

      Is this just a way to cut health care costs, particularly those of our elderly citizens?  Don’t mean to make this a moral or political question, just want to know what this recommendation is based on.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Jun 14, 2010
    • i think its a great question! and im looking forward to the answer! heart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anna Cabeca, D.O., FACOG, ABAARM wrote Jun 15, 2010
    • THis is where it becomes an individual decision between you, or your mom in this case and your doctor.
      Keep working preventatively using Omegas's, Krill, DIM supplement, Mighty Maca Greens,(info at Vida Pura)":http://www.cabecahealth.com/page/vida-pura-store/ low glycemic diet, exercise, etc.
      Consider thermography and optional mammography.
      DON‘T rely on insurance or the goverment to be proactive or preventative in your health.  Take the time to be knowledgeable and make the decision best for you!

      Wishing you a vida pura !
      Anna Cabeca, DO, FACOG, ABAARM
      CabecaHealth.com 



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Jun 15, 2010
    • heartheart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Jun 15, 2010
    • i just went to you website... AWSOME! wish i lived closer!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Suzann wrote Jun 16, 2010
    • Great article, thank you. I’ve had the thermagrams, and like them much better than the mammograms! But I couldn’t make sense out of the interpretation. My doctor said the key to thermagrams is the person who write up the interpretation - so that might be something for women to check into if they go that route.



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