According to data from the Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2013-2014, about 67 percent of women age 40 years and older report having had a mammogram within the past two years. No wonder this is happening. Newspapers, magazines, TV and other sources are constantly urging women to get mammograms. This insanity has got to stop! Mammograms are dangerous and useless, while the costs of false-positive mammograms and over diagnosis of breast cancer top $4 billion annually.

Mammograms are dangerous. They expose your body to radiation that can be 1,000 times greater than a chest x-ray. Mammograms not only increase the risk of developing breast cancer, they also increase the risk of its spreading. A 1995 study of mammograms in the Lancet concluded, “The benefit is marginal, the harm caused is substantial, and the costs incurred are enormous.” A 2011 study in Lancet Oncology demonstrated that women who received the most mammograms had a much higher incidence of invasive breast cancer than those who received far fewer mammograms. Several recent studies have concluded that mammograms do not save lives. They actually do more harm than good due to false positives, overtreatment, and radiation-induced cancers. Each additional radiation exposure, no matter how small, increases the risk of cancer.

In addition to being dangerous, mammograms are ineffective. One of the largest and longest investigations into mammography analyzed data from 16 million women and found that mammograms did nothing to reduce death rates from breast cancer. Very simply, this July 2015 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded there is no reduction in breast cancer deaths among those who got mammograms, yet those who got mammograms face all kinds of increased risk. The researchers concluded that mammograms primarily find small, typically harmless, or non-lethal tumors, leading to widespread over diagnosis.

Fortunately, there is a better way. Physicians practicing more advanced forms of medicine use a safe, accurate, and inexpensive diagnostic test called a thermogram. Thermography measures the temperature of the breast. It uses no mechanical pressure or ionizing radiation, and it can detect breast cancer as much as ten years earlier than a mammogram. A growing tumor requires its own blood supply. The increased blood flow makes that area warmer than the surrounding tissue. This temperature differential can be accurately measured, with no false negatives and few false positives, without any danger or discomfort to the patient. An even better idea is to read my book Never Fear Cancer Again and learn how to prevent cancer. Every time someone is diagnosed with cancer, what you are looking at is a failure to prevent. It’s time to educate ourselves and put a stop to the cancer epidemic.