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  • Maggy Carter
    February 13, 2014 - 21:23

    For a disturbing number of women, serious complications from unnecessary, aggressive treatments for breast cancer begin with a decision to do what they have been told for decades is the smart, responsible thing - go for a mammography. Regular screenings ensure early detection, faster treatment, and better outcomes - or so goes the myth. We now have proof beyond any scientific doubt that mammography screenings kill and maim more women that they help. A University of Toronto study is the most recent to conclude that mammography screenings offer no net benefit. The study prompted respected doctor Charles Wright to urge in today's Globe & Mail that mammography screenings be discontinued. Such screenings come with a high risk of false negatives, false positives, over-diagnosis, and over-treatments. Aside from the physical and psychological damage to women, the costs to taxpayers are enormous. Why don't provinces and health authorities heed science and abandon indiscriminate screenings? Because - like other dubious elements of modern medicine - mammography has long since established its own army of defenders, vested interests ready to pounce when they detect any threat to their livelihoods. As they have with each such study in the past, associations representing radiologists were quick to react - insisting that women should ignore the underlying science. We get it that the designers, manufacturers, technicians and operators of these machines insist on the status quo, but what excuse is there for the supposedly competent people who run our health care organizations to follow suit? How many billions in this country alone could be diverted to other measures to prevent, detect and treat cancers without putting women at risk? What's the connection between mammography and this latest controversy to hit Eastern Health. It is that mammographies are the precursor of these HER2 tests that have gone awry – weak links in a chain that all too often shows little efficacy and even less economic sense. Intended to identify those one-in-four breast cancers characterized by a protein excess, the HER2 test is the gateway to aggressive treatment with toxic drugs. Bad enough that women must sign on to the chemotherapy crap-shoot with its attendant risks of heart, lung and kidney damage, but to have done so based on tests now invalidated must be a bitter bill to swallow.

  • Susan White
    February 13, 2014 - 17:42

    Really??????? How many more mistakes are going to be made with the treatment of cancer patients? Having endured the loss of my husband from cancer, one immediately questions was his treatment correct or did someone misread his test results!!!

  • Guy Incognito
    February 13, 2014 - 16:39

    Are you kidding me? This again? What have we been paying Vicki a big fat salary for?? Wasn't she brought in to fix our health care system? Maybe they should have checked here references....they get payed more than anyone...... Get rid of some of these clueless bureaucrats who sit in their office all day between news conferences...

  • david
    February 13, 2014 - 15:17

    In any other jurisdiction on Earth, heads would roll, starting with Kaminski's. Here, it'll just be lawsuits, that the taxpayers get to pay.