More than Half of Breast Cancer Detected by Mammograms is “Overdiagnosed,” Study Finds

Nearly 60 percent of women diagnosed and treated for stage 1 breast cancer detected by mammography never had breast cancer, according to a bombshell study published in The British Medical Journal

The implications of the latest and largest mammogram study to date are shocking and disturbing:

If you or a loved one has undergone surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy for stage 1 breast cancer detected by a mammogram, there’s a 60-percent chance it was all for nothing, according to a Dutch study of 8 million women.

The study, published in December, is the latest in a growing body of research indicating annual and biennial mammograms are not only useless, but dangerous, as they quite frequently result in invasive therapies for cancer that doesn’t exist.

Researchers from the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France used Dutch health records to evaluate the country’s breast cancer screening program, in which 80 percent of women between ages 50 and 75 received mammograms every other year between 1989 and 2012.

Over the 23-year-period, mammograms reduced breast cancer mortality between zero and 5 percent, the researchers concluded.

While mammograms didn’t do much to improve survival rates, they certainly “improved” diagnosis rates.

In the 23 years since mammograms became the norm in the country, the Netherlands experienced a threefold increase in the number of stage 1 breast cancer diagnoses, and a sixfold increase in the number of stage 0 breast cancer diagnoses.

The researchers estimated that 59 percent of stage 1 cancers, 33 percent of stage 0 cancers, and 52 percent of cancers of all stages, found using mammograms were cases of “over-diagnosis” — “that is, the number of breast cancers that never would have been detected during a woman’s lifetime in the absence of mammography screening.”

In other words, nearly 60 percent of women diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer are being treated for lumps that are either harmless or would have gone away on their own, had a mammogram not detected them.

The most common treatment for stage 1 breast cancer is surgery (lumpectomy or partial masectomy) followed by radiation, and chemo if the lump is larger than a centimeter, according to the American Cancer Society.

Written by a former chemist for Big Pharma who quit when he discovered “real cures for a fraction of the cost”

Over-diagnosis is continuously increasing with the invitation of older and older women to screening and “advanced” imaging technologies able to detect increasingly smaller breast tumors of little clinical importance, writes Philippe Autier, the study’s lead researcher and professor of epidemiology at the University of Strathclyde’s Institute of Global Public Health.

“I don’t think the accumulating data shows that continuing mammography screening is a good solution, essentially because the price to pay by women, in terms of over-diagnosis, is enormous,” Autier told Time magazine.

“We, and I include myself in the we, promoted mammography screening for plenty of good reasons then,” he says. “I am not glad at all that we found that mammography is probably not the ideal solution for protecting women from breast cancer. There is no good evidence that mammography makes a difference in mortality and if it does, it’s probably marginal. But the over-diagnosis toll is enormous.”

To make things worse, newer 3D mammogram technology exposes women to even more radiation, which in and of itself causes breast cancer.





5 responses to “More than Half of Breast Cancer Detected by Mammograms is “Overdiagnosed,” Study Finds”

  1. Lara Avatar

    I have little doubt this was the case with me. I very much believe that if the mammogram had not found the microscopic specks they cut out and radiated, they would have gone away. I was very young (under 40) and have felt this way for some time.

    1. Lori Grobelny Avatar
      Lori Grobelny

      I have a story to tell. First mammogram this past February—bullied into it by doctor. Call back- Radiologist-calcifications–must do biopsy immediately. Regular doctor agrees tries to bully me into surgery. Started doing research, found out everything about over-diagnosis and the “mammogram scam.” Cancelled Biopsy, have had 5 appointments with regular doctor showing him my research and showing anger for his trying to bully me into this. He finally agreed with me. Made clear to him—NO MORE mammograms ever. Now I am trying to have the mammograms expunged from my medical record because I feel it has ruined me. If anyone has a suggestion I am open to it.

  2. Mary Avatar

    Not to mention missed diagnoses. I had a mammogram and cos of breast tenderness was discovered to have a breast lump only a few months later. I prefer ultrasounds as less invasive, but refused by NHS who demand mammograms.

  3. Jock Doubleday Avatar
    Jock Doubleday

    Science does not allow us to call carcinogenic mammograms a healthy option for anyone. Nutrition, clean water and organic / biologique food for prevention, harmless thermograms for detection. The world is waiting for women to wake up to a world of options.

    Thermography testimonials:

    “Largest Study Ever Done on Mammograms States They Are Pointless and Dangerous”

    “Shock study: Mammograms a medical hoax, over one million American women maimed by unnecessary ‘treatment’ for cancer they never had”

    “Health Canada protects mammogram racket by criminalizing thermography for breast cancer detection”

    Mammograms cause cancer.

    Science suggests that thermograms are a sensible alternative screening method and that nutrition is a reasonable preventative.

    Here is Tim O’Shea unveiling the truth about mammography:

    “What effects are these fickle, intellectualized medical opinions having on death rate? None. Actually it’s even worse than that. From the same hard data sources cited above, Vital Statistics, we can look up the actual death rate for breast cancer:

    “Year — Deaths/ 100,000

    “1958— 13.1
    “1970— 14.3
    “1979— 15.4
    “1989— 17.4
    “1991— 17.4

    “Early mammograms: no effect. Chemotherapy: no effect. Surgery: no effect.

    “Figures like these are extremely well hidden and can only be unearthed with great efforts, like walking up the stairs to the fourth floor at the library. But that is a great effort. Who goes to the library? A netsearch can instantly turn up 100 articles on the latest chemotherapy drugs and their anticipated “breakthroughs” and “response rates” that have always been “just around the corner” since 1971. Every week shows dozens of magazine and newspaper articles spouting the “latest thing” in chemotherapy. This is world class dog-wagging. Olympic carrot-and-stick dangling.


    “This is one topic where the line between advertising and scientific proof has become very blurred. As far back as 1976, the American Cancer Society itself and its government colleague the National Cancer Institute terminated the routine use of mammography for women under the age of 50 because of its “detrimental” (carcinogenic) effects. More recently, a large study done in Canada on found that women who had routine mammograms before the age of 50 also had increased death rates from breast cancer by 36%. (Miller) Lorraine Day notes the same findings in her video presentation “Cancer Doesn’t Scare Me Any More.” The reader is directed to these sources and should perhaps consider the opinion of other sources than those selling the procedure, before making a decision.

    “John McDougall MD has made a thorough review of pertinent literature on mammograms. He points out that the $5-13 billion per year generated by mammograms controls the information that women get. Fear and incomplete data are the tools commonly used to persuade women to get routine mammograms. What is clear is that mammography cannot prevent breast cancer or even the spread of breast cancer. By the time a tumor is large enough to be detected by mammography, it has been there as long as 12 years! It is therefore ridiculous to advertise mammography as “early detection.” (McDougall p 114)

    “The other unsupportable illusion is that mammograms prevent breast cancer, which they don’t. On the contrary, the painful compression of breast tissue during the procedure itself can increase the possibility of metastasis by as much as 80%! Dr. McDougall notes that a between 10 and 17% of the time, breast cancer is a self-limiting non-life-threatening type called ductal carcinoma in situ. This harmless cancer can be made active by the compressive force of routine mammography. (McDougall, p105)

    “Most extensive studies show no increased survival rate from routine screening mammograms. After reviewing all available literature in the world on the subject, noted researchers Drs. Wright and Mueller of the University of British Columbia recommended the withdrawal of public funding for mammography screening, because the “benefit achieved is marginal, and the harm caused is substantial.” (Lancet, 1 Jul 1995) The harm they’re referring to includes the constant worrying and emotional distress, as well as the tendency for unnecessary procedures and testing to be done based on results which have a false positive rate as high as 50%. (New York Times, 14 Dec 1997)”

    Thermography testimonials:

  4. Liz Avatar

    Until cancer treatment stops being the huge profit it has become, we all need to take a big step back….
    Remember, doctors and big pharma make a ton of money from these diagnosis….
    I get ultrasounds every two years (I’m 55), but got talked into a 3D one (which will be first and last).

    Thanks for publishing this important info…
    Many of us who have “common sense” already were concerned about.