Researchers have previously found that mammograms have detected harmless tumors, leading to unnecessary invasive treatments and that 15% of more serious cancer is ‘missed’.
Some women can also find having a mammogram uncomfortable because the technician has to compress the breast between two metal plates in order to X-ray them.
The issue of whether radiation has any adverse effect on the breast has never been discussed by the medical profession.
Now doctors have come up with a revolutionary new mammogram that is radiation and pain free! They are using ultrasound technology to detect tumors in the breast. Radiologists from the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, USA, suspend a woman’s breasts in water and fire ultrasound rays through them to generate images of the breast tissue. Not only is the new method pain free, it is said to be more accurate at picking up cancer than a traditional mammogram and uses no radiation so it’s safer for the patient.
Cancer sufferers have even described the warm water used in the technique as ‘very relaxing’.
The whole procedure takes only one minute and technicians are able to get many more images of the breast than they would through a regular mammogram. This reduces the number of unnecessary and painful biopsies.
The ultrasound has the added benefit of being able to distinguish between benign lumps and cancerous tumors, whereas X-ray mammograms cannot.
Dr. Neb Duric from the Karmanos Cancer Institute, said “Based on the more limited trails that we've done so far, it does in fact to appear to be more accurate than mammography.”
Other medical centers have found similar findings.
Future generations of women who choose screening should be in for a quicker, more comfortable, more effective and less risky way to monitor their health.
Joanna is a freelance health writer for The Mother magazine and Suite 101 with a column on infertility, http://infertility.suite101.com/. She is author of the book, 'Breast Milk: A Natural Immunisation,' and co-author of an educational resource on disabled parenting, in addition to running a charity for people damaged by vaccines or medical mistakes.