A client in Michigan sent me an email last week. In it were questions she and some friends had, apparently after viewing a Dr. Oz episode. Thank God I don’t have a television.
The questions centered around the concern of adequate protection of the thyroid from x-ray exposure during mammograms and dental x-rays.
Let’s stop right here, step back a minute, and ask ourselves, “Are these the right questions to be asking?” From my perspective, the concerns are much broader and deeper than protecting the thyroid. The questions I’d be asking are
- “Do I need a mammogram?”
- “Do my breasts and my body need another dose of radiation?”
- “Are mammograms informative?”
- “Isn’t there anything better?”
And I’d be asking the same questions about regular dental x-rays or any other radiology exam conventional docs are so quick to ‘order’. All doses of ionizing radiation have some malignancy-inducing potential.
Ozzie & Harriet
For starters, mammograms are dark ages technology. They could be fairly likened to 1950s television. They are harmful to health, unpleasant, and grossly overrated as a screening modality. Their performance in saving lives is pretty much non-existent. Touted as being ‘early intervention’, mammograms don’t even qualify as early ‘detection’. And they’re certainly no form of intervention.
In fact, there is no such thing as ‘early intervention’ when conventional medicine is looking at cancer — it can’t detect it until you’re in it. Do you call, “You’ve got cancer,” early detection? I don’t. If you’d like to read how Oriental medicine provides early intervention, please read Cancer Is Not a Diagnosis, on this blog.
Okay, so if they’re so bad, why does the entire medical industry use them? Good question — the answer is revealed in two inescapable realities:
- Mammograms are an entrenched industry cash cow.
- Indolent laziness on the part of conventional medicine.
Some brilliant minds have proposed technologies to replace mammograms in the past few decades, but every one has been turned down by the medical establishment because the ‘profession’ doesn’t want to have to learn a new technology. Seriously. I have personally witnessed this.
There Is a Better Screening Option
If I were a woman, you couldn’t pay me to have a mammogram. The procedure is an archaic and demeaning holdover from a dying old boys club. The literature does not support its use. Like much of conventional medicine in this country, mammograms are an embarrassment of the technological age.
Thermography, on the other hand, is completely safe, and far more sophisticated technology — better at earlier detection, and much more sensitive, more precise. Here is a testing modality which actually can qualify as early detection — as in, before you’ve got cancer. Unlike mammography, thermography’s false positives are rare — false negatives as well. And, guess what? It’s not even uncomfortable!
Find someone in your area. If your doctor won’t work with them, probably time to find a doc who’s not living in the stone age. Here is a link to an issue of OM Today, The Oriental Medicine Association newsletter which contains an excellent article on thermography.
The dental x-ray is another unnecessary exposure to radiation, used to augment cash flow. Inexcusable exposures to radiation. I get one maybe every five years —at most. My advice, simply refuse them. If your teeth are so bad you need x-rays every year, you need to improve your health and find someone who can manage your diet, not more x-rays.
Just Say No
Overexposure to radiation in the name of your health is rampant throughout conventional medicine, not just the above areas. And more is at risk than your thyroid. If you absolutely must have radiological studies, insist on a thyroid guard. But keep in mind, the vast majority of nurses and doctors treating you are either clueless or they just don’t care. There aren’t any other choices. If you’re going to see them, you need to be smarter than they are. And you need to be willing to stand up for yourself when a professional tries to guilt trip you because you’re ‘holding up their assembly line’.
Wouldn’t it be gratifying to have a doctor who actually taught their client things like this — and more?
- Find someone practicing a form of medicine that works.
- Find someone who walks their talk.
- Find someone who cares about your health and knows how to lead you to it.
If the public continues to choose conventional medicine, the results of that choice will be their experience — perhaps one they don’t want.
[If common sense doesn’t lead you to these conclusions, there is plenty of literature to support what I’ve suggested. Rather than refer you to a list of forty-seven citations, I’m going to give you one which is a synopsis of them all.
Dangers and Unreliability of Mammography, S. Epstien, R. Bertell, B. Seaman: International Journal of Health Services, 31(3):605-615, 200]
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