If You Decide to have a Mammogram

Monday, November 18, 2019 7:52 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
If You Decide to Have a Mammogram
excerpt from Breast Cancer? Breast Health!
the Wise Woman Way

by Susun Weed

Are there other ways to find early-stage breast cancers?

In addition to physical examination and breast self-massage, thermography and ultrasound are safe tests available to women who wish to avoid mammograms.

Thermography gives a picture of the heat patterns in the breasts (cancers are hotter than the surrounding tissues). Ultrasound bounces sound waves off the breast tissues to measure their density (cancer is denser than the surrounding tissues). Other techniques used to image breast tissues, such as digital mammography and rely on radioactivity and are inherently unsafe.

If You Decide to Have a Mammogram

•    Get the best, even if it means a long journey.

•    Go where they specialize, preferably where they do at least 20 mammograms a day.

•    Be sure the facility is accredited by the American College of Radiology.

•    Insist on personnel who specialize in mammograms. (Taking and reading mammograms are skills that require intensive training and a lot of practice.)

•    Ask how old the equipment is. Newer equipment exposes the breasts to less radiation. A dedicated unit (one specifically for mammograms) is best.

•    Ask how they ensure quality control. When was their unit calibrated?

•    Load your blood with carotenes for a week before the mammogram to prevent radiation damage to your DNA.

•    Expect to be cold and uncomfortable during the mammogram, but do say something if you're being hurt.o The more compressed the breast tissue, the clearer the mammogram. (But pressure may spread cancer cells if they're present.)

•    If your breasts are tender, reschedule. During your fertile years, schedule mammograms for 7-10 days after your menstrual flow begins.

•    Don't wear antiperspirant containing aluminum; it can interfere with the imaging process. (Those clear stones do contain aluminum, as do most commercial antiperspirants.)

•    If you want another opinion, you'll need the original mammographic films, not copies. (X-ray facilities only keep films for 7 years.)

•    Get your doctor to agree, in writing, before the procedure, to give you a copy of your mammogram. The U.S. Public Health Service advises women to ask for written results from a mammogram.

•    Given the high percentage of "false normal" mammograms, if you think you have cancer, trust your intuition.

•    Remove radioactive isotopes from your body with burdock root, seaweed, or miso.

Mammograms don't promote breast health. Breast self-massage, breast self-exam, and lifestyle changes do.

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