The value of mammograms is a hotly debated topic these days. Proponents consider the breast X-rays to be a valuable diagnostic tool; however, opponents of annual mammograms criticize the high volume of false positives and high rates of overtreatment that cause women to undergo painful and expensive cancer treatments unnecessarily.
According to a recent New York Times article on the controversy, “some studies estimate that 19% or more of women whose breast cancers are found by mammography wind up being overtreated.” That means that nearly 1 in 5 women who receive a breast cancer diagnosis as a result of a mammogram are undergoing the emotional trauma, pain and expense of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatments they do not need.
Overtreatment occurs when mammography detects tiny, slow-growing cancers that are unlikely to develop into life-threatening problems during the patient’s lifetime. Left untreated, these small cancers might never impact the patient’s life. Treating these cancers, however, subjects women to traumatic surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments that can have life-altering consequences. Prostate cancer and lung cancer have been subject to similar charges of unnecessary overtreatment.
Our own fear of cancer may be partly to blame for the high rate of cancer overtreatment in the U.S. Most people panic when they receive a cancer diagnosis and fail to explore all the treatment options available. For many patients, non-toxic integrative immunotherapy offers a viable alternative to more traumatic traditional treatment options.
An alternative cancer treatment, integrative immunotherapy bolsters the body’s natural defenses, targeting cancer cells and tumors as well as the surrounding tumor microenvironment which affects the growth and spread of cancer. Immunotherapy also targets both known and unknown cancer cells throughout the body, improving your chances of complete long-term remission. Visit our website to find out more about Issels integrative immunotherapy.