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New Mammogram Guidelines Proposed by FDA

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

In hopes of detecting breast cancer at earlier stages, the Food and Drug Administration has proposed new rules regarding mammograms. The proposal requires mammogram centers to inform women about how dense breast tissue can affect their health and increase their risk of cancer. The new rules would require centers to explain to women with the condition that dense breast tissue could make it more difficult to interpret their screening tests, and could trigger a recommendation for additional testing to check for breast cancer.

mammogram

Currently, more than 30 states have laws in place requiring that women who have mammograms be informed if they have dense breasts, but the FDA proposal is aiming to establish a minimum standard with specific language.

Nearly half of women have high breast tissue density, and nearly 75 percent of women with dense breasts are at risk of cancer being missed if they rely solely on mammography. Dense-breasted women are also up to six times more likely to develop breast cancer than women with less dense breasts. While the FDA’s proposal is well-intentioned, mammograms have their fair share of drawbacks, including false positives, false negatives and exposure to ionizing radiation which may actually contribute to breast cancer.

There are other nonionizing alternatives that can help detect breast cancer, especially for women with dense breast tissue who are at a much higher risk of a false negative mammogram. Ultrasound, for example, has been shown to be considerably superior to mammography for dense-breasted women.

When it comes to cancer, prevention is ultimately the best medicine, and cancer prevention begins with your lifestyle choices. To help reduce your risk of breast cancer, it’s important to avoid dangerous chemicals found in common, everyday products, including cosmetics and other personal care items, detergents and cleaning products, among others. Additional steps you can take to help reduce your risk of breast cancer and other types of cancer include:

Avoiding processed foods and sugars

Optimizing your vitamin D levels

Exercising regularly

Avoiding unfermented soy products

Maintaining a healthy body weight

Consuming plenty of high quality animal-based omega-4 fats, such as krill oil

Avoiding alcohol and smoking

Avoiding electromagnetic fields as much as possible

Avoiding BPA, phthalates and other xenoestrogens

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