By Dr. Mercola
An annual mammogram is the conventional go-to “prevention” strategy for breast cancer. But, researchers increasingly agree that mammography is ineffective at best, and harmful at worst.
Unfortunately, breast cancer is big business, and mammography is one of its primary profit centers. This is why the industry is so reluctant to admit its many flaws and dangers.
The featured documentary, “Happygram,” reveals the oft-ignored side of breast cancer screening with mammography — the fact that more often than not, it fails to identify cancer in women with dense breast tissue.
I’ve written many articles on the hazards and drawbacks of mammograms, including the risks of false positives, and the facts that ionizing radiation causes cancer, and that mammograms have no impact on mortality rates.
In this article, I will focus on the risks associated with false negatives, meaning you have cancer but the mammogram fails to show it, and who’s at greatest risk for receiving a misleading “Happygram.”
For Dense-Breasted Women, the ‘Happygram’ Is Often Wrong
“Happygram” is a term used to describe the form letter women receive stating that their mammograms are “normal.” Alas, for thousands of women with dense breasts, their Happygram turned out to be anything but.
The producer of this film, Julie Marron, conceived the idea of making a documentary on mammography’s failings after her friend, New York writer Hallie Leighton, was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer after many years of “normal” mammograms.
Leighton died in 2013 at the age of 42 while the documentary was being filmed.
The film features several women who were not informed of their breast density, or of the increased cancer risk that dense breast poses, or of the fact that mammograms can — and frequently do — miss cancer when you have dense breasts.
This includes someone on my staff, Cindy Bevington Olmstead, a Midwest journalist whose