The Mammogram Letter The BMJ (British Medical Journal) Did NOT Publish –Unlike All Of My Prior Letters

[This mammogram article is listed under the site navigation category of 'Rolf Hefti's Off-Site Articles' although it is not an off-site piece. I did include it here because the article's principal segment was originally intended to be an off-site publication.]


The Background To This Issue Of Mammogram Screening

"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." (George Orwell, 1903-1950, Novelist & Social Critic)

In February of 2014 a follow-up analysis of a mammogram study –the Canadian National Breast Cancer Study (CNBSS), a large randomized controlled trial– got published at the BMJ (formerly the "British Medical Journal").

The study authors concluded that the organized implementation of mammographic breast cancer screening has not significantly reduced mortality from breast cancer over a standard form of breast care –that is, a physical breast exam (=doctor breast exam). Instead, the mammogram specialists found notable harm from mammograms via overdiagnosis. (By the way, the CNBSS is among the many studies I had cited in my (e)book "The Mammogram Myth".)

This 2014 update of the Canadian mammogram study (CNBSS) received quite a bit of media attention and resulted in the submission of many commentaries (rapid responses) to the BMJ journal. These electronic letters, if approved by the editor, get published at the official website of the BMJ.

On May 1, 2014, Alan Cassels, the author of "Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease" (2012), made this statement about the outpouring of CNBSS responses:

"With over 60 online ‘comments’ published following that article, it’s one of the most insightful sets of ‘back and forth’ discussions on breast cancer screening you will ever read." [I]

You can freely access all of the published letters/comments to the Canadian mammogram trial at: the BMJ website.

I had submitted a number of commentaries. The first got published on 14-Feb-2014. Starting with my second mammogram letter, on 18-March-2014, I got engaged in a bit of an ongoing debate with a mammogram supporter (Jacob Levman, PhD). In Levman's commentary on 22-April-2014 he accused me of spreading "opinions" about mammograms. I prepared another response for submission, addressing Levman's allegation, and sent it in to the BMJ on 24-April-2014.

Yet, to my surprise, the BMJ did not publish it unlike what they had done with all of my previous electronic submittals. I contacted the letters editor of the BMJ to find out why my latest submission did not get approved and released but my inquiry was ignored.

Because I felt my BMJ-censored commentary illuminates worthwhile background information on the politics permeating the mammogram debate (that in 2014, it seems, still isn't commonly known by much of the general public), I decided to publish the piece on my own website.

My suppressed BMJ mammogram entry follows here exactly (apart from having corrected a couple of semantic errors) as I had submitted it to the journal of the British Medical Association (for a thorough understanding of its content I would strongly advise to first read all of the prior responses between Levman and myself that can be freely accessed at the aforecited link to the BMJ website).

Note: don't miss my epilogue (afterword) on the mendacity and racket of "the war on cancer" following my unpublished BMJ letter below:




Title: Re: Accusations of Bias Versus Actual Bias Regarding Mammography

In his most recent letter Levman makes a concerted effort and point to dismiss my commentaries as my "opinions" [1]. Supposedly, he states reliable evidence or the actual facts while I state my own personal "opinions". Although, I had provided consistently more references than Levman to help prevent giving the impression that my statements are my "opinions". Slander of the individual is a common, albeit unsophisticated, manner of chasing away disagreement or a threat, or distracting the public's attention away from critical issues and data.

Levman [1] tries to substantiate his effort to denigrate my input on the discussion with further unjustly accusing me of largely unsubstantiated things like "being biased", having resorted "to weak and misleading tactics", putting out "opinions supported by arguments based on no relevant research training", "citing papers that don’t support the statements presented" or "producing quotations not included in the studies cited" when in fact Levman had exactly done much of that in some of his previous (and current) letters which I had elucidated in prior responses (e.g., think of his severely misleading and false portrayal of Gøtzsche's stance on the value of mammography. It is clearly his own "opinion", not a fact. I have to presume it is an "opinion" of Levman "supported by arguments based on" much "relevant research training". Needless to say, the "cited papers" of Gøtzsche's "don’t support the statements presented" by Levman). How come there is no mention of this in his finger-pointing at me, are you not supposed to notice? Does this omission qualify as a "weak and misleading tactic"? Perhaps the reader should ask what the real purpose of Levman's accusations are.

You can judge for yourself whom the aforecited allegations most strongly apply to by carefully reading through our past exchanges and by closely investigating the supplied references for yourself.

Levman's commentaries have now shifted from thematic focus to ad hominem attacks, confirmed by his last response [1]. This move is in alignment with a traditional, broader schemata among a number of fierce mammogram supporters:
 
Akin to Levman's allegations of my commentaries (e.g., my "opinions" "may very well lead to preventable breast cancer deaths" [1]), the pro-mammogram community routinely denounces, or tries to disable, dissenting voices with fear-mongering language aimed at coercing women into continuing to get mammograms. For instance, the recent highly critical report by the Swiss Medical Board on mammography [2], that advocated to stop introducing new systematic screening programs based on their conclusion the test's severe harms don't justify its minor benefits, was declared "unethical" by mammogram organizations [3]. What, for instance, is "unethical" –the acknowledgment of relevant data on harm or their disregard? Where is Levman's purported concern for women on the grave extent of harm from in situ overdiagnosis/overtreatment, leading most probably to unnecessary thus "preventable breast cancer deaths" in numerous women, that he had wrongly and misleadingly dismissed [see my prior response, part 1, from 11-April-2014]?

Yet, such "weak and misleading tactics" are abound in the literature and works of the mammogram industry. For instance, mammography-critical people with arguably much "relevant research training", such as Peter Gøtzsche, MD, Per-Henrik Zahl, MD, PhD, Gilbert Welch, MD, or Cornelia Baines, MD (from the BMJ study at hand [4]), are dismissed and stigmatized as "a group of pseudo-skeptics" [5]. Besides accusing mammogram-dissenting voices as stating "opinions", the work of mammogram critics had also been reduced to "fiction", "guesswork", "assumptions", and "nonsense and nonscience" by representatives of the mammogram industry [5-7].

Evidently, the overall crude theme (or political game, or "weak and misleading tactic") is that the public ought to see that the pro-mammography perspective allegedly epitomizes "reliable evidence/actual facts" instead of "opinions"/"nonscience", while the anti-mammogram view is based on "opinions"/"nonscience" instead of "reliable evidence/actual facts", thus mammography-critical "opinions" and "guesswork" are very dangerous to women.

The resort to slander and depreciation of mammography-disagreeing voices and works by the mammogram community has increased roughly in proportion to the accumulating amount of anti-mammogram data. Does that signify the correctness of the pro-mammography position or its incorrectness?

What perhaps might be of further public interest and pertinence in regard to mammography is that Levman had disclosed that he is currently only associated with the "Centre of Excellence in Personalized Healthcare, Institute of Biomedical Engineering" at Oxford. In some of his recent research papers from 2011/2012 and December 2013 it denotes that he's also affiliated with "Imaging Research, Sunnybrook Research Institute, University of Toronto" [8,9], a group that among other things sponsors research in mammogram technology [11].

And, both of these studies were funded by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, a pink ribbon charity that claims to provide "you with evidence-based information about mammography screening" [10] and that supports the use of mammography and makes the claim that "mammography has helped to reduce deaths from breast cancer by more than 35 per cent" in Canada since the late 1980s [10], which is in deep contrast to what the here principally discussed Canadian National Breast Screening Study by Miller and colleagues [4] found, but that is in solid accordance with the standard claims of benefit made by the mammogram industry or their mouthpieces.

The Imaging Research, Sunnybrook Research Institute, University of Toronto announced in the summer of 2010 on their official website that Levman had received a two-year "fellowship worth $95,000" from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation [11]. However, in several response letters by Levman to a BMJ study in November 5th, 2010 [12], November 11th, 2010 [13], November 12th, 2010 [14], and August 19th, 2011 [15], where he praises the value of mammography ("Mammography is a well established screening method" [12] –echoing the claims of his pink ribbon group sponsor), defends its use over other traditional screening modalities [12], while criticizing the value of the alternative screening modality of thermography [15], he publicly declared to having no competing interests in each of his commentaries.

Personal vested interests of study authors tied to the mammogram industry, including having been funded by cancer charities, lead to an imbalanced emphasis (also known as bias) of "the major benefits of mammography screening over its major harms" and more frequent dismissal of harms [16] (a pattern reflected with remarkable consistency across Levman's aforecited BMJ letters and his current BMJ rapid responses on the Miller group study [4]).

At this point I feel a re-iteration of a statement of mine from my last letter is most appropriate:

Historically, secrecy, complexity, and vested interests mean one thing: control of a specific ideology by a certain group of people, whether political or medical.

Based on this study [16] it is clear that a person with so-called "relevant research training" is fully capable of producing "nonscience" or biased "opinions". It supports the notion that having "relevant research training" isn't a prerequisite or necessity to arrive at the actual facts of the matter, arguably, it may even be an obstacle in that regard. It also illustrates that other things are very meaningfully relevant in arriving at the actual facts, such as the recognition of the urgent need to always look for conflict-of-interests among study authors (or people and organizations with "relevant research training"), among people and organizations that forcefully criticize people who express mammogram-disagreeing views, among people who admonish women not to listen to people with an anti-mammogram position, and behind officially and popularly accepted medical practices, dogmas, and views.

Levman remarked [1] that it is "clearly important to accurately assess the mortality benefits of mammographic breast cancer screening, whatever they may be", yet a person with vested interests linked to the mammogram industry, evidently, cannot "accurately assess" the mortality benefits of mammography because he/she is biased (=not in a position to objectively evaluate benefits and harms from the test) due to competing interests.

Exaggerating benefits, downplaying and ignoring harms of mammography [16]... doesn't the medical industry assure the public of their adherence to the axiom, "first, do no harm" that unmistakably suggests the preferential emphasis ought to be on the avoidance of harm infliction instead of on benefit derivation? Especially since organized mammography screening is geared towards healthy women, as almost all women undergoing screening do not have breast cancer at the time of examination [16]. Where are the cries of outrage from mammogram proponents, the calls that the stark violation of their leading moral pledge of concern for the public is "unethical"? Apparently, personal vested interests pertaining to industry are fully capable of corrupting the credo of "first, do no harm" unapologetically.

The imbalanced emphasis on benefits over harms of mammography indicates that there is probably a lack or loss of proper concern for women among many vested-interest-afflicted authors of pro-mammogram studies in terms of harm women might receive. And, do the all-too-common hidden, denied, or undeclared conflicts-of-interests among study authors with affiliations to the mammogram industry reassure you that these people have an exceedingly sincere interest or concern for the well-being of women at large and that they are reliably unbiased?

Also, do findings, results, statements, or conclusions based on significant bias due to vested interests, resemble reliable evidence/actual facts or rather "nonscience" and personal "opinions" of the person(s) tied to self-serving interests? The fact that such biased "studies" get routinely published in acclaimed medical journals and officially pass as, and are recognized as, reliable scientific evidence is instructive of how conventional medical research works. "Nonscience" passes as science because it is sanctioned by some body (or bodies) of authority.

The greater the conflicts-of-interests and the greater the frequency thereof in the pro-mammogram literature, the greater and more widespread this particular bias about the actual merit of mammography. No wonder women were consistently found to have a very wrong perception of the true benefit of mammography [3,17] (you guessed it, they believed it is very high) after getting inundated and indoctrinated by predominantly pro-mammogram information based on studies that frequently are sponsored by the massive mammogram industry (including the pink ribbon organizations), and because major mammographic harms are typically not mentioned to women when invited to organized screening programs because the organizers of the programs have also a conflict-of-interest [18], all of which going on for decades.

Therefore, should women trust this widely disseminated "scientific" information on mammography, much of it coming from people/groups with conflicts-of-interests and thus is reliably biased, or should they trust the mammogram information of people with "relevant research training", such as Per-Henrik Zahl, MD, PhD, Peter Gøtzsche, MD, or Karsten Jørgensen, MD, who actually do not downplay or reject the severe harms of mammography, or overemphasize its benefits respectively, because they are not bogged down and compromised by vested interests allied to the mammogram industry, leading them to generate a mammogram-friendly perspective?

Finally, I will not divert more time to responding to Levman's disparaging ad hominem attacks because I honestly feel they are undeserving of such and because the field of mammography is littered by politics. Within this general framework, and contrary to Levman's authoritative advice for women to "ignore" my "opinions", I'm not advising women (or anyone else) on what or whom you should or should not ignore but instead I'm going to basically reiterate emphatically what I had stated previously:

My sincerest hope is that the public recognizes the urgent necessity to pro-actively examine the evidence on mammography from both sides of the debate, but particularly from the dissenting side because the general public had been fed consistently, repeatedly, and almost exclusively pro-mammography information over the last few decades, having created a tainted unilateral platform of knowledge that effectively impedes or prevents the formation of a truly "informed choice" about the procedure, manifested in data showing women have a very wrong perception of the true benefit of mammography [3]. Actually doing so will equip you and help you to constructively differentiate more reliably between "opinions"/"fiction" and evidence, enabling you to discern quite logically what you can "ignore" or not without having so-called authorities on mammography to tell you, thence allowing you to make a increasingly reasonable "informed choice" on mammography.


References:

  1. Levman J, "Re: Accusations of Bias Versus Actual Bias Regarding Mammography", British Medical Journal, 348:g366, 22-April-2014.
  2. Swiss Medical Board, "Systematisches Mammographie-Screening", Pp. 1-83, 15-Dec-2013 [www.medical-board.ch; accessed 22-April-2014]
  3. Biller-Andorno N, Jüni P, "Abolishing Mammography Screening Programs? A View from the Swiss Medical Board", N Engl J Med. 2014 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print]
  4. Miller AB, Wall C, Baines CJ, Sun P, To T, Narod SA, "Twenty five year follow-up for breast cancer incidence and mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study: randomised screening trial", BMJ. 2014 Feb 11;348:g366. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g366.
  5. Tabár L, http://www.mammographyed.com/Resources/15266/
    FileRepository/Rebuttal%20Videos/LECTURE_Part_Two.pdf [accessed 22-April-2014]
  6. Kopans DB, "The most recent breast cancer screening controversy about whether mammographic screening benefits women at any age: nonsense and nonscience", AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2003 Jan;180(1):21-6.
  7. Dean PB, Tabár L, "Mammography's alleged harms: Separating fact from fiction", www.auntminnie.com, Dec. 13, 2012
  8. Levman J, "Re: effectiveness of computer-aided detection in community mammography practice", J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 Jan 4;104(1):77-8; author reply 78-9. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djr491. Epub 2011 Dec 20.
  9. Levman J, "Longitudinal disease detection rates for the evaluation of disease detection technologies with application in high-risk breast cancer screening", J Clin Diagn Res. 2013 Dec;7(12):2932-5. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2013/5693.3794. Epub 2013 Oct 22.
  10. http://www.cbcf.org/central/AboutBreastHealth/EarlyDetection/
    Mammography/Pages/default.aspx [accessed 22-April-2014]
  11. http://sunnybrook.ca/uploads/sri_nexus_2010summer.pdf [accessed 22-April-2014]
  12. Levman J, "Detection rates and mortality for evaluating breast cancer screening" British Medical Journal, Reply to 340:c3106, 5-Nov-2010 [http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/03/detection-rates-and-mortality-evaluating-breast-cancer-screening -accessed 22-April-2014]
  13. Levman J, "On comparing the harms and benefits of breast cancer screening", British Medical Journal, Reply to 340:c3106, 11-Nov-2010 [http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/03/comparing-harms-and-benefits-breast-cancer-screening -accessed 22-April-2014]
  14. Levman J, "Clarification on detection rates and mortality for evaluating breast cancer screening", British Medical Journal, Reply to 340:c3106, 12-Nov-2010 [http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/03/clarification-detection-rates-and-mortality-evaluating-breast-cancer-scree -accessed 22-April-2014]
  15. Levman J, "On Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging for Breast Cancer Detection", British Medical Journal, Reply to 340:c3106, 19-Aug-2011 [http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/03/digital-infrared-thermal-imaging-breast-cancer-detection -accessed 22-April-2014]
  16. Jørgensen KJ, Klahn A, Gøtzsche PC, “Are benefits and harms in mammography screening given equal attention in scientific articles? A cross-sectional study”, BMC Med. 2007 May 30;5:12.
  17. Domenighetti G, D'Avanzo B, Egger M, Berrino F, Perneger T, Mosconi P, Zwahlen M, "Women's perception of the benefits of mammography screening: population-based survey in four countries", Int J Epidemiol. 2003 Oct;32(5):816-21.
  18. Jørgensen KJ, Gøtzsche PC, "Content of invitations for publicly funded screening mammography", BMJ. 2006 Mar 4;332(7540):538-41.

Competing interests: Author of the (e)book "The Mammogram Myth" (2013)




Epilogue On My Banned BMJ Letter Pertaining To The Canadian Mammogram Study

–The Power Of Big Money Dictates The "Science", The Marketing, And Women's Perception Of Mammography

"Every field of knowledge has been distorted." (Ray Peat, PhD, Biologist, in 2001)

The pink ribbon foundations (breast cancer awareness groups) are a conglomerate that is advocating and widely disseminating the pro-screening tenets of the mammogram cabal's guild interests (i.e., the breast cancer industry), serving as one of their most influential proponents [II,III,IV,V,LVIII]. As such, the pink ribbon charities, with their breast cancer awareness campaigns, also serve as an instrument of the mammogram lobby to downplay, discredit, dispel, and silence screening-dissenting information [II,IV,VI,VII].

For example, in the early 1970s, when the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS; some people have incorrectly referred to the ACS as the "American Breast Cancer Society"), a massive cancer charity, set up a mammography mass screening project to enroll 250,000 healthy women, they omitted to tell these women about possible adverse side effects of mammograms (e.g., mammograms cause cancer) and about the lack of relevant evidence on the benefits of mammograms in women under the age of fifty [LIII,LX]. Internal documents revealed that these legitimate mammogram concerns had been ignored by the bodies of authority [LVI]. And in spite of having little, if any, reliable data to validate mammography's benefits to younger women, both of these cancer organizations "began to promote screening for all women over the age of 35" [LV].

More recently, the longtime mammogram scientist, Peter Gotzsche, MD, made this remark about the screening community's position on some of the dangers of mammograms in a 2011 article:

"Our finding of increased mastectomies has consistently been ignored by screening advocates for 10 years, and information from many cancer charities and governmental agencies continues to state the opposite – that screening decreases mastectomies –despite having no reliable data to support this claim." [VI] [emphasis added]

Coincidentally, the day I submitted my rejected BJM commentary, on April 24, 2014, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF), a pink ribbon cancer research charity (like Susan Komen) that I mentioned and identified in my disapproved BMJ submission as the organization that had funded Levman, launched a facebook page [VIII] called "My Breasts My Test" [IX].

This launch was reported to be a direct reaction of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to a survey [X] the breast cancer charity had sponsored that revealed widespread confusion among women about the merit of mammograms [XI], a conceivable outcome due to the release of several high-profile, unfavorable mammogram publications over the last few months.

The mammogram-breast cancer commerce is aware that an uninformed or confused mind tends not to act [XII] because the mental state has a paralyzing effect on human behavior. An uninformed or confused woman hesitates, or perhaps even fails, to make a straight-forward decisive choice to have screenings with mammography.

Good evidence from the field of social psychology has found that most people (in authoritarian cultures) readily follow the dictums of authorities [LXX]. People who are confused and uncertain tend to follow the guidance, advice, and recommendations of people, and institutions, of authority even more so.

The social media page of the authoritative Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) is meant to campaign for women to get routine medical screening tests with mammographies [IX]. This is corroborated in statements Sandra Palermo, CEO of the CBCF, made in an interview where she said this CBCF social media page on mammogram screening serves "as a forum for women who are confused" about mammograms and to "close the debate on screening" [VIII,XI].




The Manipulation Of Women's Perception Of Mammography Screening

–The Overemphasis Of Screening-Favorable Breast Cancer Information & The Politics Of "Informed Decisions"

"[...] the only war that's being fought [...] is for control of our minds and what we perceive is real." (Michael C. Ruppert, 1951-2014, Author & Whistleblower)

For the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to proclaim that they have the information for women to make "informed decisions" about breast cancer detection with mammography is taking the propagandistic spin of an ideology to a new height, twisting the actual reality upside down.

Here's how...

Since around 1980, when national mass mammogram screening programs began to get globally introduced, the public discourse on the early breast cancer detection paradigm and mammography has been dominated by the medical-mammogram establishment, conveying the basic gospel to women that the mammogram procedure is very beneficial and poses little harm, frequently using fear-based marketing messages to win women's compliance [II,III,IV,VII,XIII,XIV,XV,XVI,LV,LVIII,LIX].

In his book "Less Medicine, More Health" (2015) the eloquent cancer screening critic Gilbert Welch, MD, described precisely the inappropriate fear-mongering rhetoric that has incessantly framed the official preachings on mammogram screening in past and current times:

"First, to get people interested in screening in the first place we have to get people to worry about the disease we are screening for. The phrase typically used to describe this effort is to "raise awareness." It's a nice euphemism –but it really doesn't describe what needs to be done: some "dis"-ease needs to be introduced into the population. In other words, people need to be scared about dying from the disease; they need to be made to feel more vulnerable. [...]. There is an enormous climate of fear [...]. The only thing you ever hear about breast cancer is about some woman who's dying because she didn't get treated in time." [LXXI] [emphasis added]

In view of this seriously perverted, misrepresented, imbalanced public narrative on diagnostic breast cancer screening, it is no wonder that most women have customarily and categorically come to believe that a "breast cancer mammogram" is highly beneficial and minimally harmful [XIV], year after year. In a nutshell, women have habitually been suffering from "optimism bias" regarding the merits of mammograms.

Therefore, the vast majority of women have NOT found themselves in a position to make an "informed decision" or "informed choice" about mammography because of their very unilateral exposure to pro-screening breast cancer information.

Instead...

The vanguard of pontiffs spreading awareness for breast cancer and the value of mammography has been systematically misguiding women, whereby women have been made to believe in an erroneous story, prophecy, or adult fairy tale, leading to "mass delusion" [II], akin to how a lot of young children are categorically made to believe in the existence of Santa Claus via exposure to a controlled, one-sided, organized framework and source pool of information.

The result is that many women tightly hold on to firmly-believed assumptions about the mammogram test. A predicament that eschews, resists, and blocks the influx of the real truth about mammograms.

As the author and historian Daniel J. Boorstin (1914-2004) had observed:

“The greatest obstacle to knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.”

This predicament leads to certain beliefs, myths (i.e., "adult fairy tales"), medical dogmas, or common cultural assumptions that are strongly immune to "outside" influence and are armored against self-questioning, thus they have a tendency to sustain, guard, and perpetuate themselves, naturally endowing the erroneous notions with increasing popularity over time and frequently with a long hardy persistence.

In today's profoundly and increasingly commercialized world, gravitating to be biased and misleading, arguably the most meaningful education for the majority of people to make "informed decisions" revolves around what Boorstin had illustrated with another statement:

"Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know."




The Endless Regurgitation Of Mammogram Stories, Lies, Biased Research Findings, And Fallacies Instead Of Relevant Evidence

–Everywhere You Look Is The Same Basic Reality: Huge Vested Interests & Corporate Interests Outshine Scientific Evidence

"The further a society [or industry, i.e., the cancer business] drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." (Unknown Author) [explanation added]

Now, despite that a large robust scientific body of mammogram data and breast cancer facts has been accumulating, starting in the 1950s and particularly since the mid 1970s, strongly refuting or opposing the lofty mantra of the mammogram-medical industrial complex [XIII,XV], this newly released "My Breasts My Test" social media page, and the mammogram gang in general, keep promulgating the same old imbalanced, overblown, inaccurate claims about mammography, such as "early detection saves lives" or "the harms are minimal" from a screening mammogram[V,IX].

A statement from an article in The Guardian, published on April 28, 2014, by Karuna Jaggar, the executive director of a breast cancer organization called "Breast Cancer Action", a national watchdog group overseeing the breast cancer movement, reverberated an important point I had made in the above censored data, i.e., my unreleased BMJ mammogram letter:

"[...] I see that even powerful evidence cannot overcome the vested interests of many of the largest cancer organizations in the country – nonprofits like the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Susan G Komen Foundation – which continue to push screening mammograms without caution." [XVI] [emphasis added]

The skewed pro-screening focus and the public presentation of mammographic breast cancer information by the pink ribbon culture, embellishing mammography benefits while pruning harms of screening, is paralleled to how study authors with conflict-of-interests pertaining to the mammography business tend to preferentially and selectively find (and thereafter espouse) mammogram-favorable "evidence" and preferentially and selectively don't find mammogram-negative data, respectively (see my abovereplicated unpublished BMJ commentary).

And, this grave problem doesn't stop there. This fundamental bias in generating and evaluating scientific evidence, –i.e., overrating benefits while omitting or suppressing harms– is also routinely committed by US government health agencies, such as with the FDA approval process of drugs and other medical products, in large part because the FDA is a public health department with obvious but rather covert conflict-of-interests tied to big corporate agendas (discussed in my articles Tougher Supplement Regulation: A Necessity Or Politics? and L-Tryptophan: The Truth About The FDA Tryptophan Recall Of 1989).

Unsurprisingly, the FDA also misrepresents the risks of mammograms, such as from radiation exposure. On their official website, addressing mammography, the federal agency states that "Mammograms utilize very small doses of radiation—it’s like getting an x-ray. The risk of harm is extremely low" and reiterates "the extremely small potential of harm from radiation exposure" [LIV]. This is an authority-based wrong claim, instead of a science-based actual fact, because overwhelming and firm research data had long ago documented that the potential or risk of harm is extremely HIGH as a single mammographic screening or the lowest possible dose of ionizing radiation is capable of causing cancer, and as low dose medical x-rays are a prime cause of breast cancer (x-rays also cause secondary breast cancer) [XV].




Medical Journals: Marketing Instruments Of Organized Medicine

–Conflicts-Of-Interests Are Common Among Study Authors: Spinning Evidence To Accommodate Private Interests Under The Guise Of Doing Real Science

“The idea that medical journals are these objective and unbiased repositories of the truths about science is totally nonsense. Most of them are owned by the drug companies. They won‘t publish anything that disagrees with their philosophy.” (Nicholas J. Gonzalez, MD, 1947-2015, in 2011)

In light of the banning of my mammogram commentary by the BMJ, it is critical to understand that silence, censorship, bias, and failure of disclosure of vested interested tied to private industry are pervasive and affect a plethora of medical journals [XXV,XXVI,XXVII,XXVIII,XXIX].

Regarding editorial censorship, in another article, entitled "2 Big Lies: No Vitamin Benefits & Supplements Are Very Dangerous" [see 'Recommended next page(s)' at the end of this article for a direct link to it], I cited several instances where some of the world's most prestigious medical journals, such as the New England Journal Of Medicine (NEJM) and The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), had censored factual information that invalidated the dogmatic anti-supplement dictum of mainstream medicine about the cancer health benefits of vitamin C supplements at high dosages, substantiating what Nicholas Gonzalez, MD, had observed about medical journals: "They won‘t publish anything that disagrees with their philosophy.”

In corroboration, a retired physician, Gary Kohls, MD, explained in an article published in 2015 that:

"Mainstream medical journal editors are often beholden to the drug companies that so generously subsidize their magazines. Mainstream medical journals have large numbers of drug companies and medical device companies that advertise in them. Journal articles that promote the drugs or devices from these companies are often published, but the mainstream medical journal editors rarely allow any space for peer-reviewed articles that contradict the pro-drug reports from the companies that advertise in the journals." [LXIV]

Richard Smith, the former longtime editor of the British Medical Journal, contended that "medical journals are an extension of the marketing arm" of the orthodox medical-pharmaceutical industry [XXVI].

The history of the British Medical Journal unveils its eminent role as a promotional instrument and member of allopathic medicine. In a 1980 editorial the BMJ bragged about orthodox medicine's "record of objective evaluation of claims", supposedly unlike that of alternative medicine, deploring the fact that "some of these alternative systems have become serious competitors to orthodox medicine" [LXIII].

Smith admitted:

"[...] I must confess that it took me almost a quarter of a century editing for the BMJ to wake up to what was happening." [XXVI]

And...

"[...] most authors in medical journals do have financial conflicts of interest [...]." [XXVII] [emphasis added]

In another report Smith declared that:

“[...] much of what journals do is ethically weak.” [XXVII]

Bruce Charlton, the former editor of Medical Hypotheses, wrote in 2005 that:

"Conflicts of interest must now be assumed as the norm in medical research –especially in the highest impact journals that garner most citations." [XXX] [emphasis added]

Many investigative studies uncovered a high degree of competing interests (conflicts-of-interests) among study authors linked to private industry, self-serving interests that are frequently undisclosed (hidden from public view), and their scientific work, including pertaining to clinical cancer research, is even published in top medical journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), The Lancet, or the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) [XXXI-XXXV].

In the 2003 JAMA study by the Bekelman team [XXXIV] the authors found that:

“Financial relationships among industry, scientific investigators, and academic institutions are widespread.”

And...

"[...] the results [...] showed a significant association between industry sponsorship and pro-industry conclusions […].”

In 2012 Charlton stated that:

"[...] real science is dead  [...]. [...]. [...] modern publications in the research literature must be assumed to be worthless or misleading [...]."  [XXXVI]

In short...

In the current era of commercialization of science, biomedical and science journals serve, more often than not, as authoritative public relations assets for medical propaganda, packaged and presented under the pretext of real science, and help to solidify and propagate the superficially "persuasive" model or profit system of consensus medicine. Published medical knowledge is a type of commodity [XXXI] to be made big money of.




The Most Coherent Reason The BMJ Withheld My Final Mammogram Letter

"The less people know about what is really going on, the easier it is to wield power and authority." (Prince Charles, in 'The Observer', 2-March-1975)

Initially, I could only form a rough guess about the abruptly restrictive action taken by the BMJ.

Some people had suggested to me the journal's decision to withhold my last comment was because of its great length. However, this is a rather unlikely scenario because the BMJ had released a similarly long submission of mine previously (which got published as a 2-part piece). And, I did enter the banned electronic rapid response as a 2-part item –just the way the BMJ letter editor had advised me to do in an email correspondence at the prior comparable occasion.

Another possibility brought forward was that the BMJ wanted to end the debate between Levman and I (because it became too personal, but numerous other comments fit that criteria too). This explanation, too, appears unconvincing. Up to Levman's final letter, the BMJ had provided a balanced, fair platform for our commentary exchanges.
It included the publication of Levman's self-declared final letter to the debate. Yet despite that I also had announced in my ousted endeavor that it would be my final contribution to the two-party discussion, the BMJ chose to hold it back. This circumstantial evidence does not support the idea that the BMJ suddenly opted to erratically and arbitrarily repress my last response submission in order to terminate the debate.

Moreover, other individuals' commentaries got published by the British science journal after Levman's final submission to the discussion (and after the last published letter of mine), deflating any notion that the BMJ had reached some maximum allowable publication quota of rapid responses, as delineated by an editorial clause, and as a consequence had decided to purge my last input regarding the Canadian mammogram study.

The most consistent and probable reason behind the BMJ's hitherto uncharacteristic action appears to be their fear of, and submission to, potential legal threats from the coercive power of grand money.

Certain mammography-critical scientists, purportedly speaking from personal experience, had informed me that a wealthy pro-mammography scientist had threatened the BMJ with legal repercussions for their publication of a commentary that legitimately raised attention about this particular affluent individual's colossal money connections to the mammography industry.

The rich mammogram promoter had supposedly also used fiscal power to directly threaten a critic of screening with legal action because he had correctly cited this wealthy person's immense competing interests.

I've also been told that the BMJ had deleted a sentence from the original commentary submitted to the journal by an orthodox doctor because of fear of litigation.

The intimidation of the BMJ with prospective legal action against them has evidently affected the journal's editorial decision-making process in a rather profound and negative way regarding their deliberation to publish commentaries citing accurate information on specific cases of vested interests.

My BMJ-censored piece contains substantial information on:

  • a recent time period where Levman had operated under a condition of vested interests related to the mammogram business but repeatedly omitted to disclose it,
  • conflict-of-interests in mammogram-medical research,
  • how vested or competing interests among study authors select for a significant mammography-favorable bias in their published medical studies.

Therefore, the BMJ may quite likely have decided to conceal my last comment because of their warranted worry about possible threats with litigious ramifications.

Clearly, the fear of the coercive power of big money has forced the BMJ to suppress and censor certain "inconvenient" but highly relevant mammogram truths.

The power to censor discomforting yet factual knowledge is the power to demolish the ugly yet real truth.

More on the destruction or suppression of truth in the poorly publicized "mammogram wars"...

Another analogous, but widely unknown, event lends substantial support to the described rationale for the rejection of my last rapid response by the BMJ.

In The Mammogram Myth I discussed how the truth-squashing capability of the highly influential economic clout of some pro-mammography custodians has managed to get an entire mammogram-disagreeable study removed from a medical journal in a unilateral manner after it had been published [XV].

Is there is any valid argument in support of the public's health interests:

  • for women not to know that certain mammogram study authors with mighty vested interests are resorting to aggressive abusive acts of intimidation to suppress and hide crucial but "uncomfortable" mammography-disadvantageous facts, especially in light of the research findings that study authors' conflict-of-interests linked to the mammogram mega business lead to significant bias in favor of the medical intervention?
  • for anyone to oppress and obstruct the (potential) publication of factual information bearing great scientific significance, such as on large conflict-of-interests among fierce defenders of mammograms, other than to hide certain truthful data?

The repressive malicious shenanigans of the authoritarian medico-mammogram syndicate essentially corroborate what the accomplished English author Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) had articulated in his masterpiece novel "Brave New World" published in 1932:

"The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects, by lowering what Mr. Churchill calls an "iron curtain" between the masses and such facts or arguments as [certain people] regard as undesirable, totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than by the most eloquent denunciations, the most compelling of logical rebuttals." [emphasis & explanation added]




Mammogram Promotions With Fallacy-Prone Breast Cancer Survival Stories

“Marketing is a battle of perception, not products. Truth has no bearing on the issue.” (Jack Trout, Advertising Executive)

The immense power of vested interests is undoubtedly also a chief reason why the enormous mammogram business cartel resorts to the specious misleading, albeit highly sellable, use of personal stories of "breast cancer survivors". Indeed, the CBCF is pushing a personal story of a breast cancer survivor at the forefront of their latest mammogram hype [IX].

Because of the one-sided "teaching" of women with an agenda in favor of mammography (by, for instance, underemphasizing or discounting mammogram risks), few women –including "breast cancer survivors"– have a good or correct understanding about the meaning and the nature of mammogram overdiagnosis, and its scope and magnitude of harm. If they did, they would recognize that very many so-called breast cancer "survivors" are actually victims of unnecessary harms instead of recipients of benefits [XV].   

This is analogous, and not unlike, how US soldiers are frequently portrayed and glorified as "war heroes". In reality, the vast majority of soldiers are war "victims" instead of war "heroes" [XVII,XXI]. The re-categorization and re-labeling goes from soldiers to heroes, or from breast cancer patients to survivors [III,IV], but never (or seldom) to victims.

The popular re-classification validates, to both the actual "survivors" or "heroes" and the general public witnessing the triumphant display, the correctness of the underlying reigning medical paradigm or military ideology. The glorified image of US breast cancer survivorship is even capable of extending its power of cheerfulness across the globe as part of mammogram public relations campaigns [XVIII].




A Common Recruitment Tool Of The Mammogram Lobby: Deceptive Breast Cancer Survival Statistics

“[...] the life of a lie is predicated on the success of subsequent deceit and the strength of the alternate experience created to stand in for the truth.” (James F. Tracy, PhD, Scholar Of Media Studies, in 2012)

The Susan Komen foundation, the largest breast cancer charity in the world [V], had been exposed of utilizing highly deceptive marketing maneuvers to convince women to get mammogram screenings. The breast cancer charity was reported to have willfully used a well-known, extremely biased statistical concept (i.e., survival rate/survival time), conveying a very high mammogram benefit, to effortlessly persuade a lot of unsuspecting women to undergo mammogram screening [V]. Some harsh critics have voiced the sentiment of a Susan G. Komen scam.

Survival statistics are not the same as, or meaningfully correlated to, mortality statistics but they are frequently portrayed as such [XV,XX].

Sadly, many or most fully trained conventional doctors too, besides much of the broader public, don't understand, are not aware of, or misinterpret, the meaning of these highly misleading survival statistics [V,XIX]. (A perusal of the BMJ responses to the Canadian mammogram study lends legitimacy to that too.)

Worse, in my treatise The Mammogram Myth I demonstrated that the reliance and use of these statistical traps have also been committed by academics and researchers in quite a number of mammogram-approving studies over many years, up until current times, despite that these hopelessly biased statistics had been fully recognized by medical science since the 1960s.

Levman, too, makes positive references to survival statistics on more than one occasion (including in at least one research paper) despite that "[...] 5-year survival rates and mortality rates are uncorrelated (r = 0.0) across the 20 most common solid tumours" [XX].

A longtime, fierce mammogram-advocating Harvard scientist, Daniel Kopans, MD (whose critique of the CNBSS I had address in my first BMJ mammogram comment), has even defended the profoundly bias-affected illusion of survival rate as resorted to in an advertisement by the Susan G. Komen foundation, with the misleading argument that it is "actually factually correct" [XXII].

Citing an accurate example of survival rate/time, as in Komen's mammogram marketing, only means that the misconception or falsehood had been described in an "actually factually correct" manner. However, "actually factually correctly" stating an example of a fallacy doesn't diminish, remove, or erase the fallacy's inherent errors, flaws, deceptiveness, or scientific irrelevancy. Basically, Kopans fended for a misleading flawed statistical conception with a misleading flawed verbal conception. Can one construe from this that Kopans' mission is to genuinely educate and inform women about mammography?

With high intelligence comes the greater ability to understand or solve complex things but also a greater ability to rationalize and justify wrong ideas and beliefs.

Gerd Gigerenzer, PhD, author of "Calculated Risks: How To Know When Numbers Deceive You" (2002) denoted in one of his many research papers on risks and statistics that the "framing of information", concealed or unconcealed, about these bias-prone statistical terms is the essential aspect of whether it leads to their proper understanding or not by the public:

"Albeit not always intentional, non-transparency is often a deliberate tactic to manipulate or persuade people." [XX] [emphasis added]

and...

"[...] unlike relative risks and 5-year-survival rates, which mislead many people, absolute risks and mortality rates provide transparent tools for risk communication." [XX]

In 2000, a mammogram specialist had described how the translation of relative risks to absolute numbers allows "the proper advice necessary for women to make informed choices" about mammogram risk avoidance and assessment [XXXVIII].

Since 2008, The Nordic Cochrane Centre has made public a leaflet called "Screening For Breast Cancer With Mammography" (available in multiple languages) about the harms and benefits of the mammogram test, using the non-misleading "transparent tools" of absolute risks and absolute breast cancer mortality rates every woman can readily understand [XXIII].

Susan Komen, and many other breast cancer awareness outfits, continue to use deceptive statistical concepts, such as relative risks or survival times, in their mammogram-promotional literature and marketing messages without transparent framing of that information.

Gigerenzer called the various ways of how women have long been misled by such falsifications "tricks" [XXIV], noting that:

"Information about the actual benefits and harms of screening has been held back for years. Pink ribbons and teddy bears, rather than hard facts, dominate the discourse." " [XXIV] [emphasis added]




The Real Truth About The American Cancer Society: Non-Profit Charity Or For-Profit Business?

"People do not want to believe that those in positions of power are self-serving, because they have given their power [i.e., responsibility] away to them. Therefore, they often go to great lengths to stay in denial about the state of affairs, although the effort they can expend in battling their cognitive dissonance can reach surreal levels." (Wade Frazier, Investigator & Writer) [explanation added]

Looking at the pink ribbon history, Gigerenzer' aforecited observation that "Pink ribbons and teddy bears, rather than hard facts" dominate the discourse on mammogram screening for breast cancer applies also fittingly to the American Cancer Society (ACS), "the richest private charity in the world" [XXXVII] and "one of the oldest and largest voluntary health agencies in the United States" [XXXIX].

The history of the American Cancer Society reveals its long ongoing tenure as a business.

The forerunner of the ACS, the American Society for the Control of Cancer (ASCC), was formed in the early 1913 and became the ACS in 1945. This change was made possible by the takeover of the ASCC by the Lasker family –Albert Lasker (1880-1952), an advertising executive, and Mary Lasker (1900-1994), a businesswoman. The Laskers' deep footing in the marketing industry was instrumental in turning the ASCC from being predominantly a science venture into a big business venture under the new, more marketable name of the American Cancer Society (ACS).

One of the ACS' few icons responsible for the charity's phenomenal growth and success during the 20th century, Elmer Holmes Bobst (1884-1978), a businessman who used to be a pharmaceutical executive before becoming a leading figure at the ACS in the 1940s, explained in his autobiography:

"[...] I decided to apply [my] philosophy to the cancer society program: run it like a business with a well-planned 'sales' campaign." [XL] [explanation & emphasis added]

And...

"The society [=ACS] was being run by the scientists and physicians with a kind of polite sufferance of its lay leaders [...]. I decided that the first priority was to move aside the scientists and physicians who were in administrative control of the organization. [...] they were not getting results. [...]. [Because they] didn't understand fundraising, or promotion, or even money. [...]. I wanted majority control to be in the hands of qualified lay leaders." [XL] [explanation & emphasis added]

And...

"[...] [we] trained our best people in more sophisticated fund-raising techniques: special gift solicitations among wealthy potential donors; high-intensity community-wide fund campaigns; letter and card campaigns; arresting public service advertisements; fund-raising contests; special appeals to civic organizations, and so forth." [XL]

Under the leadership and auspices of the Lasker family, Elmer Bobst, and a few other individuals, the reorganization of the ACS during the mid-late 1940s [XXXVII,XXXIX], and the subsequent explosion in fundraising activities and promotions by the ACS business, worked. In 1978, Health journalist Peter B. Chowka made the observation that:

"Almost everything the public knows or believes about cancer [...] has originated within or been channeled through the American Cancer Society." [XXXVII]

Slick advertisements promulgated by mainstream media outlets, advocating preventive medical screening tests, such as mammograms, coincide with the cancer charity's fundraising periods [XXXVII], witnessed by the increased mammogram screening promotions leading up to the official national breast cancer month (October, a.k.a "Pinktober") by the ACS [XXXIX] and other breast cancer charities.

While the governing message of these marketing and fundraising crusades used to center mainly around the "fear of cancer" at mid-20th century into the 1970s [XXXVII], thereafter the proposition had increasingly shifted to, or made space for, "hope" –as in mammogram-marketing images of cheerful breast cancer survivors or in the move to rename the classic stratagem of the depressing "war" on cancer as the uplifting "moonshot" cancer mission. Although, the traditional cancer establishment's manipulation of women with emotive rhetoric ("fear language", a.k.a the play on women's fears) has never stopped [LXXI].

The predictable pattern of the disinformation campaigns of the cancer and mammogram screening movement has been the appeal to hope or fear –two of the biggest motiving forces of human behavior, stimulating and employing directive action.

After Bobst's revampment of the ACS, the charity has become primarily a corporate-funded sales force and megaphone of and for corporate medicine, advocating and protecting their private interests, but officially presented to the public as a non-profit philanthropic organization since 1922 [XXXVII,XXXIX,XLI,XLII].

In 1978, Peter Chowka wrote about the mendacity of the ACS:

"[...] ACS, contrary to its claim, in no sense is a non-profit corporation. Each year ACS makes a hefty profit that most profit-making corporations would envy. [...] ACS is hoarding and investing for profit many millions of dollars contributed by the public to fight cancer, while the society claims that vital research is going begging for funds." [XXXVII]

After the first decade of the 21st century, the hoarded fiscal reserves of the ACS are in the neighborhood of 1$ billion [XXXIX]. Knowing this, how many people would feel it is urgent, necessary, or justified to commit to an American Cancer Society Donation?

Even an independent overseer of non-profit organizations and charities had noticed the discrepancy between the official representation of the ACS and its financial status years ago [XXXVII]. In more recent times, other authorities on charitable organizations have continued to reveal and notice the true, but covert, status of the ACS as a for-profit assembly [XLIII]. The top executives of the ACS earn massive salaries [XXXIX].

Samuel Epstein, MD, author of "The Politics of Cancer" (1978) and "Cancer-Gate" (2005), noted in 1999 that:

"Most of the funds raised by the ACS go to pay overhead, salaries, fringe benefits, and travel expenses of its national executives [...]. [...] salaries and fringe benefits are by far the largest single budget items, a surprising fact in light of the characterization of the appeals, which stress an urgent and critical need for donations to provide cancer services." [XLIII]

The "ACS has interlocking interests with the pharmaceutical, cancer drug, mammography film and machine, and biotechnology industries", encompassing large corporations that contribute hefty sums of money to the acclaimed cancer charity [XXXIX,XLII,XLIII]. That's no coincidence, apart from overhead expenses, high salaries, and other "perks", much of what's left of the ACS budget goes to mundane research and research of orthodox modalities of cancer and breast cancer treatment, mostly geared towards ineffective anti-cancer drugs [XXXIX,XLII,XLIII].

Epstein explained that:

"The ACS has close connections to the mammography industry. Five radiologists have served as ACS presidents, and in its every move, the ACS reflects the interests of the major manufacturers of mammogram machines and films [...]." [XLIII]

And...

"[...] the mammography industry conducts research for the ACS and its grantees, serves on advisory boards, and donates considerable funds." [XLIII]

The ACS has sponsored a number of pro-mammogram studies, among the funded study authors is a prominent mammogram scientist with well-known extensive conflicts-of-interests that have earned him a fortune [XV].

Other private industry members and lavish ACS sponsors, such as the cosmetic industry, the junk food industry, the pesticide industry, the petrochemical conglomerate, and other polluting industries, find protection of their interests via the charity's pervasive silence, dismissal, or denial about well-known cancer-causing occupational, industrial, and environmental toxins [XXXIX,XLII] (despite that, for example, the pioneering account of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962) had incontrovertibly pointed in that direction over half a century ago). And, a dubious lack of ACS funding in those areas. In 1998, for example, less than 1% of the ACS' revenues was allocated for research into environmental-xenobiotic, industrial, and other cancer causes [XXXIX].

In his exposé "The Cancer Business" author Patrick Rattigan, ND, wrote:

"The cancer epidemic has many causative components; virtually all of them either actively promoted by or ignored by the government health departments, the medical trade etc.: the lethal "Dept. of Health balanced diet", vaccination, antibiotics, antipyretics, analgesics, steroids, routine X-ray screening, animal-"safety-tested" pesticides, herbicides, solvents, dyes, detergents etc., fluoride-waste dumping in public drinking water, radio/ chemo "therapy", nuclear energy, electro-pollution and so on." [LXII] [emphasis added]

Epstein had pointed out:

"Giant corporations, which profit handsomely while they pollute the air, water, and food with a wide range of carcinogens, are greatly comforted by the silence of the ACS." [XLIII]

ACS' severe bias towards the industrial-medical monopoly has existed for decades [XLII]. This relationship, however, appears to be of a more general nature in regard to the charitable culture, suggesting that conflict-of-interests are at work categorically, because Epstein remarked that:

"Rarely does a non-profit organization flack for private industry." [XLII]

Moreover, the mass media is an ally in censoring the abuses of the ACS, as Quentin D. Young, MD, had stressed in 2001:

"The ACS political agenda reveals a pattern of self interest, conflicts of interest, lack of accountability and non-transparency to all of which the media have responded with deafening silence." [XXXIX]

Not too shocking if you consider that top corporate executives from the media industry sit at the "ACS Foundation Board of Trustees" [XXXIX].

Here's another example of the symbiotic-parasitic liaison between the "deafening silence" of the corporate media and the "lack of accountability and non-transparency" of the ACS:

In the fall of 2015, the ACS announced [LXV] some major updates in their mammography recommendations after allegedly conducting "a systematic evidence review of the breast cancer screening literature" [LXVI].

The new policies recommended women "with an average risk of breast cancer" (i.e., most women) start getting annual mammograms at age 45, until the age of 54, and then cut back to having mammograms every other year [LXV,LXVI]. The ACS added, as a lesser recommendation, that women ages 40-44 years and women 55 years and older should have the option of receiving yearly mammograms if they wanted to [LXVI].

Apparently, the American Cancer Society has finally recognized with the new "evidence-based" mammogram guidelines that routine screening mammography for most women ages 40-44 years isn't beneficial or barely beneficial [LXV].

In essence, it' an implicit admission that they've been wrong all along.

Is it conceivable that the ACS is also wrong about recommending regular mass mammography at all?

What the ACS did NOT admit to, anywhere on their online announcement of the new breast cancer screening recommendations at their official website [LXV], is to taking responsibility for the guaranteed serious harm their previous erroneous doctrinal mammogram advice (i.e., “overmammographication”) had caused in countless women.

In light of the fact that screening mammography is conducted on essentially healthy women, if an intervention doesn't provide benefits (or marginal at most), any such medical intervention harms a healthy woman particularly since the dangers of mammography are severe [XV]. As one could expect, the ACS doesn't admit to culpability, so their latest guideline changes are cleverly crafted to avoid legal repercussions as the organization could reasonably be sued for having committed crimes against humanity.

Supposedly, according to the statements of the ACS, the modifications to the mammogram recommendations are based on newer evidence pertaining to the screening tool [LXV,LXVI].

In short, the ACS puts forward the specious incorrect claim (i.e., the cancer organization creates the perception) that robust anti-mammogram evidence (sound data on the lack of benefits and the serious risks) hadn't existed until recently. Calling that "bending the truth", or engaging in medical history revision or omission, is being nice and diplomatic, because the unfavorable mammogram data have been particularly substantial for younger women (ages 40-49) since at least the 1980s [XV]. But the cancer business had a highly profitable product they wanted to sell, so the promotion of industry interests surpassed the protection of public interests.

We have here the oddity of the ACS having promoted a longstanding fierce pro-mammogram crusade, advocating annual mammography for practically every woman age 40 and up [XV], and now, all of a sudden, the ACS displays an unprecedented change of view as if the strong anti-mammogram evidence hadn't been existing until very recently.

The hypocrisy, mendacity, and the illogical maneuvering of the American Cancer Society behind their guideline alterations are also evident when you consider that just a few years prior, in 2009,  when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued their new mammography guidelines, advising women to wait until age 50 instead of age 40 to get regular annual tests [LXVII], they had vehemently opposed these recommendations and declared that by delaying mammograms more women would die [LXVIII] (this suggests that it's supposedly only anti-mammogram evidence generated between just 2009-2015 that led to the weighty ACS guideline changes). The ACS has used such "science-based" fear-mongering hype for decades to push women into getting mammograms [XV].

Is the ACS' incoherent move to change their mammogram recommendations a political effort to make sure they are positioned "on the right side of the fence" of the prevailing mammography narrative in order to secure their widely perceived status as a reliable authority, and to evade or assuage culpability and wrongdoing as the real truth about mammography (i.e., they should be abolished because they cause more serious harm than serious good) has slowly but steadily found its way in the broader public consciousness? In other words, is this rather unexpected move by the ACS an attempt to "save face"?

As far as I could tell from reading through a number of news articles or sound-bites of the mainstream media about the revised mammography guidelines, none of the corporate media outlets (The New York Times, CNN, Los Angeles Times, NPR, ABC, etc.) had picked up on (or only marginally or inadequately) the deeper implications and underlying distortions of these breast cancer screening updates by the ACS. The news were largely mere repetitions of what specific mammogram changes the ACS has made, virtually absent of any meaningful analysis (what some would consider real journalism –that is, telling the unblemished genuine truth).

One is reminded of what Chris Hedges, a journalist, author, and Pulitzer prize winner, had stated about the mainstream news media complex in one of his works in the year 2013:

"News [...] can be used quite effectively to mask and obscure the truth. [...]. Because the [mainstream] press is not concerned with distinguishing truth from news, because it lacks a moral compass, it has become nothing more than courtiers to the elite, shameless hedonists of power and absurd court propagandists." [LXIX] [explanation & emphasis added]

The way the big media syndicate treated the ACS matter regarding its change in mammogram screening edicts, shows, once more, that real public education isn't the primary role of the corporate mass media.



Pink Ribbon Groups & Cancer Charities: Mouthpieces, Gatekeepers, And Profiteers Of The Cancer Business

“To reveal reality as it is and not as power represents it, is indeed the most genuine subversion. Only truth is revolutionary.” (Jean-François Brient, in “On Modern Servitude”, 2007)

There is little doubt that a humongous institutional investment in cancer screening is in place.

Analogous to the Komen breast cancer foundation, the ACS has misguided and lied to the public with misleading "cancer facts & figures" and survival statistics for many years [XXXVII,XXXIX,XLII]. The ACS still employs these marketing tactics over a decade into the 21st century, using disinforming sensationalistic "advertisements" of breast cancer information and screening statistics under the veneer of real science, insinuating a very high mammography benefit, to lull women into getting mammogram screenings [XLIV].

Best-selling author and biologist, Barbara Ehrenreich, PhD, had long exposed the breast cancer awareness culture, with their own pink ribbon logo, slogans, clothing, and other merchandise, as a highly commercialized "breast cancer enterprise" and a "cult" [II], denoting that:

"[...] cult activities, paraphernalia, and testimonies encourage women to undergo the diagnostic procedures, and since a fraction of these diagnoses will be positive, this means more members for the cult as well as more customers for the corporations, both those that provide medical products and services and those that offer charitable sponsorships." [II]

The "feel-good" cancer "survivor" testimonials and the plethora of cutesy pink ribbon merchandise of the official breast cancer cult are part of and promoter of the happy-happy culture and "the hope industry" which serve to obstruct and distract the public from recognizing the real mammogram facts and the real issues in "the war on cancer". That is, the shallow "hope industry" is a comforting tentacle of the criminal "cancer industry".

In line with bestowing the medical test with a hope-inspiring cheerful affirmative public image, the mammogram-pink ribbon enterprise had also been strategically utilizing the public relations term "Happygram" in reference to the results letter (which, at times, was printed on pink paper) women would receive upon completion of the mammographic breast cancer examination if the outcome was "negative" or "normal".

In analogy to the situation with the ACS, many large corporations, destined to greatly profit from a mammogram-favorable public image and an increased use of the screening test, such as pharmaceutical companies and mammography equipment manufacturers, donate huge amounts of money to breast cancer ribbon charities [IV,VII,XLII].

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) was created in the mid-1980s by CancerCare Inc., a cancer charity, and Imperial Chemical Industries, a manufacturer of petrochemical products, which in 1993 became part of AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical corporation and maker of various breast cancer drugs [XVIII,XLIII,XLV]. AstraZeneca, for instance, is the sole maker of tamoxifen, a top-selling anti-breast cancer drug and established carcinogenic agent [XV,XLIII]. AstraZeneca has a history of committing extensive fraud, such as producing flawed research data, and engaging in bribery and illegal marketing [LXI].

CancerCare Inc. has been spreading traditional pro-mammography propaganda, such as the scientific lie that mammogram radiation exposure is "completely safe" and "not harmful" [XLVI].

This is very similar to Komen's continuous announcement that small dose mammogram-medical radiation is "believed to be safe" [XLVII] and the charity's longstanding denial of the well-established breast cancer causes, by stating that "the causes of breast cancer are not fully known" [XLVII] and that "we don’t know what causes breast cancer to develop in any one woman, no matter her age" [XLVIII] when low dose x-ray exposure from medical procedures, for instance, had been scientifically identified and "fully known" to medical science for decades to be one of the significant causes of cancer, especially breast cancer [XV]. (The same scientific lie had been repeated by the ACS for eons [XXXVII,XXXIX].) Even Komen's founder, Nancy Brinker, proclaims "We don’t know – yet – why breast cancer starts" in her founder's message at the cancer charity website [XLIX].

This deep misrepresentation helps Susan Komen (and the ACS) to justify to continue to ask the public for charitable donations purportedly allocated to the breast cancer organization's purported mission, "Susan G. Komen for the Cure®" (=a Komen trademark), to search for, find, and to "Race for the Cure®" (=a Komen trademark) of the disease.

In her book "Pink Ribbon Blues" (2012) author and sociologist Gayle Sulik, PhD, wrote:

"Though Komen's selling point is to end breast cancer, the organization's efforts revolve around the perpetuation of the cancer industry and Komen's leading place in it." [IV]

Similarly, Chowka made this admonition about the American Cancer Society:

"[...] behind the cancer society's well-orchestrated facade of help and hope for the cancer victim is a bloated, corrupt, self-perpetuating public relations machine [...]." [XXXVII]

Years ago a high official of the American Cancer Society was reported to have admitted that:

"Public education may not save lives, but it sure raises money." [XXXVII]

Meanwhile, the Komen group talks a lot about risk factors of breast cancer, a term with a relatively "weaker", more nebulous connotation, instead of causes of breast cancer, a term carrying a relatively "stronger", more distinct, and more incriminating meaning.

Breast cancer charities, and cancer charities in general, have an ongoing history of consistently neglecting to divulge relevant information on both the causation and prevention of cancer [XXXVII,XXXIX,XLII,XLIII]. In other words, the reigning cancer orthodoxy has been suppressing the real truth about cancer [LVII,LIX,LX].

The biologist and author Ray Peat, PhD, summarized the deep scam eloquently:

"The cancer industry, including major producers of chemotherapy drugs, subsidizes the American Cancer Society and “Breast Cancer Awareness Week,” and it is in their interest to convince the public that early detection and conventional treatment with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are winning the war against cancer. [...]. Their consistent effort to dissuade the government from acting to reduce the public’s exposure to the known causes of cancer should make it clear that they are in the business of treating cancer, not eliminating it." [emphasis added]

(In Dietary Supplements And Risks | The Attacks On Supplement Safety I showed that allopathic mainstream medicine and the conventional health care system are overwhelmingly focused on treatment and diagnosis (which leads to treatment) because that's where the big profits are, not in the prevention of chronic disease. What's officially called the "health care system" is Orwellian Newspeak for the "longterm managed sickness care system".)

Analogous to the repression, cover-up, or omission of the known causes of cancer by the venal Big Cancer Establishment, the disingenuous orthodox cancer business (with its misguided cancer and mammogram awareness campaigns and its "war on cancer" programs) has consistently and systematically suppressed, excluded, or marginalized numerous sound alternative cancer therapies, prophylactic modalities, and many inexpensive, yet genuinely effective and safe, alternative cancer remedies of the "natural medicine" industry [XLI,LXXII,LXXIII,LXXIV,LXXV,LXXVI,see also my report "2 Big Lies: No Vitamin Benefits & Supplements Are Very Dangerous" -check 'Recommended next page(s)' at the end of this article for a direct link to it]

Many of Komen's emphasized risk factors for breast cancer shift the culpability and point the blame on the individual (and away from corporate industries, e.g., the big business of modern medicine), such as being overweight, drinking more than one drink of alcohol per day, a lack of exercise, or not breastfeeding [XLVII], akin to how the American Cancer Society has been arguing for many years [XXXIX]. And, among the breast cancer risk factors erroneously and misleadingly listed by the Susan Komen foundation is "exposure to large amounts of radiation at a young age" [XLVII] which, of course, is a "fully known" breast cancer cause.

Samuel Epstein, MD, denoted in an extensive treatise on the ACS that:

"From its inception in 1922 until now, the public has been and continues to be misled by the ACS [...] with their exclusionary emphasis on personal responsibility and faulty lifestyle as the predominant cause of cancer." [XXXIX]

And...

"The ACS and NCI [=National Cancer Institute] have long continued to devote virtually exclusive priority to research on diagnosis and treatment of cancer, with indifference to prevention, other than faulty personal lifestyle, commonly known as "blame the victim," to the exclusion of a very wide range of then well-documented avoidable causes of cancer." [XXXIX] [explanation & emphasis added]

And...

"[..] the NCI has joined with the ACS in denying the public's right to know of avoidable causes of cancer from industrial chemicals, radiation, and common prescription drugs." [XXXIX] [emphasis added]

And...

"The silence of the NCI, besides the American Cancer Society (ACS), on avoidable causes of cancer has tacitly encouraged corporate polluters and industries to continue manufacturing and marketing carcinogenic products." [XXXIX]

On the same note, the Susan Komen foundation had been caught to engage in "pinkwashing" at multiple times, an organization's practice of pledging support to the "breast cancer Cause" or the promotion of a pink ribbon product while selling and/or manufacturing merchandise that may be carcinogenic and are linked to an increased risk of breast cancer [IV].




What Is The Actual Truth About The Cancer Establishment?

–"Everyone should know that the "war on cancer" is largely a fraud ..." (Linus Pauling, PhD, 1901-1994, Dual Nobel Laureate)

“[...] truth is [...] the daughter of time, not of authority.” (Sir Francis Bacon, 1561–1626, Philosopher & Scientist)

The official "war on cancer" has always been based primarily on the medical idea that cancer is a genetic disease, despite very powerful evidence to the contrary even at the time when this "war" got announced many years ago [LXXVII,LXXVIII].

The most current cloak of this genome-centric "War on Cancer" fraud/protocol is called the "Cancer MoonShot" program.

Within the lucrative medical enterprise called the "War on Cancer"/"Cancer Moonshot", one of the focal points of the product research and development department of Big Corporate Medicine centers around the conception of highly profitable genome-based products and protocols that involve gene technology (e.g., individualized "gene therapy"). That is, creating products that are closely associated with, or are part of, the biotechnological science of genetic engineering, such as its field of intra-species "gene editing".

The commercialized allopathic culture has coined this sort of "individualized medicine" with the marketing term "precision medicine" as if they are inevitably targeting the real cause of cancer.

Yet, in 2012 cancer research scientist Thomas Seyfried, PhD, had quantified what this ongoing pseudo-scientific "war on cancer", based on allegedly genetic causes of cancer, had cost in terms of human lives (and continues to cost):

"I attribute the absence of any real progress in the war of cancer over the last 40 years to the flawed concepts of the somatic mutation theory [=the dogma of cancer as a genetic disease], and to the failure in recognizing mitochondrial dysfunction as a credible scientific explanation for the origin of the disease. This failure is an inexcusable tragedy ultimately responsible for the deaths of millions of cancer patients." [Seyfried, 2012] [explanation added]     
                                                                                        
"Big money" medicine prioritizes and sustains big medical dogmas (pseudo-science) –instead of real science and genuine humanitarian conduct.

A number of qualified individuals had spoked out about this historical pattern of egregious misconduct in various ways...

The "war on cancer" is governed by a standard Michelle Holmes, MD, PhD, Harvard professor and author of many research studies on breast cancer, had brought up when she stated the following about cancer drug development in 2014:

“What is scientific and sexy is driven by what can be monetized, and that becomes the norm.” [L]

Over two decades earlier, James P. Carter, MD, made practically the same observation:

"Corporate interests determine which medical procedures will be researched and developed." [XLI] [emphasis added]

And...

"Corporations now control the practice of medicine with the weight of their wallets." [XLI]

But Holmes' illuminated leading "norm" (=the treatments or interventions that make official medicine a ton of money are declared scientific) has been in full effect for even much longer because on 24-Oct-1979, two-time Nobel Prize winner, Linus Carl Pauling, PhD, (1901-1994), wrote in a letter to Ralph Moss, PhD, a cancer investigator:

"Everyone should know that the "war on cancer" is largely a fraud, and that the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society are derelict in their duties to the people who support them." [LI]

In a 2001 investigative paper by long-standing mammogram opponents they stated:

"Mammography is a striking paradigm of the capture of unsuspecting women by runaway powerful technological and pharmaceutical global industries, with the complicity of the cancer establishment, particularly the ACS, and the rollover mainstream media." [LII]

Quintessentially...

Mammogram science and the marketing of the breast x-ray screening procedure is subordinated to, and dictated by, massive vested interests.

The mammogram economy's longstanding and ongoing denial, dismissal, disregard, and distortion of the actual scientific knowledge about mammography and breast cancer prompted Karuna Jaggar to ask:

"At what point are we going to stop this madness [...].?" [XVI]

A woman's recognition that vested interests lay very heavily and pervasively at the core of this "madness", tweaking, manipulating, and biasing...

  • the actual mammogram research "studies",
  • the cultural dissemination of mammogram information,
  • women's perception of mammograms, and
  • the mammogram establishment's representation of dissenting screening data,

... should naturally and logically steer her into a cautious questioning frame of mind, an arguably very necessary self-serving trait and habit in a highly commercialized, bureaucratic-corporate world, protecting her from becoming another victim of "the mammogram myth".


(Originally published: ca. June-2014 | This is an updated version)






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