false positives

  1. Cancer false positives ruin women's lives

    Mammograms cause psychological damage

    Mammograms can scar a woman for life -- even when she doesn't have a tumor!

    Up to 61 percent of women who get screened regularly experience a false positive, but there's nothing "false" about it when you first get the news that something's amiss.

    No, you get a crash course in the Kübler-Ross stages of grief -- denial, anger, bargaining...the works.

    Nearly all women lose sleep. How could they not? It's CANCER!

    Many battle actual physical symptoms, including nausea and vomiting. And some even update their wills and start saying their goodbyes.

    All that angst doesn't vanish when a follow-up finds that it's not a tumor after all. No, it lingers for years -- with new research showing that women who get false positives battle many of the same psychological issues as patients with actual cancers.

    Over six months, women with false positives suffer the same loss in "existential values" and "inner calmness" as cancer patients, according to the new study out of Denmark. False positives also make women more pessimistic and anxious, and they can even suffer sexual problems.

    And some of those problems can linger for as much as THREE YEARS after the cancer scare.

    That's not even a "scare" at that point. That's a disease of its own -- and it's not caused by cancer.

    It's caused by cancer screenings.

    If there's a bright spot here, it's that some women are so put off by this trauma that they never get a mammogram again.

    They're on the right track, but I've got a much better idea: Don't wait for a false positive before you quit mammograms. Quit now, while you're still ahead -- because these screenings don't save lives.

    All they do is pad surgeons' bank accounts, because while years of mammograms have caused the number of operations to skyrocket, it's barely made a dent in the death rate.

    Not what you've heard, I know.

    But it's TRUE -- and I've got the science to back me up. In fact, I wrote all about it in the Daily Dose just last year. To learn the ugly truth about mammograms click here.

  2. The high-tech mammogram scam

    Dangers of high-tech mammograms

    Let's get this out there right off the bat: Mammograms have always been about making money, not saving lives.

    Doubt me at your own risk on this one, ladies, but the numbers speak for themselves. And the newest numbers scream "SCAM" as loud as they can.

    In this case, "SCAM" is pronounced "CAD" as in "computer-aided detection," a program used in three quarters of all mammograms that supposedly helps radiologists to read the images better.

    That's what it's SUPPOSED to do. In reality, it's about as helpful as a kick in the teeth. According to a new study on more than 1.6 million mammograms given between 1998 and 2006, CAD doesn't detect more cancers OR save more lives.

    Even worse, it causes the number of panic-inducing false positives to shoot right up.

    It's easy to forget when you're a radiologist who stares at pictures of boobs all day, but a false positive isn't just a woman who doesn't have cancer. It's a woman who is absolutely convinced she has cancer until she gets a second test that proves otherwise.

    And when the second test comes back negative for cancer, she's not angry over bad technology. She's thrilled. Heck, it's the happiest day of her life since her wedding (maybe happier, depending on how those nuptials worked out).

    She might even send that radiologist a thank-you card -- and then tell all her friends about the "close call" she had and urge them to get screened too.

    But the radiologist who gets that thank-you card knows the real score. It's right there on his balance sheet: He gets an extra $12 each time he uses CAD -- not to mention the fees from the second visit needed to clear up the false positive.

    Believe me, he's keeping track of all that -- and probably throwing away the thank-you cards.

    On the other hand, the CAD scam is small potatoes compared to the mammogram itself. As far as cancer screenings go, it's worse than useless.

    It's radioactive enough to actually cause the disease, especially if you're gullible enough to get one every year. And if you already have a harmless tumor, this boob-squishing machine can pop it open and turn it into a cold-blooded killer.

    So CAD or no CAD, skip the mammogram -- and don't let yourself get scammed.

    Gents, you're up next. Keep reading for the latest horrific prostate side effect.

2 Item(s)