To the Editor:
In response to your article on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’d like to suggest your readers peruse www.preventcancer.com for alternative perspectives on mammography.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created and funded by Zeneca (now AstraZeneca), which at the time was a subsidiary of a major chemical company and is still the maker of cancer drugs such as tamoxifen.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month pushes mammography, a test that studies show significantly increases the risk of getting breast cancer, particularly when used on pre-menopausal women.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends starting mammograms at age 50 in light of these concerns, though other organizations with greater ties to the industry have rejected this change and continue to recommend the test to pre-menopausal women.
Women should be aware of the risks and shortfalls of imaging in order to make informed decisions, and we all should demand more focus on prevention and greater transparency about the carcinogenic effects of our everyday products and environmental pollutants (see www.ewg.org/skindeep).