Articles, Blog

Mammogram Recommendations: Why the Conflicting Guidelines?

August 25, 2019

[Music] for nearly a century public health organizations professional associations patient advocacy groups academics and clinicians largely viewed cancer screening as a simple safe way to save lives but these days even though we’re all looking at the same body of evidence differing interpretations about the benefits and harms of mammograms has led to conflicting recommendations that range from intensive annual screening starting at age 40 to no routine screening at all ever currently the four main groups in the u.s. charged with making mammogram recommendations each set contradictory guidelines so what’s a woman to do well the guidelines are based on systematic reviews of the evidence in the last 15 years 50 such reviews have been published but they don’t all reach the same conclusions the question is why it turns out the conclusions of systematic reviews may have been influenced by competing conflicts of interests of the authors only in health care does the same group that provides a service also tell us how valuable that service is and how much of it we need we must sadly acknowledge that just as in any other profession or industry self-interest is unavoidably at work and analysis more than 100 papers the imbalance in those that tended to emphasize the major benefits of mammography over its major harms was related to the author’s affiliation it may be no coincidence that all the expert panels that have come out against routine mammograms excluded radiologists figuring those who depend on mammograms for their paycheck might be more likely to recommend them to which mammogram proponents respond if you don’t have a conflict of interest you probably not doing it right accusing the breast cancer screening panels of injecting their own biases in this debate there are armies of the faithful and only a disappointing scattering of moderators and peacemakers some have even suggested that we shouldn’t even be talking about the in public but such paternalism assumes that women cannot decide for themselves whether the available evidence supports or refutes the case for mammography discouraging a discussion with women about the evidence for and against could be considered more harmful for women’s health not less if doctors truly believe that patients should be active partners in making decisions about their own bodies yeah if you read the actual studies you can see the investigators declare any conflicts of interest but if you just hear about this today second hand you may have no idea until the developers of screening guidelines emphasize evidence over commercial or financial interests we all have to take personal responsibility to become informed consumers it’d be nice to be able to just trust like cancer charities but it’s virtually impossible for such organizations to remain strictly evidence-based when they must rely on keeping donors happy for their very existence to his credit the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society said that we need to be true to the science but note this was him talking about prostate cancer screening see the American Cancer Society just straight-up tells women to get mammograms but for men it leaves them to decide for themselves they’re open about the prostate cancer screening harms but very little transparent information about the harms of mammograms is provided so there’s this double standard women are encouraged to just do it while men are advised to weigh the pros and cons although the fundamental issues to consider are actually very similar between the two tests the dissimilarity in how organizations like the American Cancer Society view the patient’s role in decision-making couldn’t be clearer do they believe that men can handle uncertainties regarding screening tests but that women might just get all confused men get to make informed decisions about their bodies but women are merrily summon the bottom line is that there is more than one right answer to the question should I be screened for breast cancer my goal I have for this video series is to enable you to make the decision that is right for you or your loved ones Oh one survey suggested that if women were fully informed at how small the benefit actually was 70 percent wouldn’t do it but you may be in that 30 percent and have a right to decide for yourself [Music] you


  • Reply Hiddden Hedge January 24, 2018 at 1:04 pm


  • Reply Tactical Lala January 24, 2018 at 1:07 pm


  • Reply Tactical Lala January 24, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    If doctors intentionally keep patients in the dark patients will start looking for answers elsewhere.

  • Reply BonnieBlue2A January 24, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    If men had to be scanned for testicular cancer by squeezing their ‘boys’ in a machine the same way mammograms are done, this type of scanning would end/be improved in months.

    Between the ages of 20-48 I had a yearly mammogram because my physician believed I was at a high risk for breast cancer. Just had a 3-D mammogram after not having any mammogram for at least 3 years. Still all clear.

  • Reply esteffannyh January 24, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Waiting next video!

  • Reply Fernando Crociani January 24, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Ottimo grazie Erica!

  • Reply fuldk January 24, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Not the same. Prostate cancer is usually slow; breast cancer in usually not.

  • Reply VTony Vicente January 24, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    I see what you did there at the end of this once again informative vid. Brilliant. I'll spread the news.

  • Reply 1NFRCR FIRE DESTINY UNITY January 24, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Hey, Dr Greger, I need an asap answer from you: I started a plant-based diet a year ago, Last week I did my blood work, all perfect except for low thyroid, which I didn't have before changing diet. I did research online and found out that soy and cruciferous, which I eat daily, cause low thyroid, now I love eating them and I don't want to stop but I don't want low thyroid either. What is the truth ?

  • Reply Sunghee Lee January 24, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Dr. Greger, you ROCK!!

  • Reply Paul Wilson January 24, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Well done.

  • Reply sooooooooDark January 24, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    its funny – because: if u google ACS…the first thing that pops up is the "american chemical society"
    lulz were given

  • Reply Doug bananaboy January 24, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Sexism is medicine

  • Reply Paulette Frantz January 24, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks for the scientific explanation for why I don't have a doctor. WFPB!

  • Reply Eelke Aptroot January 24, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Industries treating women like toddlers, why am I not surprised…

  • Reply Lemmy January 24, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Wow yet another video that has nothing to do with what I put in my mouth. Start another channel called ‘interesting stuff that isnt’

  • Reply m0L3ify January 24, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    "It is virtually impossible for organizations to claim that they engage in 'evidence-based' medicine when they also must be sensitive to advocacy groups and public sentiment because they depend on the opinions of these groups for their very existence." This is exactly what is wrong with cancer research right now. I know because I did said research for years.

  • Reply Temperate or Tropical January 24, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Thermography, not mammograms. Radiation causes, not cures, cancer.

  • Reply hammypie January 24, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    I had heard something about this in one of Dr. McDougall's webinars. Cancer screenings in general – do your research before you do it!! Cons may outweigh the pros. Thank goodness I have my WFPB diet for preventative measures:)

  • Reply haku January 24, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    as per usual, the fundamental problem is capitalism, the current economic system.. it's a fundamental systemic problem

  • Reply Idylchatter January 24, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Those machines are very very expensive and someone has to pay for them, that is the simple truth, this is also simple truth. is dedicated to providing information on breast thermography, risk assessment, breast cancer, early detection, prevention and ultimately the preservation of the breast and the survival of women.

    Current research has determined that the key to breast cancer survival rests upon its earliest possible detection. If discovered in its earliest stages, 95% cure rates are possible. Our center is dedicated to providing one of the most important adjunctive breast imaging procedures available. See What Patients are Saying and What Doctors are Saying.

    Thermography may also be used for full body imaging. Our center provides full body thermography for the detection of thermal markers that may alert your doctor to a current or future problem. For more information please visit our full body thermography site at

  • Reply Wolf von Versweber January 24, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    So … anyone that works in the field or has expertise on radiology and mammograms has a "conflict" of interest and can't be trusted … (none of the studies shown talked about actual conflicts of interest like funding through a company that profits from the procedure)

    Let's apply that standard to Dr. Greger, McDougal, Esselstyn etc.:
    They all work on plantbased nutrition, they use it to treat people, they're even vegans themselves!
    Therefore they have major conflicts of interest and viewpoint and we shouldn't trust them when it comes to plantbased nutrition.
    That's why there are conflicting guidelines on nutrition!

    But of course nobody agreeing with Greger here will apply that same standard.

    What a load of tinfoil bullshit.

    PS: Maybe a radiologist, oncologist, someone working in the field etc. simply has the abbility to give better recommendations, like Dr. Greger has an better ability to give recommendations on plantbased nutrition than your average practitioner.

  • Reply Eco Summer Life January 24, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    very excited for this new series! thank you!!!

  • Reply Haute Désordre January 24, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    I’m changing my GYN because when she found out I never went for the mammogram she ordered she had a huge attitude. Her care changed too. Clearly not into it for the people. Any non cosmetic practices that offers Botox and the side are suspicious.

  • Reply Ome boy January 25, 2018 at 1:08 am

    mom had a mammogram. didn't show anything. 3 months later stage 4 breast cancer. thanks mammogram.

  • Reply Being Your True Self Coaching January 25, 2018 at 1:32 am

    A couple of months ago I asked a surgeon about the details of my upcoming surgery, and he looked over my face and said, okay you look like a smart lady I do my best to explain it. Thank God I had the smart look for this guy, I guess.

  • Reply S Brown January 25, 2018 at 2:00 am

    This is SO good. Thank you.

  • Reply Anam Kara January 25, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Just watched your video on Live with Kelly and what's his name… you did a great job!!!

  • Reply Jo Jo January 25, 2018 at 6:18 am

    The Gregster!!! Tackling all them social justice issues! Animals, women, corruption..! Bam

  • Reply michelle e January 25, 2018 at 7:48 am

    So is he saying no to mammogram?

  • Reply Kathy Fausett January 25, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    INFORMED CONSENT  It's a big deal.

  • Reply The Seeker January 25, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you so much for this series!! I’m going through this right now – just had a mammogram (that I didn’t want), I was told by the Radiologist it was good, however I received a callback 1 week later asking me to come back in for a “closer look” – just like the last time, 1 year ago.

  • Reply Vicky Manson January 25, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Thank you Dr Greger, this could not have come at a better time. This week my new doctor sent me off to get a mammogram when she saw that I had recently turned 40. When I refused, she made me feel guilty and made quite unethical remarks about how I could have cancer. I had to repeat 4 times that I did not want a mammogram at this point in my life. She just rolled her eyes in disbelief. I find it so disrespectful that doctors do not allow the patients to make the decisions about their own body. My body my business!

  • Reply Alec Rodriguez January 26, 2018 at 12:52 am

    I have a question. Is it possible to not absorb any form or any type sublingual or oral b12. And have to resort to injections. I got my b12 check in December and i haven’t felt better. On any one. I’m about to start the pill of sublingual cyanacobolomin

  • Reply Y V January 26, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    Thank you. Now I am curious about the risks. False positives? Possible spreading cancer through squashing already existing tumors? Relying on mammography and neglecting self-examination? I have never done it and the more I investigate the finer I am with my decision… "until now".

  • Reply kuriosites January 27, 2018 at 5:15 am

    I've had these same questions about colonoscopies.

  • Reply DarkerSideOfDawn January 27, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Yes yes yes.. go deep over superficial

  • Reply captain k January 29, 2018 at 12:00 am

    Bottom line is always the same… women's sexuality, ie, their bodies, are too powerful and overwhelming for men (who fear it) to be at the mercy of, so men either consciously or subconsciously act to control it. This goes back to research I've done during the renaissance period. Artworks, where womens genitals were depicted, were rendered as a Barbie doll type "cleft" without detail versus the fully detailed penis. It's ridiculous and men either need to consciously or subcionsciously grow up and let the full contribution of women (whom I'm in awe of) thrive… I'm just sayin!

  • Reply Calla Lily February 9, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    love these videos and will watch the whole series. i saw my doctor last week and was given a script to get a mammogram

  • Reply Kemu G February 23, 2018 at 3:46 am


  • Reply The Nameless March 12, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Money is worth more than people's lives to the medical industry.

  • Reply The SkinSpa Institute April 8, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Thank you Dr G for putting together theses very informative and important videos. At 55 I have chosen to not have mammogram but rather do thermology for screening. This didn’t stop Kaiser from hounding me about getting a mammogram. They sent letters and called every month for 3 years urging me to get it done, even though I told them repeatedly I didn’t want the procedure. I finally cancelled that insurance. Women need to make informed decisions about their own bodies and stop following along like lemmings.

  • Reply Butterfly Lullaby May 10, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    I have received two Mammogram letters, which I am ignoring. Why? I know at least four people that have cured Cancer on a Plant Based Diet. I trust Dr. Greger and my PLANTS BASED DIET!

    Over three years ago my friend, ex Nurse, warned me about chemical medicines. Asthma Inhalers etc. That took me on an exciting educational Google Journey, where I found Dr. Michael Greger and other information. British Doctors will tell you that Asthma cannot be cured. I am proof they are wrong, and Dr. Greger is right. I have kept a Health Diary for over 3 years, and can tell you that preservative foods make me wheeze. Not plants! Or cats, dogs and rabbits. The chemicals in foods are a total nightmare and cause so many illnesses.

    I am waiting with bated breath for Dr. Greger to create videos on Wild Medicines, they call weeds. This year I had terrible hip pain. That is because during spring and summer I forage for wild medicine. Winter time nothing. And my body suffered. Wild medicine has more nutrition than anything you can buy in the supermarket. I told my partner give me a week, if I cannot cure myself I will see a doctor. I gathered PLANTAIN from the garden every day, and drank three cups of Plantain Distilled Water a day. Cured in a week:


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