What does the U.S. Cancer Society know about breast cancer that the Canadian Cancer Society Doesn't ?

1.4 million U.S. women... those with an unusually high risk of developing breast cancer... SHOULD get annual MRIs as well as mammograms, the American Cancer Society advises in its new guidelines.

And a new medical study suggests that all women newly diagnosed with breast cancer should get MRIs, too. In Europe this is standard practice any women diagnosed with breast cancer gets an MRI.

The study found MRI scans revealed cancers
in the opposite breast that were missed
by ordinary mammograms.

The recommendation to do MRIs on all women diagnosed with breast cancer is very important. I had a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor told her she had cancer in the nipple of one breast and that it was non-invasive. The doctor made this decision based on a mammogram. I told my friend, "You have money go pay for a breast MRI" She did and it saved her life. The MRI found that the cancer was in both breasts and it was invasive not just in the nipple. If she would have followed the doctor's suggestion of removing only the nipple she would most likely be dead today or dealing with cancer that had the opportunity to spread before anyone realized how bad it was.

The American Cancer society developed its guidelines, which are the first to recommend MRI for screening women who show NO signs of cancer.

The guidelines are directed at women with NO symptoms who are age 30 and older who have a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes (most of us don't get tested for this although we should if we have a mother, maternal grandmother, sister or maternal aunt with breast cancer); those who were treated for Hodgkin's disease; or those with a strong family history of the disease, such as women with two or more close relatives who had breast or ovarian cancer or who have a close relative who developed breast cancer before age 50.

I think the guidelines should also include all younger women with dense breast tissue as mammogram is not useful in detecting breast cancers in women with dense breast tissue. As many as 1.4 million women fall into these groups and they are not being adequately tested for cancer currently.

Women are normally sent and screened for breast cancer using mammography, an X-ray technique that can spot dense masses like tumors. MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, makes more detailed images with a magnet and radio waves - but without radiation. MRIs are better at showing increased or abnormal blood flow in the breast, a sign of early cancers not visible on a mammogram. They also are better than mammograms at detecting cancer in women with dense, non-fatty breasts. Those of you reading my newsletters and listening to Ask Lorna know that I am a proponent for more MRI testing. MRI screening is not being recommended for most women because of one reason COST. A mammogram costs approximately $100 to $150, an MRI can cost anywhere from $1200 to $2,000 or more at some medical centers. If you have money go to an MRI clinic that is experienced at doing breast MRIs. A special breast attachment is required. And we all have to start lobbying for this type of detection method.

The new guidelines announced last Wednesday, were presented the same time the New England Journal of Medicine was releasing a national study that suggests women who have cancer diagnosed in one breast should get an MRI in the other.

The study, led by Dr. Constance Lehman of the University of Washington Medical Center, looked at nearly 1,000 women recently diagnosed with cancer in one breast but who had no detected cancer in the second breast.

MRIs of the second breast found possible tumors in 121 of the women. Biopsies confirmed cancer in 30 of them this is a large number of tumors that would have been missed otherwise.

The researcher's message... "Don't get mammography.
Get MRI and mammography"

When mammogram was first available most insurance companies did not pay for it. Women and agencies lobbied to have routine screening mammograms covered. We need to start this process for MRI. Some smart entrepreneur should open breast MRI screening centers where all they do all day long is breast MRI. The price will go down, the accuracy will go up and we will detect breast cancer earlier.

Women think family history is the biggest factor in developing breast cancer. Less than 10 percent of all breast cancers are due to family history or genetics. The other 90 plus percent is due to diet, weight gain, stress, poisons, lack of exercise, alcohol consumption and early menstruation and late menopause and hormone replacement therapy and use of the birth control pill.

Who should get a Breast MRI?
  • Those with a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes
  • Those who were treated for Hodgkin's disease
  • Those with a strong family history of the disease, such as women with two or more close relatives who had breast or ovarian cancer or who have a close relative who developed breast cancer before age 50.
  • Women who have dense breasts as mammogram is inaccurate at diagnosing breast cancer in women with dense breasts.
Breast Cancer - We Deserve Better Detection Methods
Question about AskLorna talk show

Dear Lorna, I heard you have a great talk show. I can't listen to it during the actual show time but is there a way to listen to the show at other times of the day?

Ask Lorna is my new talk show. It runs live on Tuesdays at noon Pacific time and 3:00 P.M. Eastern time. Ask Lorna is on the internet. All you need is a computer with speakers and you can listen to my show. This is your opportunity to ask me questions directly. Ask Lorna can be listened too anytime though. Just go to my website at www.healthyimmunity.com and click on past talk shows and choose the show you would like to listen too.

Click on the show button:
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or you can download the show to your Ipod or MP3 player so you can listen to it later.

I have had some wonderful guests. You can listen to the following shows anytime. Dr. Michael Lyon, M.D. came on the program to talk to you about diabetes and weight loss and some new research he has just completed on ADHD and L-theonine. Cathy Carlson-Rink, N.D. did a show on anemia. Dr. Alvin Pettle, M.D. spoke about bioidentical hormones. Tracy Marsden, Pharmacist spoke on saliva hormone testing. There are shows on thermography, allergies and so much more. Go to the website today and listen to Ask Lorna. My hormone lecture is also available in the past talk shows. Stay tuned for more exciting guests like Paris Kidd, Ph.D. talking about brain health.

Ask Lorna was developed for you so that you can reach me live online. This is your opportunity to access me every week and ask your questions.