New Study: Breast Cancer Screening Is Useless
Is it time to accept that plenty of cancer-screening in the developed world is motivated by psychological needs, rather than fact? Screening addresses our fears of statistically unlikely horrors, which scare us much more than the car accidents and cheeseburgers that are more likely to kill us. And it gives us a feeling of control. But the impact of screening on cancer death rates is another matter. More evidence of this was published yesterday in the British Journal of Medicine, in a study of the relationship of mammograms and death rates in Denmark (found via the invaluable Health News Review blog).
Copenhagen's rates of death by breast cancer fell 25 percent between 1991 and 2005, when mammography screening was introduced for all women aged 50 to 69. By analyzing data on deaths nationwide, the study's authors were able to compare that rate with other parts of Denmark, where screening wasn't offered. Results: Between 1997 and 2006, breast cancer deaths in those mammogrammed Copenhagen women declined by 1 percent per year. However, in parts of Denmark with no screening programs, breast cancer deaths in the same period declined by 2 percent per year. Conclusion: Copenhagen's program had no effect whatsoever on breast cancer death rates. Those probably declined, the authors say, because of decreases in risk factors like smoking and improvements in treatment.
Then too, earlier this month Richard J. Ablin denounced widespread testing for Prostate Specific Antigen, an enzyme made in the prostate. Since 1994, millions of men have taken the screen in the belief that elevated P.S.A. levels could diagnose prostate cancer. These screens, Ablin wrote, were a "hugely expensive public health disaster," and he certainly had the authority to speak out: He discovered P.S.A. As a diagnostic tool, he argues, the test is "hardly more effective than a coin toss."
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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