Survival News

GEN Research featured in the book ‘Climate Adaptation: Accounts of Resilience, Self-Sufficiency and Systems Change’

Global EcoVillage Network - Thu, 10/14/2021 - 14:32

As part of the GEN Research group, Dr. Rebeca Roysen and Dr. Anne-Kathrin Schwab published an article about the transformative potential of Ecovillages for rural areas in the Climate Adaptation focused book which will be launched at COP26. The book looks at case studies for adaptation around the world and strikes a balance between hope …

The post GEN Research featured in the book ‘Climate Adaptation: Accounts of Resilience, Self-Sufficiency and Systems Change’ appeared first on Global Ecovillage Network.

Expert Council Q&A for 10-14-21 – Epi – 2976

Survival Podcast - Thu, 10/14/2021 - 14:24
Today on The Survival Podcast the expert council answers your questions on liberty, government over reach, generators, heart conditions, diet, log construction, entrepreneurship and more. Make sure if you submit content for a feedback show that you put something like … Continue reading →

Connecting communities and academia for a regenerative world: The EVIST Research Project

Global EcoVillage Network - Thu, 10/14/2021 - 13:32

Rebeca Roysen is a member of Instituto Biorregional do Cerrado, an ecovillage in Brazil, and also an active member of the GEN Research Group and of the CASA Brasil Research Circle. This year, she was appointed Coordinator of a four-year research project called “Ecovillages as Incubators for Sustainability Transitions” (EVIST), supervised by Prof. Dr. Jens …

The post Connecting communities and academia for a regenerative world: The EVIST Research Project appeared first on Global Ecovillage Network.

The Survival Podcast Announces Official Partnership with The Ron Paul Liberty Report

Survival Podcast - Thu, 10/14/2021 - 11:09
We at The Survival Podcast are pleased to announce that we have entered into an official partnership with The Ron Paul Liberty Report.  This agreement will allow us to have Ron and his team featured weekly on our podcast.  While … Continue reading →

6 Must Do Fall Chores For Your Outdoors – How To Prepare For Winter!

Old World Garden - Thu, 10/14/2021 - 07:56

Winter is just around the corner, and now is the time to get out while the weather is still warm and complete a few must do fall chores in the …

The post 6 Must Do Fall Chores For Your Outdoors – How To Prepare For Winter! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Are Avocados a Weight Loss Food?

Nutrition blog - Thu, 10/14/2021 - 07:00

Studies funded by the Avocado Board suggest avocados may facilitate weight loss, but compared to what?

What are the effects of avocado on metabolic syndrome, “a clustering of risk factors”—high blood sugars, high blood triglycerides, high blood pressure, and obesity—that sets you up for diabetes and heart disease? “Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk,” as I discuss in my video Are Avocados Fattening?. Researchers found that avocado eaters only had half the odds of metabolic syndrome. 

The study was funded by the Avocado Board, though, so it’s especially important to dig into how the researchers designed the trial. The data came from a snapshot-in-time cross-sectional survey of about 17,500 people, who were asked if they had eaten any avocado in the last 24 hours on two separate days. Two percent said yes, so the health stats from the few hundred folks who reported they had recently eaten avocado were compared to the health stats of the 17,000 individuals who said they had not. The proportion of people with metabolic syndrome among the avocado group was only half that of the non-avocado group. Those in the avocado group were also slimmer with significantly trimmer waists and lower body weight, despite no significant difference in caloric intake, as you can see at 1:10 in my video

The authors treated this as some kind of mystery that “needs to be further investigated,” but the study only looked at how many calories were eaten on the day of the surveys, not over time. You could, though, see how people could lose weight eating avocados since they, like all fruits, are mostly water, along with fiber, which has no calories at all. So, a schmear of cream cheese on a bagel would add more than twice as many calories as the same schmear of avocado. That brings up an important point: Maybe those who eat avocados simply tend to have healthier diets in general. If you are spreading avocado on your toast, you may be spreading on less butter or margarine. 

Indeed, avocado eaters also reported eating more fruits and vegetables in general and less added sugar, as you can see at 1:58 in my video. No wonder they were healthier. It’s right there in the title of the Avocado Board-funded study: “Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality…” So, in effect, the study says that those who eat more healthfully are slimmer and have a lower risk of disease. Well, duh. But, this could be in part because they were eating avocados, have nothing to do with avocados, or even be in spite of eating or not-eating avocados. You don’t know, until you put it to the test. 

What is the effect of avocados on body weight? A study found that an avocado extract caused a reduction in body weight, but the study was on the body weight of rats and used an avocado leaf extract. Who eats avocado leaves? Well, evidently, in Nigeria, avocado leaf tea is an herbal remedy used for high blood pressure. Does it actually work? Researchers tried it on some hypertensive patients, and it seems avocado leaves “have a toxic effect on the liver that could cause liver damage.” Well, I guess technically “it can be used in the treatment of hypertension,” but only if you don’t care about the pesky “hepatotoxicity.” Thanks, but no thanks.

Aren’t there any human studies on avocado fruit and body weight? There was a study decades ago in 1960 on avocados and cholesterol in which the subjects did not gain weight when avocados were added to their diet. I was able to find a reference to the study in the California Avocado Society 1960 Yearbook that lamented how difficult it is to “impress the housewife” as to all the unnamed benefits of avocados. 

Now, it’s true that body weights didn’t change much after avocado feeding, as you can see at 3:50 in my video, but the researchers didn’t just add avocados to their diet—they substituted avocado in place of some of the animal fat they had been eating. So, essentially, they swapped out lard for avocado. No wonder there was no weight gain! Now, in one subject, they did just add avocado. He started out at 154 pounds and, after three weeks of added avocado, didn’t have any weight gain. Could avocado be so satiating, so satisfying, that when you add it to your diet, you just naturally end up eating less of everything else? You don’t really know, until you put it to the test.

Researchers conducted a randomized controlled study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on satiety and subsequent caloric intake. Adding half an avocado to a lunch meal did improve satisfaction and reduce hunger, but they just added an extra 112 calories of food so it makes sense that the subjects felt less hungry. The question is, did the study participants feel so less hungry that they ate 112 calories less during supper to compensate? The answer is no. In fact, they didn’t eat significantly less at all, as you can see at 5:02 in my video.

What about over time? In another study, researchers added an entire avocado to people’s daily diets for six weeks and found no significant weight gain. They triumphantly claimed their study “dispels the myth that avocados are fattening”—but this was like that lard study. Yes, the researchers added an avocado, but they also removed the same amount of fat in the form of margarine, mayonnaise, and oil. Now, this is a healthy swap—removing junk and adding nutrition and fiber—but if the calories in and the calories out are the same, it’s no wonder there was no difference in body weight. In fact, one could have just as well concluded that avocados are as fattening as margarine, mayonnaise, and oil if you’re eating the same amount of fat.

Maybe the housewife was unimpressed because she just knew a little something about proper study design.

Nuts are another healthy whole food source of fat, and it turns out adding them to one’s diet does not lead to expected weight gain. See Nuts and Obesity: The Weight of Evidence.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • A study funded by the Avocado Board released data from a snapshot-in-time survey, suggesting avocados may facilitate weight loss and be associated with lower risk of metabolic syndrome—i.e., high blood sugars, high blood triglycerides, high blood pressure, and obesity.
  • A closer look at how the trial was designed, however, reveals the survey subjects were simply asked if they had eaten any avocado in the last 24 hours on two separate days and the researchers only looked at caloric consumption on the day of the surveys, not over time.
  • Avocados, like all fruits, are mostly water and have fiber, which has no calories at all. So, it isn’t a leap that avocado eaters may lose more weight or tend to have overall healthier diets. Indeed, avocado eaters have reported eating more fruits and vegetables in general, as well as consuming less added sugar.
  • In a randomized controlled study, researchers evaluated the effect of Hass avocado intake on satiety and subsequent caloric intake. Adding half an avocado to lunch improved satisfaction and reduced hunger, but that makes sense, given that the meal was supplemented with an extra 112 calories of food. During the next meal, however, the subjects weren’t so sated that they ate 112 fewer calories to compensate.
  • In another study, subjects ate one avocado a day for six weeks without any significant weight gain. However, though the researchers added an avocado to the participants’ daily diet, but they also removed the same amount of fat in the form of margarine, mayonnaise, and oil. So, as the same amount of fat was being consumed, the researchers could have concluded that avocados are as fattening as margarine, mayonnaise, and oil.

For more on avocados, see:

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live presentations:

The History of Shortwave Radio in Fighting Propaganda

Organic Prepper - Thu, 10/14/2021 - 07:00
by Aden Tate

Author of The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices

There are several reasons preppers should consider shortwave radios for improving their post-disaster comms ability. Though I believe that … Read the rest

The post The History of Shortwave Radio in Fighting Propaganda appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

13 DIY Halloween Decoration Ideas

Insteading - Wed, 10/13/2021 - 17:14

Halloween is right around the corner and you probably need some decorations if you want to have the spookiest looking house in the neighborhood. Purchasing seasonal home decor can get expensive, and it is not environmentally friendly to buy cheap products you will likely dispose of within a year or two.

When you make a DIY Halloween decoration, you can save a lot of money and know you’re doing good for the planet, too!

Important Details to Consider When Building Halloween Decorations 

If you want to take on a DIY project for Halloween, here are some things you may need to consider. 

Halloween Decoration Type and Size 

You’ll want to think about the space you’re decorating. The space you plan to decorate has a huge effect on the kinds of DIY projects you’ll choose. 

For example, your Halloween porch decor might mean bigger projects made with heavier materials, while indoor spaces like the entryway or living room may not provide the space for these kinds of projects. 

Things you already have at home also make great starter items for a DIY Halloween decoration project. There are so many things you already have laying around in your home that you can put to great use for the spooky season. 

Types of Materials to Use 

Simple things that most of us already have at home can turn into something spectacular. Mason jars, old craft paper, and reusable frames can become a great seasonal DIY masterpiece. Some of the simplest, around-the-house items are great for an outside, DIY Halloween decoration. 

Halloween Decoration Placement 

With any decoration, placement is key. After you’ve finished with your Halloween DIY project, you’re going to want to showcase it to family and guests.

Some ideas for extra space where you can display your masterpieces are coffee tables, end tables, shelves, hutches, kitchen tables, front doors, porches, and patios. 

You want to make sure that when choosing a Halloween decor project, you consider the space you plan to show it. You don’t want to go through all that hard work and have your project sit in an area no one ever frequents. 

Other Considerations 

If you find a project you like from our list but don’t have a needed item at home, consider buying it secondhand. Buying secondhand is a cost-effective and Earth-friendly alternative to purchasing something (likely of lesser quality) anyway. 

So keep in mind: When DIYing, the thrift store can be your new BFF! 

Related Post: 13 Fall Crafts Ideas for the Family

Free DIY Halloween Decoration Ideas to Consider 

Here are some of our favorite spooky decoration ideas to make yourself this Halloween.

Creepy Witch Legsphoto courtesy of Always the Holidays

This is a DIY project for beginners. It makes a silly, super-spooky outdoor Halloween decoration. All you need is some crazy pattern knee-high socks, a pair of black witchy shoes, and some garden stakes. Put these three items together, and you’ve got witch feet sticking out of your yard or garden. 

Find the plans at Always The HolidaysStackable Porch Pumpkin photo courtesy of simply heather

Everybody has some of those plastic pumpkin candy buckets somewhere in the basement or storage closet. These little pumpkin pails make a cute decor piece with a bit of spray paint. 

Choose whatever colors fit your Halloween mood. The user in the link chose a white and gold combination to bring out the fall spirit. Just spray paint the pumpkins and use hot glue to stack them in place. Use three or four, and boom! You have a nifty little decoration. You can even fill the top pumpkin with candy or other spooky items. 

Find the plans at Simply HeatherDIY Dollar Store Gnomesphoto courtesy of the navage patch

The supplies for this one may be something lying around the house. Try going through your old clothes, and you could be surprised what you find. 

These little gnomes would be a great party craft for a DIY Halloween decoration idea. You can also put your own spin on this project and make whatever spooky creature you’d like. Maybe even try out a DIY Halloween mummy.

Find the plans at The Navage PatchDIY Tombstonesphoto courtesy of jen woodhouse

These tombstones are another super-easy DIY Halloween decoration. You can use foam, wood, or any other craft material. Decorate them with paint. You can go basic with a plain “R.I.P” or get creative, and think of a scary saying to put in words on your tombstone. 

The personalized tombstones also make a super, group-friendly DIY Halloween decoration idea.

Find the plans at Jen WoodhouseSnakey Wreath 

There are so many kinds of wreaths to DIY (for any season). Reuse a wreath that you already have by removing the old decoration and using black spray paint to make a spooky season wreath. You can add any kind of Halloween decor that you like. 

Find the plans at Martha StewartDIY Googly Eye Mason Jar photo courtesy of the savvy age

This is a great project for beginners. Grab one of those old mason jars from your cabinet, and decorate it with spray paint or acrylic. You can paint your design on it or use either stick on or glue on decorations after the paint dries. 

You can also skip the paint and fill the mason jar with Halloween candy corn for an edible, festive decor piece. 

Find the plans at The Savvy AgeFestive Porch Sign photo courtesy of Halloween head

We all know and love those festive porch signs. Instead of ordering one or purchasing it at the store, why not try using some of your crafting skills? 

The supplies are simple. All you need is a large piece of wood that’s a couple of feet long, and paint. Set aside a whole night to build this fun decor piece. 

Find the plans at Halloween HeadSimple Skeleton Cages photo courtesy of home talk

For this DIY Halloween decoration, you can use a small-sized laundry basket. Take two, and you can secure them together with super glue or use a hot glue gun. Before you glue them, pick a creepy doll or old Halloween skeleton to put inside. 

Hang this creepy, Halloween cage from a tree or your porch.

Find the plans at Home TalkSpooky Bush Eyes in the Bushes photo courtesy of kitchen fun with my 3 sons

Here’s another DIY Halloween decoration craft that you can make with those old pumpkin candy buckets. You can also opt to use small and very round, real pumpkins. You’ll need three colors of paint. First, paint the pumpkins white, work your way inward with black paint, and then add a solid eye color of your choice. 

Find the plans at Kitchen Fun With My 3 SonsGiant Spider Halloween Decorationphoto courtesy of munchkin’s planet

For this plan, you’ll need balloons and some bendy paper for the legs. You can use a white permanent marker to draw a mouth, and again, any color you want for the eye color. If you don’t have black balloons, you can use black trash bags and stuff them with paper. 

Trim off the excess and tie them to make your spider’s body. Finish it with a goofy or creepy spider face. 

Find the plans at Munchkin’s PlanetChicken Wire Ghouls 

Shape a generous portion of chicken wire into ghosts, goblins, or scary creatures. To make this decor piece pop at night, you can use spray paint that glows in the dark. When the sun goes down, it will look like you have some scary creatures roaming your yard.

Find the plans at EHowHalloween Doormat photo courtesy of DIY candy

Take that plain old doormat and make it spooky. This DIY Halloween decoration is another beginner-friendly project that is really cute. 

You can use spray paint and stencils to outline the spooky shapes you want. Choose shapes like bats, pumpkins, ghosts, and if you want to get fancy, maybe even Frankenstein.

Find the plans at DIY CandyHalloween-Themed Garland photo courtesy of lia griffith

DIY Halloween garlands are easy and fun. Try a black cat pattern and cut out little cat faces.  The great thing about garlands is they can be a great accent decor piece just about anywhere in the house.

Find the plans at Lia Griffith

There are so many fun, cheap, and unique DIY Halloween decoration ideas for your house this spooky season. Don’t feel obligated or tempted by those expensive and wasteful decorations you see in stores. You can do it yourself from something you already have at home. It’s better for our Earth and better for your pocketbook, too! 

The best part is you will have decorations that are unlike anyone else’s, and that’s something to be proud of any time of year.

Group Hotel Info for TSPC – 21 Workshop

Survival Podcast - Wed, 10/13/2021 - 15:21
If you are coming to TSPC Fall 21 and want a hotel room vs. camping we have a group rate negotiated for you guys.  The rooms are held till Nov. 1st then you are are you own after that. We … Continue reading →

Don Bradner on Building a Pole Barn House – Epi – 2975

Survival Podcast - Wed, 10/13/2021 - 14:11
Don and his family recently left suburbia to build their home and homestead on a mountain in northern Virginia. They sold their townhouse at the height of the market in 2018 and took the profits to pay an Amish crew … Continue reading →

Episode 224. From the Air Force to Alpacas

National Center for Appropriate Technology - Wed, 10/13/2021 - 12:06
Alvina Maynard credits a commercial she happened to see on television while staying in a hotel with inspiring her to raise alpacas. In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT’s Southeast Regional Director and Director of NCAT’s Armed to Farm Program Margo Hale, talks with Alvina, an Air Force Reservist who owns River Hill Ranch in Richmond, Kentucky. Alvina talks about her military background, her farming enterprises, and how her operation has grown. She also shares her experience accessing various USDA programs, including the Value-Added Producer Grant and EQIP. Alvina discusses the programs and services she has utilized, how...

Pacific Crabapple

Eat the Weeds - Wed, 10/13/2021 - 07:58

The Western Crabapple. Photo by Ken Morse.

The Pacific Crabapple, Malus fusca, was put in a separate entry because it’s the only crab apple on the west coast of North America from about San Francisco north. It’s a wild apple that manages to survive in Alaska and deserves to be mentioned. (See a separate entry for Wild Apples.) 

The western carbapple has a different shape than the eastern crabapple.

This small apple was highly important to indigenous peoples who lived anywhere near the tree. At least 19 groups — mostly coastal — harvested it annually. As of 1990 many were still picking it. A hundred grams of Pacific Crabapple have 90 calories, 1.2 grams of protein, 1.6 grams of fat, 17.7 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fiber. B vitamins are B1 (thiamin) 0.03 mg, B2 (riboflavin) 001 mg, B 3 (niacin) 1.9 mg.  A second study puts the vitamin C level at 8 mg, vitamin A 4 RE and potassium 194 mg. As for the rest of the minerals phosphorus 33 mg, calcium 29 mg,  magnesium 28 mg, sodium 21.2 mg, iron 0.6 mg, manganese 0.33 mg, zinc 0.2 mg and copper 500 mcg.  

Malus is Dead Latin’s version of Greek Malon/Melon for apple. Fusca means dark, swarthy, dusky.  Often called “deer candy” as deer are fond of the fruit.

Distribution map, Pacific Crabapple

IDENTIFICATION: Small tree, leaves irregularly lobed, toothed edges, pointed at the end.  Branches have sharp shoots, fragrant apple blossoms white to pink.  Fruits are small, to half-inch, oblong unlike eastern crabapples, and yellow to orange to purplish-red.  Older bark deeply fissured.

TIME OF YEAR: Late fall to after first frost. Often picked when slightly under ripe to sweeten off the tree. However they turn soft after a frost, turn brown, and become sweeter. 

ENVIRONMENT: Moist woods, edges of wetlands, estuaries. Prefers full sun. 

METHOD OF PREPARATION: Edible fresh, cooked and preserved. Can be mixed with sweeter fruits, are made into jelly and are a good source of pectin. They were often preserved with fish oil and also served with fish oil (ooligan grease.) Their acid content also helps in their preservation.  The bark was used medicinally but contains cyanide-producing compounds. 

The post Pacific Crabapple appeared first on Eat The Weeds and other things, too.

What’s the REAL Threat to Public Health?

Organic Prepper - Wed, 10/13/2021 - 07:27
by Jeff Thompson

America seems to have forgotten what the term ‘public health’ truly means. Numerous examples of counties/cities nationwide have slapped the label of ‘threat to public health’ onto … Read the rest

The post What’s the REAL Threat to Public Health? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

K&H Ultimate All-In-One Stock Tank De-Icer – Item of the Day

Survival Podcast - Wed, 10/13/2021 - 07:26
07 Special Alert – No they are not on sale today but do not ignore this item today if you are not already set up with them for your live stock, this includes having at least one on reserve.  Two … Continue reading →

White Button Mushrooms for Prostate Cancer

Nutrition Video - Wed, 10/13/2021 - 06:50
What can reishi mushrooms, shiitake mushroom extracts, and whole powdered white mushrooms do for cancer patients?

Paul Risse on Building a Culture of Preparedness – Epi-2974

Survival Podcast - Tue, 10/12/2021 - 14:12
Paul Risse is a leader, a builder, a speaker, a writer, father, husband and friend to many. He has a wide range of life experiences… he was the owner of Cleanse America where he taught thousands of people how to … Continue reading →

Hoosier Hill Farms Gourmet Paprika – Item of the Day

Survival Podcast - Tue, 10/12/2021 - 08:25
Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend. Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Hoosier Hill … Continue reading →

So Many Things We Take for Granted Change During a Crisis

Organic Prepper - Tue, 10/12/2021 - 07:19
by J.G. Martinez

Everything changes. People, the environment. Change is the only thing that remains constant over time. A lot of us have already passed through many changes. Crisis has … Read the rest

The post So Many Things We Take for Granted Change During a Crisis appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

How Is It Possible That Mammograms Don’t Actually Save Lives?

Nutrition blog - Tue, 10/12/2021 - 07:00

For every life saved by mammography, as many as two to ten women are overdiagnosed and unnecessarily turned into breast cancer patients with all of the attendant harms of chemo, radiation, or surgery, without the benefits.

What was the impact of the 2009 shift in recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to delay routine mammography screening until age 50? Ironically, rates of women in their 40s getting mammograms may have actually increased. The thought is that all of the media attention surrounding the change in recommendations may have just reminded women about mammography screening, which underscores the need to better translate evidence into practice.

The new USPSTF recommendations bring the United States closer to European standards, which recommend mammograms every few years starting at age 50. In 2015, the American Cancer Society (ACS) split the difference and, as you can see at 0:36 in my video Do Mammograms Save Lives?, recommended annual mammography screening starting at age 45 and then switching to every other year at 55. ACS suggested this would decrease the lifetime risk of dying from breast cancer from 2.7 percent to less than 2 percent, based in part on a systematic review performed by the Cochrane Collaboration, a highly-respected bastion of evidence-based medicine. But, the authors of the Cochrane review reported that the American Cancer Society had used the wrong number. If you look at the studies their review considered to be “adequately randomized,” they said, there did not appear to be any significant mortality benefit from mammograms at all. What’s more, they asserted that the “available data certainly do not support the popular idea that [breast cancer] screening saves lives. The ACS is a political organization with financial ties to companies with interests in the multi-billion dollar breast-cancer-mammogram industry.” 

The Cochrane review concluded: “The studies which provided the most reliable information showed that screening did not reduce breast cancer mortality.” If that’s true, that changes everything. “We believe that the time has come to re-assess whether universal mammography screening should be recommended for any age group.”  

And that is exactly what the Swiss Medical Board did. Explaining their position, they said: “We were struck by how non obvious it was that the benefits of mammography screening outweighed the harms…It’s easy to promote mammography screening if the majority of women believe that it prevents or reduces the risk of getting breast cancer and saves many lives through early detection of aggressive tumors. Unfortunately, they are not, and we believe that women need to be told so. From an ethical perspective, a public health program that does not clearly produce more benefits than harms is hard to justify.” 

Not surprisingly, their “report caused an uproar.” Critics argued that “the report unsettled women, but we wonder how to avoid unsettling women, given the available evidence.” 

What did women say when they were asked what they perceived to be the benefits of regular mammogram screening? As you can see at 2:36 in my video, they think it cuts the risk of dying from breast cancer in half, saving the lives of about 1 in 12 women. In reality, however, the numbers are much different. First of all, the risk of dying from breast cancer regardless of screening is less than most women think and the reduction in risk from screening is much less, with about 5 women in 1,000 dying from breast cancer without screening and 4 in 1,000 dying with screening. Doesn’t saving the life of even one woman in a thousand make it all worth it? Imagine if you were a member of that one-in-a-thousand family whose mom was saved. But even that may not be true.

That is, “systematic mammography screening might prevent about one death attributed to breast cancer for every 1000 women screened, [but] there was no evidence to suggest that overall mortality was affected,” meaning no lives are actually saved. There have been ten randomized trials of mammogram screening, and not one has ever shown an overall mortality benefit. How does that make sense? If mammograms prevent one in a thousand women from dying from breast cancer, then the only way no lives are saved is if mammograms somehow led to the deaths of one in a thousand healthy women. But that’s preposterous, right?

Let me introduce the concept of overdiagnosis. The fact is that some of the tiny tumors picked up on mammograms may have never progressed and some might have even disappeared on their own. So, had those tumors not been picked up during screening, the women would have been none the wiser and would have never been affected by them or even known they had them. But, once cancer is detected on a mammogram, you have to treat it, because you don’t know what it’s going to do. And, in the over-diagnosed cases when it would never hurt you, you’re treating the breast cancer unnecessarily. 

How common is that, though? “For every life saved by mammography, around two to 10 women are overdiagnosed.” This means they’re turned into breast cancer patients unnecessarily. “Women who are overdiagnosed cannot benefit from unnecessary chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. All they do experience is harm.” And these harms can include death. Indeed, “with more overdiagnosis comes increased mortality from the harms of radiotherapy and chemotherapy given to healthy women.” Imagine being in the family whose mom was killed in that case. 

The concern is that unnecessary radiation treatments may kill as many as are saved, which is why there’s no evidence of net mortality benefit. Radiation treatments to the chest increase the risk of dying from heart disease and lung cancer. Those may be acceptable risks if you actually have breast cancer that would otherwise kill you, but treatments “that are beneficial for real patients can be lethal for healthy overdiagnosed people”—those who never should have been treated in the first place. 

Even if mammograms don’t save your life, might they save your breast? If you catch a tumor early enough, could you avoid a mastectomy? The opposite may be true. The Cochrane researchers explain: “We published the report mainly because we believe it is important for women to know that screening increases their risk of losing a breast.” 

“Mammography screening has been promoted to the public with three simple promises that all appear to be wrong…Screening does not seem to make the women live longer…” Instead, it may unnecessarily “increase[] mastectomies; and cancers are not caught early, they are caught very late.” It may take decades for a tumor to grow large enough to be picked up on a mammogram. And, even when they are picked up, they may not grow any further, which is why we’re concerned “they are also caught in too great numbers. There is so much overdiagnosis “that if a woman really doesn’t want to become a breast cancer patient, perhaps she should “avoid going to screening” altogether. But, if you have breast cancer, don’t you want to know? 

“The small probability that a woman may avoid a breast cancer death must be weighed against the more likely scenario that she may have a false-positive result and possible unnecessary follow up testing (including invasive testing); a false-negative result, with false reassurance or delayed diagnosis; or most critically, diagnosis and treatment of cancer that would otherwise not have threatened her health or even come to her attention.”

When it comes to this topic, there’s just so much confusion, combined with the corrupting commercial interests of a billion-dollar industry. As with any important health decision, everyone should be fully informed of the risks and benefits, and make up their own mind about their own bodies. This is the fourth in a 14-part series on mammograms, which also includes: 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Despite the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF’s) expert panel’s recommendation to delay routine mammography screening until age 50, there may have been an increase in the rates of women in their 40s getting mammograms, likely due to the media attention paid to the shift in guidance.
  • European standards recommend mammograms every few years from age 50, and the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends annual screening from age 45 and switching to every other year from age 55.
  • The Cochrane Collaboration, a highly-respected bastion of evidence-based medicine, determined there did not appear to be any significant mortality benefit from mammograms, asserted that the “available data certainly do not support the popular idea that [breast cancer] screening saves lives,” and concluded that “the time has come to re-assess whether universal mammography screening should be recommended for any age group.” It also identified the ACS as a political organization with financial conflicts of interest, as it has ties to companies associated with the multibillion-dollar mammogram industry.
  • Perceived benefits of regular mammography include halving the risk of dying from breast cancer, which may save the lives of about 1 in 12 women. In reality, risk of dying from breast cancer regardless of screening is less than most women think and the reduction in riskfrom screening is much less, with about 5 women in 1,000 dying from breast cancer without screening and 4 in 1,000 dying with screening.
  • For every life saved by mammography, as many as two to ten women are overdiagnosed and unnecessarily turned into breast cancer patients, introducing all of the attendant harms of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, without the benefits.
  • Unnecessary radiation treatments may kill as many as are saved, and radiation treatments to the chest increase risk of dying from heart disease and lung cancer.
  • The Cochrane Collaboration review: “The small probability that a woman may avoid a breast cancer death must be weighed against the more likely scenario that she may have a false-positive result and possible unnecessary follow up testing (including invasive testing); a false-negative result, with false reassurance or delayed diagnosis; or most critically, diagnosis and treatment of cancer that would otherwise not have threatened her health or even come to her attention.”

For more on breast cancer, see my videos Oxidized Cholesterol 27HC May Explain Three Breast Cancer MysteriesEggs and Breast Cancer and Flashback Friday: Can Flax Seeds Help Prevent Breast Cancer?

I was able to cover colon cancer screening in just one video. If you missed it, see Should We All Get Colonoscopies Starting at Age 50?.

Also on the topic of medical screenings, check out Flashback Friday: Worth Getting an Annual Health Check-Up and Physical Exam?Is It Worth Getting Annual Health Check-Ups? and Is It Worth Getting an Annual Physical Exam?

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live presentations:

The Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe & The Secret To Keeping It Moist

Old World Garden - Tue, 10/12/2021 - 06:18

This is the best pumpkin bread recipe that I have ever made. It contains the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor and it turns out moist and delicious every time. Unfortunately, …

The post The Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe & The Secret To Keeping It Moist appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

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