February 25, 2014

Betty Ford

Betty Ford

I’ll sound like a crank and a rube for pointing this out, so I’ll let (another) doctor do so: Mammograms “use ionizing radiation at a relatively high dose, which in and of itself can contribute to the development of””€”duh”€”“breast cancer.”

And creepiest of all: Mammograms sometimes squish existing tumors and spread those cancerous cells even farther. Genius!

Two years ago, I submitted to my first, and likely my last, mammogram. I doubt the device’s design has evolved since its invention in 1969, because its vintage is obvious: The machine was clearly dreamed up by Russ Meyer, with input from a National Geographic photographer”€”and definitely none from a Frenchman. We managed to squeeze only a smidgen of my quite respectable 34Cs into the glass Panini-maker-like contraption. How my flat-chested sisters are supposed to benefit, I couldn’t tell you.

Despite all this “raising awareness” of how futile, redundant, and even counterproductive “raising awareness” about breast cancer is, don’t expect to see the extinction of pink anytime soon.

Most women are dumb, easily frightened, are desperate for approval but don’t want to work too hard to receive it, and they love to talk and shop. “Raising awareness” is calibrated to line up precisely with these traits. The latest stupidity? Taking off your shirt “for a good cause.” At least the girls on Bourbon Street do it for plastic beads.

But don’t start twirling those mustaches yet, you smug, dastardly men.

The doctor who discovered the prostate-specific antigen screened for in PSA tests now says the test shouldn’t be used to screen for prostate cancer”€”at least to the extent it is today, thanks to all that Movember awareness-raising.

Dr. Richard Ablin says that “the urology community and drug industry misused the PSA test, putting money over the best interests of patients,” and the “US Food and Drug Administration failed in its duty to the public: its advisers warned that routine PSA screening would cause a public health disaster, but it was approved under pressure from advocacy groups and drug companies.”

I give the Amish a hard time, but at least they raise barns, not awareness.



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