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Mammograms - Who Needs Them? - by Susun Weed

Perhaps no aspect of breast cancer is more widely publicized than screening mammography. Ads on television, in magazines, and in the daily paper urge women to deal with fear about breast cancer by having a yearly mammogram. We’re even told that doing this is a way to “really care for yourself.”

But screening mammograms don’t prevent breast cancer. A mammogram is an x-ray and x-rays cause cancer. The ads promoting regular screening mammography are paid for by those who stand to profit from their widespread acceptance and use - the manufacturers of the equipment and x-ray film. Whose health does this technology really benefit? Women’s health? Or corporate health?

Should women have screening mammograms? At what age? How frequently? Science hasn’t agreed on answers to these questions.Susun Weed believes that her anti-cancer lifestyle (see Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way) will decrease the risk of dying from breast cancer in a way that regular mammograms won’t. She cares for her breasts with infused herbal oils, regular loving touch, organic foods, and healthy exercise - and forgoes regular screening mammograms. If you decide to have a mammogram, Weed offers advice on how to protect yourself and get the most out of it.  

If You Decide to Have a Mammogram

  • Get the best, even if it means a long journey.
  • Go where they specialize, preferably where they do at least 20 mammograms a day.
  • Be sure the facility is accredited by the American College of Radiology.
  • Insist on personnel who specialize in mammograms. (Taking and reading mammograms are skills that require intensive training and a lot of practice.)
  • Ask how old the equipment is. Newer equipment exposes the breasts to less radiation. A dedicated unit (one specifically for mammograms) is best.
  • Ask how they ensure quality control. When was their unit calibrated?
  • Load your blood with carotenes by eating a cup of cooked sweet potato, winter squash, or carrots every day for a week before the mammogram to prevent radiation damage to your DNA.
  • Expect to be cold and uncomfortable during the mammogram, but do say something if you’re being hurt.
  • The more compressed the breast tissue, the clearer the mammogram. (But pressure may spread cancer cells if they are present.)
  • If your breasts are tender, reschedule. During your fertile years, schedule mammograms for 7–10 days after your menstrual flow begins.
  • Don’t wear antiperspirant containing aluminum; it can interfere with the imaging process. (Those clear stones do contain aluminum, as do most commercial antiperspirants.)
  • If you want another opinion, you’ll need the original mammographic films, not copies. (X‑ray facilities only keep films for 7 years.)
  • Get your doctor to agree, in writing, before the procedure, to give you a copy of your mammogram. The U.S. Public Health Service advises women to ask for written results from a mammogram.
  • Given the high percentage of “false normal” mammograms, if you think you have cancer, trust your intuition.
  • Remove radioactive isotopes from your body with burdock root, seaweed or miso.  

Remember: Mammograms don’t promote breast health.
Breast self-massage, breast self-exam, and lifestyle changes do.  

Breast Meditation

Sit comfortably in front of a large mirror in a warm, private space. Bare your breasts. Look in the mirror. Tell your breasts something like: “I love you. You are just the way you are supposed to be. I see your perfection. I know your beauty. I honor your power.” Use your own words. Repeat as many times as you like. When you are done, close your eyes. Slowly bring your hands up and cup them under your breasts. Say: “My breasts are healthy. My breasts are powerful.” Open your eyes and look at yourself in the mirror, saying, “My breasts are my strength. My strength nourishes me and others.” Close your eyes and let your hands return to your lap. Sit quietly and breathe as you visualize glowing pink clouds within your breasts spiraling in toward your nipples for a minute. Continuing to breathe; let this sparkling pink energy spiral out for a minute. As you breathe, imagine the energy doing figure‑eights from breast to breast for a minute. Finally, imagine that you are plunging your hands into vibrant pink energy. Feel it flowing up your arms, through your armpits and out of your nipples. Open your eyes, smile at yourself in the mirror, and come out of the meditation.

Susun Weed, green witch and wise woman, is an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of herbs and health. She is the voice of the Wise Woman Way, where common weeds, simple ceremony, and compassionate listening support and nourish health/wholeness/holiness. She has opened hearts to the magic and medicine of the green nations for three decades. Ms. Weed's four herbal medicine books focus on women's health topics including: menopause, childbearing, and breast health.


Visit her site  for information on her workshops, apprenticeships, correspondence courses and more or contact her at:

Susun Weed

PO Box 64

Woodstock, NY 12498

Fax:  1-845-246-8081

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Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.




Browse the publishing site - Ash Tree Publishing - to learn more about her alternative health books.


Venture into the NEW Menopause site to learn all about the Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way.

Or Join the Forum! Susun Weed’s Wise Woman Forum - an open space for discussion. Make yourself at home, post a message or start a discussion. This place is for you to share your questions, concerns, and comments with other wise women like you. Take a moment to register and become part of the community. Enjoy!


Susun Weed’s books include:


Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year

Author: Susun S. Weed. Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $11.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

Healing Wise 

Author: Susun S. Weed. Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston. 312 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $17.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing


New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed. The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Foreword by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $16.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

For more great info on menopause, visit the site.

Breast Cancer? Breast Health!

Author: Susun S. Weed. Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D. 380 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $14.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

For more great info on Breast Health, visit Susun's Breast Health site.

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