A study concerning a mammographic screen realized in Norway and recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine(1), suggests that at least 1 on 5 cases of breast cancer may spontaneously regress.

The cohort study compared a group of women aged 50-65 that, at the end of the 1992-1997 period, received a mammographic test to a group of same age women that in the period 1996-2001 received mammography each 2 years. The unexpected result is that the control group (1 mammography test at the end of 6 years) showed a lower incidence of breast cancer (1564 per 100 000 subjects), compared to the population that received 3 mammographic tests (1909 per 100 000 subjects). Intermediate measures exclude that the increased frequency of breast cancer in the tested group may depend on an effect of mammography "per se". Excluding even bias of statistic artifacts (that as homeopathic people we know quite well), the last and unique conclusion of the authors is that breast cancer, in a significant number of cases, meaning 1 on 5 women, may spontaneously regress.

The interplay between clinical and ethic implications
If 20% of breast cancers can go away by themselves, than it might be that the absolute number of spontaneous regressions is much higher. Presently, the positive result of a mammography orients the patients and the physician toward a series of diagnostic controls which end on surgical and/or chemiotherapical interventions. The conclusion of the researchers, that ""our findings simply provide new insight on what is arguably the major harm associated with mammographic screening, namely, the detection and treatment of cancers that would otherwise regress", sounds clear.
The risk for those interventions to be more harmful than just "wait and see", may then create an ethical problem. For example an experiment with in parallel two groups: the control group in which women are treated compared to a test group in which women will not be treated, following the opinion of many, would never be accepted by an ethical committee. And legal and deontological problems may arrive to the physician that decide to wait.
The state of the art of the old medical school would suggest, in tumor cases, and especially in breast cancer, the intervention as soon as possible. In some way for the physician it is mandatory to accept this statement. So then the ethic question: is it more ethically valuable to wait and see if a tumor regresses avoiding sufferance and harm in a significant part of patients or to act anyway knowing that these women may not need any intervention?
Ethic experts should answer, since this question is very often masked by the intervention praxis or ideology, which in turn may be at the origin of most diagnostic and therapeutic excesses.

Implications for Homeopathy
Every time a case is resolved by the use of the Homeopathic approach and remedies, it is the organism biology that on the physical plan reestablishes order and health. The "spontaneous" regression of a disease is the physiological process expected by the homeopath. Hering's law, indicating that symptoms go from the interior to the outside, and from the most vitally important to the less important, is just the phenomenological description of the disease regression process. Every homeopathic doctor has seen this and knows it. The reversion of morbid symptoms and the return of old symptoms in the ill person, are markers, the most significant ones, of a healing process. The old school does not recognize this important phenomenon of the progressive elimination of the internal damage. Many other diseases for whose the "immediate" intervention is suggested, may reveal a high number of "spontaneous" reversions. Homeopathy may give a hint on this. If somebody is interested, here we are.

1) Per-Henrik Zahl, MD, PhD; Jan Mæhlen, MD, PhD; H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH. The Natural History of Invasive Breast Cancers Detected by Screening Mammography. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168:2311-2316, 2302-2303.