posted by Morley Evans
Medical costs are out of control, world-wide. Everyone is trying to find ways to find more money to dump into medicine. Doctors and everyone involved in the medical systems love it, of course. However, dumping more money down a rat hole only makes the rats happy. It doesn't solve anything. Happily, the solution to the health care crisis is in your hands. It doesn't require the cooperation of anyone else. You can take steps yourself to become healthy. The first thing you can do is avoid doctors. Your doctor cannot make you healthy. Medicine is not healthcare.
What killed Steve Jobs? The short answer is the immune suppression drugs that he was given after his liver transplant to prevent rejection of the transplant. The long answer is the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer that he got when he had a screening test as part of a checkup in 2004. Jobs likely had been living with cancer for years before this diagnosis and he lived for years after — despite the medical treatments he received and the changes in his Vegan diet that were recommended by doctors.
July 26, 2012 by DAVID MIHALOVIC
When It's Time For a Health Check-up, Avoiding Your Doctor Can Save Your Life
Today, more than ever, conventional medicine is one of the biggest threats to your health. You're nearly 300,000 times more likely to die from a preventable medical injury during a hospital stay [than in an airliner crash]. Pharmaceutical drugs are 62,000 times more likely to kill you than food supplements and 7,750 times more likely to kill you than herbal remedies. CT scans are a major cause of the breast cancer they are supposed to detect [and prevent]. No ifs, ands or buts about it, Doctors are a leading cause of death and if you want to a live longer life, you'll avoid them [like the plague].
When Brian Mulroney, the former Canadian prime minister, went for a check-up in 2005 he was given a CT scan.
This discovered two small lumps in his lungs, and surgery was recommended.
The operation was complicated by inflammation of the pancreas -- a serious condition which meant being in intensive care.
He spent six weeks in hospital but was readmitted a month later because a cyst, which had developed on his pancreas because of the inflammation, had to be removed as well.
All those operations, scans, time off work, tests -- but some say such medical testing is worth it if they catch the nodules early and save lives isn't it? Not at all. The nodules weren't cancer -- they were benign.
Essentially, Mulroney had surgery and complications for a 'problem' that hadn't actually been a problem. This happends thousands of times per day across mainstream medicine.How could an innocent check-up be harmful?
'Body MOT' screening tests -- like those the politician had -- are done for people who are completely well and have no symptoms.
A clampdown on clinics offering MOT health checks to the worried well -- which can include whole body scans -- has been signaled by governments, amid concerns over the exposure of healthy people to unnecessary radiation.
Part of the problem of looking for abnormalities in perfectly well people is that rather a lot of us have them.
The crux is that most of them won't do us any harm.There's a well known story of a patient who was rather paranoid about contracting lung cancer. He was never a smoker or regularly exposed to second hand smoke, but his father had lung cancer so he thought his genes predetermined his fate. The patient tested himself every year with medical scans he thought would spot the cancer if it were to grow. One day a doctor saw a spot on his lung after a scan and diagnosed it as cancer. The patient underwent all sorts of medical treatment, including radiation. He ended up dying six months later from cancer that actually did form in the lung. Six months later his family reviewed old x-rays from previous scans of his lungs that the patient had completed 15 years earlier. The exact same spot in the same position was always there.
Part of the problem of looking for abnormalities in perfectly well people is that rather a lot of us have them.
So, for example, if you do MRI scans of the brain in people who are healthy, you will find that 1.8 percent have a swelling in an artery, an aneurysm, and 1.6 percent will have a meningioma -- a type of brain tumour.
Yet these people have no symptoms and the vast majority will never develop any problems related to what the scan shows.
Many cancers will subside without treatment, however most patients don't want to risk cancer growth. What people don't often think about is that what you do know can often kill you. In other words, the knowledge of cancer can actually promote further cancer growth if that's what you believe. Psychological studies and assessments on patients have established that 78% of people are more likely to become ill if they believe they will contract the illness from a coworker or family member.
When pathologists examine prostate glands from men who have died from an unrelated cause, they find that between 45 and 80 percent of the men -- particularly if they're older -- have prostate cancer.
Yet this hadn't caused them harm and wasn't responsible for their deaths. If those same men sought treatment for this condition, their risk of death increases and this correlates well with their participation in conventional medical care.
Or take heavy smokers, screened for lung cancer using CT scans. In at least 20 percent of patients, cancer is picked up on the scan -- but this is a 'cancer' that would grow slowly and would not affect the person's life span.
In a Swedish study of 60,000 women, 70 percent of the mammographically detected tumors weren't tumors at all. These "false positives" aren't just financial and emotional strains, they may also lead to many unnecessary and invasive biopsies. In fact, 70 to 80 percent of all positive mammograms do not, upon biopsy, show any presence of cancer.
Perhaps one of the most damning reports was a large scale study by Johns Hopkins published in 2008 in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association's Archives of Internal Medicine (Arch Intern Med. 2008;168[21:2302-2303). In the Background to the research it was pointed out that breast cancer diagnosis rates increased significantly in four Scandanavian counties after women there began receiving mammograms every two years.
In the study looking at two large scale groups of women in Norway, one having a mammogram every two years for 6 years, the other just at the end, the researchers themselves went on to conclude that they cannot link the increased incidence of breast cancer diagnosis simply to more real cases being detected because the rates among regularly screened women were significantly higher than rates among women of the same age who only received a mammogram at the end of the same six year period.
You might think picking this up is good, safe medicine?
Sadly, it's not. These people are 'overdiagnosed' -- they're told they have cancer, when it won't go on to cause symptoms or an earlier death.Overdiagnosis is one of the enormous issues in modern medicine, but most patients don't know it. This is partly because of a strange paradox.
But they are treated as though they have a life-threatening condition. This means they get the risks of treatment, without the benefits.
Medical mistakes kill 100,000 Americans per year. The total cost of medical mistakes, lost income and production, cost of disability and health care, totals $17 to 29 billion a year. Dr. Mercola lists a brilliant series of top reasons to avoid your doctor. Everything from mammograms to depression and high blood pressure are a greater risk to your health [when] diagnosed by a medical doctor rather than [when they are] undiagnosed.
Everything abnormal gets treated with treated drugs, operations, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. What is wrong with that picture?
If you are overdiagnosed -- given a label of a disease which was never going to harm you -- there's no chance you can benefit from the treatment. You can only get side-effects.
The more unnecessary treatments that are given, the more people believe their lives have been saved by screening. The opposite is true.
Giving lots of people a 'false alarm' from a disease they were never going to die of -- and then pronouncing them 'cured' -- makes it seem as though screening was successful.
In other words, the more popular a screening test is, the worse the test may be.
What if these people knew that the stress of the diagnosis and treatment was for a cancer that wasn't going to harm them?
In reality, overdiagnosis is a risk in most screening tests, such as the national screening programme for breast cancer.
Around a quarter of women diagnosed with breast cancer as a result of routine mammograms are overdiagnosed -- they were treated with surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy for a cancer that wouldn't have harmed them.
What patients need to remember is that the pros of screening should outweigh the cons. This is rarely considered by the patient and not properly conveyed by the doctor.
For example, the are many clinics who offer an ultrasound of the arteries in the neck for those who have been at high risk for stroke.
A narrowing of these arteries can lead to a stroke. So wouldn't it be a good idea to find out about them before they cause one?
It sounds temptingly logical. In people who have had a stroke or a ministroke, having this scan to see if further treatment is needed is very useful.
But for people who are completely well and haven't had a stroke or mini-stroke, the research is compelling -- for not doing it.
The problem is that an operation to correct the narrowing of arteries is more dangerous -- with complications including death and actually causing a stroke -- than the risk of a stroke happening through not operating.
This balance of risks is the reason why the ultrasound is not offered in most countries in the world.
Margaret McCartney, a GP based in Scotland was recently involved with an investigation from the independent consumer organisation Which?, who telephoned five such clinics that used CT and MRI scans to get further information about the tests they ran.
Three of them didn't mention the risks of overdiagnosis, and one only partially covered the risks.
Surely if you are going to spend thousands you would want to have the potential for harm spelled out at the first opportunity?
Potential patients need to know what they're getting into -- well before they get into the costly screening scanner.
If you want to truly prevent disease you must avoid conventional medicine and take care of your own health. This includes, avoiding as many chemicals and pollutants as possible. Drinking clean, chemical-free water without fluoride. Exposing your body to sunlight. Choosing the right diet strategy for your body type while avoiding genetically modified foods. Exercising while trying to minimize stress and anxiety. Avoiding pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines at all costs. Most of all, don't give another person power over your health regardless of their credentials. Take control because nobody knows your body like you do.
Dave Mihalovic is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment.