Examining the Dangers of Cancer Screening
Cancer screening – mammograms, pap smears, PSA tests and what not – are often, if not always, touted by mainstream medicine as a means to “prevent” cancer. Early detection means a much better chance of successful treatment and thus survival, they say.
However, in reality, there is very little evidence, statistically, that cancer screening actually does help to improve survival rates or save lives. Detractors even go as far as to say that cancer screening is nothing more than a money-making machine, which would frankly be quite consistent with a lot of other aspects of pharmaceutical medicine.
For every person saved, how many are harmed? And, even if some statistics suggest benefit, the question must be asked – are those figures objective, or are they manipulated and presented to support vested commercial interests?
Here, Dr Julian Whitaker, one of the foremost leaders of alternative medicine in the United States, in an article first published on NaturalNews, brings us through some of the pitfalls of cancer screening. Read it carefully and take it seriously – this information can quite literally save lives.
Cancer Screening: Does It Really Save Lives?
by Dr Julian Whitaker
Anne is a good patient. She sees her doctor for regular checkups, has yearly mammograms, Pap tests, and colon cancer screenings, and she even paid for a full-body CT scan out of her own pocket. She figures she’s doing everything she can to make sure she doesn’t get cancer.
Truth is, Anne is doing nothing to prevent cancer. Although cancer screening is billed as a preventive service that saves lives, the best it can do is detect disease in its early stages, when it is supposedly easier to treat. Nevertheless, every year millions of Americans dutifully line up for their screenings, completely unaware that they may be doing more harm than good.
For more than 15 years, I’ve been warning patients about the downside of mammograms, PSA testing, and the overall concept of cancer screening. It hasn’t been a popular position. Today, however, there’s a small but growing band of researchers, clinicians, and expert panels who are speaking out against the unbridled use of these tests. One of them, H. Gilbert Welch, MD, a professor at Dartmouth Medical School, has laid out very persuasive arguments in an aptly titled book, Should I Be Tested for Cancer? Maybe Not and Here’s Why. In this straightforward and well-referenced book, Dr. Welch raises several concerns about cancer screening.
1. Few People Benefit From Screening
For starters, the majority of folks who are screened receive no benefit. That’s because, despite scary statistics, most people will not get cancer. Let’s look at breast cancer as an example.
According to government statistics, the absolute risk of a 60-year-old woman dying from breast cancer in the next 10 years is 9 in 1,000. If regular mammograms reduce this risk by one-third-a widely cited but by no means universally accepted claim-her odds fall to 6 in 1,000. Therefore, for every 1,000 women screened, three of them avoid death from breast cancer, six die regardless, and the rest? They can’t possibly benefit because they weren’t going to die from the disease in the first place.
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