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Monday, September 12, 2016

CANCER SCREENING

Mammography leads to lots of false positives, unnecessary biopsies and saves few, if any, lives

For every 1,000 women in the US who are 50-years-old getting mammograms every two years, only one fewer breast cancer death will occur over 10 years, reducing the number who die from breast cancer from 5 women to 4 women, but there is no evidence that the total number of deaths is reduced because the radiation from mammograms and unnecessary treatment may cause one additional death from other causes, and out of every 1,000 women given mammograms, “490 to 670 women are likely to have a false positive mammogram with repeat examination; 70 to 100 [are likely to have] an unnecessary biopsy; and 3 to 14 [are likely to have] an overdiagnosed breast cancer that would never have become clinically apparent [and would never have caused them any problems],” according to a recent article by two Swiss researchers published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 9:00 am | [0] comments

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

CANCER SCREENING

Canadian Tast Force recommends against colonoscopy as screening test for colorectal cancer

“We recommend not using colonoscopy as a primary screening test for colorectal cancer,” according to the guideline recommendations on screening for colorectal cancer in primary care by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care. Instead, they recommend testing for small amounts of blood in the stool (fecal occult blood testing).

They also recommend against screening people 75 and older for colorectal cancer because studies have found that such screening does not reduce mortality from colon cancer.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 9:40 am | [0] comments

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

CANCER SCREENING

More breast cancer screening does NOT lead to fewer breast cancer deaths

More breast cancer screening does NOT reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer according to a new study.

The study looked at data from 547 U.S. counties.

Women who got screening mammograms varied from county to county from 39 percent to 78 percent.

Comparing counties where there was a 10% absolute increase in screening mammograms — for example, comparing counties where 50% of women were screened versus 40% of women were screened — there was NO decrease in breast cancer deaths.

1% MORE breast cancer deaths in counties with 10% MORE screening

The relative risk was 1.01, meaning there were 1% more breast cancer deaths where there was 10% more screening, but this difference was not statistically significant, meaning this difference could simply be due to random chance.

(It also suggests the possibility that women diagnosed with breast cancer radiation may INCREASE breast cancer deaths.)

80% more breast cancers diagnosed in the counties with the most screening, but NO decrease in breast cancer deaths

In counties with the MOST breast cancer screening versus the counties with the LEAST breast cancer screening, there were 80% more breast cancer diagnoses, (1.8 times more) but…

“We did NOT find any significant change in breast cancer deaths in this county-level analysis. This was quite surprising to me…” noted Charles Harding, lead author of the study, in an audio interview he did with the medical journal.

A one-minute audio clip from interview with the lead author, Charles Harding, is posted here.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 3:44 am | [0] comments

Monday, July 27, 2015

CANCER SCREENING

Breast cancer screening does not save lives, Prof. Peter Gotzsche, MD

In this video clip, Prof. Peter Gøtzsche, MD, author of the book Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy notes that…

“We found out in just four weeks, 15 years ago, that mammography screening might NOT work.”

“We have done research on that ever since.”

“We can now substantiate that – it likely doesn’t work.”

Later in the video, Prof. Gøtzsche, MD goes on to say…

“So, if you look at total mortality, we can’t see any effect of [breast cancer] screening.

“If you look at total cancer mortality, remembering that radiotherapy causes cancer in healthy women, you can’t see any effect whatsoever.

“So my conclusion is that [breast cancer] screening should be stopped because it’s harmful.

“Also because one-quarter of women will get a false positive diagnosis, they will get a suspicion of a cancer that is rejected…

“A Danish study has shown that [women] are very worried even three years after they were declared free from cancer.

“The United States sees much more [misdiagnosis of breast cancer].

“It’s about double as many women get a false positive diagnosis because you are more aggressive here in the United States.

“So if you factor in this loss of quality of life in these women, you get a very negative results of [breast cancer] screening since it does not affect your mortality.

“So it is unequivocally harmful.

“We must stop this [screening for breast cancer]…

“Just as we don’t recommend prostate cancer screening in Europe.”

(A new study in the US found the same thing, that comparing counties in the US with the highest amount of women given screening mammography compared to the counties with the lowest amount of mammography screening, there was NO difference in breast cancer deaths over time.)

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 1:46 am | [0] comments

Saturday, May 02, 2015

LUNG CANCER SCREENING

There is only one (1) medical screening test that has been shown to reduce overall death

“There is only one cancer screening test that has definitively been proven to help people live longer: lung cancer screening in heavy smokers,” writes Prof. H. Gilbert Welch, MD in his most recent book Less Medicine, More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care.

(It is from Chapter 3 / Assumption #3: Sooner Is Always Better: Disturbing truth: Early diagnosis can needlessly turn people into patients, under the section titled “Does Screening Save Lives?”)

“Why?

“Because heavy smokers face a twenty- to thirty-fold [20- to 30-fold] increased risk of lung cancer death.

“In other words, for heavy smokers, lung cancer is a big component of their overall death rate.”

To say this another way…

  • Breast cancer screening has not been shown to reduce the total risk of death over some number of years
  • Prostate cancer screening has not been been shown to reduce the total risk of death over some number of years
  • Colon cancer screening has not been been shown to reduce the total risk of death over some number of years
  • Oral cancer screening has not been been shown to reduce the total risk of death over some number of years
  • Screening for other cancers has not been been shown to reduce the total risk of death over some number of years

He started the chapter by saying, “THIS CHAPTER MAY CHALLENGE your assumptions about screening—specifically, cancer screening.”

Prof. H. Gilbert Welch, MD is also the author of the wonderful book Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick In Pursuit Of Health which is about the same topic as this book, the topic of over-diagnosis and over-treatment which does NOT help people live longer.

The reason that I feel passionately about this is because my mother suffered tragically from drug-induced side effects which her doctors were blind to.

It is along the same lines as Prof. Welch’s books which look at the effects of of over-diagnosis and over-treatment.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sat, May 02, 2015 4:06 pm | [0] comments

COLON CANCER SCREENING

Colon cancer screening (fecal occult blood screening) does NOT reduce death rate over 30 years

Screening for colon cancer (fecal occult-blood testing), either every year or every other year, did NOT reduce the total risk of death after a 30 year followup according to a recent analysis of the Minnesota Colon Cancer Control Study.

The percentage of people who had died from any cause after a 30-year follow-up was exactly the same in each group (71% of people had died in each group).

  • 71% of people had died in those screened for colon cancer every year for 11 years
  • 71% of people had died in those screened for colon cancer every other year, a total of 6 times
  • 71% of people had died in those who were NOT screened for colon cancer

Prof. H. Gilbert Welch, MD writes about this in his most recent book Less Medicine, More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care.

He is also the author of the wonderful book Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick In Pursuit Of Health which is about the same topic as this book, the topic of over-diagnosis and over-treatment which does NOT help people live longer.

The reason that I feel passionately about this is because my mother suffered tragically from drug-induced side effects which her doctors were blind to.

It is along the same lines as Prof. Welch’s books which look at the effects of of over-diagnosis and over-treatment.

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Posted by Larry Hobbs on Sat, May 02, 2015 1:06 pm | [0] comments

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

BOOK - MALIGNANT MEDICAL MYTHS

Annual mammography does NOT lower the total risk of death notes Joel Kauffman, PhD

"Annual mammography to detect breast cancer is a needless expense and pain with no effect on all-cause mortality rates," writes Joel M. Kauffman, PhD, the author of Malignant Medical Myths: Why Medical Treatment Causes 200,000 Deaths in the USA each Year, and How to Protect Yourself. Read the entire article | Email this article
Posted by Larry Hobbs on Tue, Nov 08, 2011 10:21 am | [0] comments
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