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Leave Titty Squeezing to the Guys, Not Doctors. Wotcha Say, Guys?

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I can’t even stand the thought of a mammogram, even though I’ve certainly not, and will surely never be having one.

Guys, imagine having to go in every year, dangle your package between two cold plates of some metallic alloy—designed to be cold, impersonal, and clinical. To add insult, the nurses in attendance will simply ‘humph’ and look away unamused by every joke you tell in your pathetic attempt to maintain some semblance of your dignity. You have none, and they’ve heard them all before. The cold, impersonal and clinical is pervasive, complete. Perfect in its conception. And they haven’t even radiated you, yet. That comes after they squeeze, and they only know they’ve squeezed enough when they see the anguish on your face. And then…just one more incremental squeeze for good measure. Humph. Don’t worry. It’ll all be over in a second.

But there’s money to be made.

The Ugly Truth About Mammograms

I must question the author’s use of phrase. “Ugly Truth,” in an article about titties? Très gauche. …Oh, and if you don’t care for my descriptive, know that I often use “lovelies,” which I’m sure you’d prefer. Unfortunately, the former is less ambiguous for search engines than the latter.

But anyway, Dr. Charles Wright has done us a service and it goes beyond just this issue. I think articles like this are harbingers of good things to come, where the people who got into health care in the first place—like, to actually help people and get real results—become sick and tired of the gross harm done in the pursuit of dollars, by socializing the costs of the miserable to those standing in line for future misery.

My Toronto friend and superstar FTA commenter for years, Dr. Gabriella Kadar, DDS, alerted commenters to this, last evening.

Where, if only women at risk were to undergo routine mammography, the money trail would not support the cost of the equipment and all the people associated with the service. So instead, they allow women to go through a couple of weeks of trauma and freakout until the biopsy indicates nothing. It’s an ethical dilemma. But dollars trump ethics in this case.

My tax dollars are being used to coerce and frighten women into going through this procedure multiple times in their lives. Meanwhile, the types of breast cancer that killed in 1960 are still killing today, no change.

I refuse to be part of this industry. Same with the colonoscopy industry. People should just eat raw potato starch and psyllium. Stop the crap SAD stuff and boost their health instead of looking for something wrong all the time.

The truly crazy thing in Canada is that they are not utilizing the DNA shit testing available in Europe. It’s probably more accurate in asymptomatic people than a colonoscopy. But then all it would take is 200 bucks in a doctor’s office. It would not require an anaesthesiologist, a GI guy and nurses. What a primitive, intrusive, life disrupting activity. Most people have nothing going on and the cancer patients I know of were self reported. All were noticing problems way before the colonoscopy was used. Same with breast cancer: most are self reported.

I can’t even get a shit test kit. They can be obtained in the US. There’s all this government-industry hand-in-glove bullshit going on all over the place. And my hard earned money is being sucked out of my pocket to fund it.

Unfortunately people have been taught to not think for themselves and figure out benefit/risk. They go like sheep for something they don’t require. [emphasis added]

Classy looking equipment and hi-tech procedures in Star-Trek-esqe rooms cost big bucks. What Gabriella is saying, essentially, is that there’s only so much money you can suck out of the sick; so you’ve eventually got to go to the healthy and spin a web of deceit, such as to make them believe they need “early-sceening” (Sounds so exact, right?; almost like being scanned with a tricorder, or something. Tricorders are flawless.). Et voilà, you’ve got more people paying for it via ever increasing insurance premiums than the few who may, perhaps, benefit (supply & demand: unlimited demand doesn’t bring unlimited supply; it brings higher and higher prices in order to find equilibrium, at least in the short term).

Now onto some truly shocking excerpts from the article, and I don’t shock easily.

When first introduced four decades ago, breast cancer screening with mammography was widely regarded as an important tool in the fight against this terrible disease. It seemed obvious that the earlier it could be diagnosed the more lives could be saved. Aggressive treatment, it was thought, would prevent the cancer from spreading through the body. A huge amount of research evidence since then has slowly and painfully led to a different conclusion.

It is now clear that the benefits of screening mammography have been greatly exaggerated and the serious adverse effects all but ignored in the enthusiasm to support breast screening programs. It’s time for these programs to be reconsidered. [..]

This is a very unpleasant message for modern developed societies where three generations of women have been led to believe that regular mammograms will save their lives and where an enormous related industry has been built up, but it is time to face the facts.

Unscientific opinions and powerful vested interests abound on this subject […] One of the most trusted of these, the Cochrane Collaboration, has been studying screening mammography intensively. Their most recent bulletin states that the benefit of screening 2,000 women regularly for 10 years is that one woman may have her life prolonged. Of the other 1,999 women, at least 200 will have false positive mammograms leading to biopsies and surgery, and at least 10 women will be falsely diagnosed with breast cancer and consequently subjected to unnecessary surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. […]

Now we’ve more evidence. The Canadian National Breast Cancer Screening Study published this week in the British Medical Journal, and widely reported in the international media, solidly confirms that there is no upside to breast screening healthy women in terms of mortality benefit in exchange for the downside of all the adverse consequences. In this study, 90,000 women aged 40-59 were randomly allocated to the mammography screening program or to annual physical examination only, with follow up to 25 years. The mortality was the same in both groups (500 in the first group and 505 in the second). […]

This new study, along with the Cochrane analysis, represent the beginning of a growing consensus among scientists and clinical epidemiologists that the evidence no longer supports population screening of healthy women with mammography. Several prominent female UK doctors have gone public about choosing not to have breast cancer screening, including the editor of the BMJ, the past president of the Royal College of GPs, and the professor of obstetrics at King’s College London.

I can hear the race for a cure folks stumbling now.

And what do you want to bet the football players are all in pink again next October.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

40 Comments

  1. gabriella kadar on February 19, 2014 at 19:31

    The pink ribbon stuff annoys me.

    Read if you want some balanced reporting on cancer. It’s a long book, but it was very educational.

    The statistics on ‘breast cancer cure’ are entirely skewed. Hundreds of thousands of women get mammography done. A something is seen. Then they go through living hell until this thing is cut out. They are so freaked out they don’t even have a name for what this was. (Get photocopies of pathology reports, ladies.) Most of these ‘things’ are nothing. Will become nothing. But they are added to the statistics.

    Ladies, your tits extend into your armpits. Feel it all. The majority of breast cancers are self reported because the mammogram only makes a picture of your dangly parts. It doesn’t image the parts of the breast tissue that extend all the way to under the armpits. Or the tissue closest to the chest wall. And cancers grow there.

    Whoever invented the mammogram was some sort of pervert misogynist. (I’ve never had one, never will. I don’t scare easy.)

    Insist on an ultrasound if your doctor keeps bitching at you to get a mammogram. At least this technology does not expose you to radiation and the technician will image all the tissue all the way to where it extends.

    Let’s force change.

    • Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on March 2, 2014 at 00:35

      @gab

      i’m reading it (Emperor of All Maladies) on kindle now.
      really interesting.
      thanks for the book recommendation.

      cheers,



  2. gabriella kadar on February 19, 2014 at 19:13

    Superstar? Kisses your way, Richard.

  3. Doug McGuff, MD on February 19, 2014 at 19:19

    Richard,

    The concept of medical screening is one of my biggest pet peeves. It is hugely popular amongst the press, medical societies and hospital administrators…and it just feels good. However, the major problem is that a test is not just right or wrong…positive or negative. How the test performs is very much dependent of pre-test probability. If pre-test probability of disease is low, then the likelihood of a positive being a true positive is also very low…that it is a false positive. For example, if you give a pregnancy test to a man and it comes back positive, you can be certain it is a false positive.

    The problem with the campaigns to promote screening is that they have cast too wide of a net. By successfully herding women in for their mammogram we have greatly increased false positives. This has huge morbidity associated with angst, worry and unnecessary procedures (up to and including double mastectomy in some cases). In the years since this became popular the rate of breast cancer diagnosis has gone up, but survivorship has not changed, suggesting that much of the disease that has been “diagnosed” was non-disease.
    But once the foundations are up and running and every hospital has a “breast center”, then good luck stopping that train.

    A great resource for looking into the utility of medical testing and therapies is the Number Needed to treat website (run by a brilliant emergency physician btw). http://www.thennt.com.

    Here is a link to their analysis of mammography…www.thennt.com/nnt/screening-mammography-for-reducing-deaths/. Also my website has a recent post on the same topic and how it relates to exercise.

  4. Amy on February 20, 2014 at 04:03

    Hah! I just got a letter yesterday from a breast cancer screening facility, that it’s time for me to start regular mammograms. I’m close to 40, I think that’s the magic age for screening.

    Recently I had a discussion with mom and my sis about this. They are both nurses and the topic came up along with a host of others. I told them I won’t be getting a mammogram, ever. They were in shock, that someone they consider reasonably health-conscious and intelligent could refuse such examination.

    But I know my family thinks I rely too much on diet and natural cures, and that my suspicion of most modern medicine is based on paranoia and perhaps some psych disorder that hasn’t been diagnosed yet (don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll come up with something to classify me in the DSM if they haven’t already). Thing is, aside from rare use of antibiotics for acute infections or possibly having to set a bone or stitch a wound, I don’t trust doctors to give me good advice about anything. Any health problems I’ve had and resolved, I did by doing my own research and chasing down my own solutions, usually via diet and lifestyle changes, that no doctor ever considered. Docs are happy to write scripts for maladies but rarely delve into the why? beyond, perhaps, a culture to determine infection.

    I don’t have any history of BC in the immediate or extended family. My diet is clean, I try to keep stress low. I self-check once a month, husband does so more often 🙂 Most medical intervention is unnecessary and my independent, skeptical nature tells me to run from gatekeepers of any sort. People lived for a long time without doctors and seemed to fare well enough. I wonder if “modern” medicine has saved or ruined more lives, killed more people. Certainly many people have been tortured in the name of medical science, and as we can see that continues to this day, from smashing delicate breast tissue between two cold metal plates and blasting it with radiation, to chemically neutering energetic boys with psychotropics so they’ll behave in the female-dominated environment of prison-school. All in the name of science, and progress, and so no one ever has to suffer (except, of course, the poor patient).

    • Dean on April 9, 2015 at 14:50

      Well, we’re not dying in droves from any plagues, that’s for sure. And the average person’s life expectancy is more than 40 due to increased knowledge about the way our bodies work. Oh, we also don’t have to cower in fear from any demons (i.e. bacteria) since we now have a culture of sanitation, brought to you by none other than modern medicine. That’s just some of what you now take for granted.

      It will be self-righteous know-it-alls like you that will be the end of us humans some day.



    • Richard Nikoley on April 10, 2015 at 07:04

      “And the average person’s life expectancy is more than 40 due to increased knowledge about the way our bodies work”

      Oh, wow, yet another person without a clue of how high infant mortality, trauma and accidents shape average mortality.



  5. Harriet on February 20, 2014 at 04:35

    It always seemed to me that if you put a grape between two pieces of steel and squashed then the grape/cancer would be crushed and I couldn’t understand why that wouldn’t spread any cancer further through the blood stream after mashing it up. Also one of my friends fainted with pain during her mammogram and was left dangling by her breast while the technician took her picture instad of going to her aid. Neither of these ideas were good in my mind.

    Later when my research skills improved I had a look at the research and couldn’t work out why the screening was being promoted given the results. Fortunately we have no history of BC in our family so I don’t worry about it.

    And I never worked out how they can tell what is a lump and what is a normal lymph gland. I can easily feel lymph glands in various places in my body. If they changed texture I would take notice, I guess.

    I won’t go into this any more as if I do I’ll start quoting figures about survival rates and the impact of chemo on survival rates and I can no longer quote the author’s names, dates of publication and journal off the top of my head as I used to be able to do to support what I say. It used to be a hobby horse of mine.

  6. Ulfric Douglas on February 20, 2014 at 05:15

    Colonoscopy?
    Read RoarofWolverine (I’m sure he’s been linked from here before) and have second thoughts!

    • rob on February 20, 2014 at 10:09

      I am hoping I get run over by a truck before I finally break down and get a Colonoscopy.

      I have a huge deductible so I have to pay them out of pocket to shove that thing up my ass.



    • pzo on February 21, 2014 at 04:22

      Darn you, Ulfic! That was going to be my contribution to this thread! Yes, FTA’ers, read that man’s horror story, how a botched colonoscopy ruined his life, required and entire GI transplant!

      He also presents some evidence that snipping off those polyps, of which most are benign, may cause more cancers than they prevent. And he explains how the devices go up ass after ass and often with inadequate sterilizing. And that in Europe they put a sheath over it if they aren’t going snipping. Not here.

      My father’s occult fecal screen came back positive back in 2007 at age 88. Colonoscopy revealed a tumor. Chemo took care of it, but sadly it had metastized to his liver. They almost cured that one, but those cancer cells can mutate faster than they can throw new cocktails at it.

      Medicare, nor most insurances, won’t pay for “virtual” colonoscopies via PET scans. Most European health systems will. Wouldn’t it make sense to start with the least intrusive procedure first? Of course! But then all those expensive, self-serving specialty clinics won’t get paid for, will they? (PET scanning equipment being useful for a wide range of imaging needs, not just your butt.)

      Maybe when I’m older (I’m 67 now), I’ll request occult fecal tests twice a year instead of once. Perhaps if Dad was doing that it would have been caught in time. OTOH, we can’t fix everything and I accept that.

      As a dietary aside, I had my annual blood panel done last month and once again, the numbers and ratios are all perfect. Damned high saturated fat diet! A lot of research shows that SFA’s are highly protective of the liver for heavy drinkers. Which I am. The primary liver test is the Alkaline Phosphatase; my results is at the absolute lowest possible level of normal.



  7. Colleen on February 20, 2014 at 05:45

    In Miami, it’s a CYA for the doctor to protect themselves from liability instead of common sense. Symptom: newly nursing mother develops painful red lump in breast overnight. Treatment plan: along with antibiotics, ultrasound, mamogram then a biopsy because they couldn’t figure out what it was. When I arrived for the biopsy, of course the lump was nearly gone and it was simply aspirated, no biopsy. Of course it was nothing. In hindsight, the entire proceeding was preposterous, but I only knew CW then. I haven’t had a mammogram since and am not likely to . . .

    • Amy on February 20, 2014 at 06:44

      My goodness, all of that for what sounds like an abscess on a clogged milk duct, which is not exactly an unheard-of thing for nursing mothers. Steamed cabbage leaves placed on the breast fix that right up.

      Breast hysteria! It’s everywhere. What’s funny is that feminist types shrieked and hollered high and low that men were nothing but breast-obsessed cretinous animals. Now who is breast obsessed? At least the male gaze never did any objective harm to titties.



  8. MrPotatoStarchHead on February 20, 2014 at 07:51

    I hate those stupid fucks that run around in Pink. Those are the sort of people that allow things like genocide. Because they don’t think. Because it hurts.

  9. Velvet on February 20, 2014 at 08:49

    Pink used to be my favorite color, now it makes me twitchy. I have had one mammogram, at 45, and will have another in a couple of years at 50 I guess, if I’m post-menopausal at that point, to check for conspicuous changes. The thing is, I can’t get the statistics to read in such a way that tells me if I am more or less likely to die from a disease I might or might not develop and that may or may not be detected by this screening that will DEFINITELY hurt and expose my body to stress and radiation. I understand the point of all these screenings less and less. And don’t get me started on the BRCA hustle they’re running now – frightening, really.

  10. Robert on February 20, 2014 at 09:35

    Slightly off-topic, but relevant nonetheless. Seems the pathologist who discovered the PSA antigen test says that it is being misused as a prostate cancer screening tool for all men, with harmful consequences.

    He was interviewed in an article that just appeared in the New Scientist…

    ~~~~~~~~~

    “Prostate cancer test has been misused for money”

    Pathologist Richard Ablin discovered the PSA antigen 40 years ago. He says it should never have been used as a cancer screening tool for all men

    Your book condemns the use of PSA for cancer screening. What do you hope to accomplish?

    I hope to expose how the urology community and drug industry misused the PSA test, putting money over the best interests of patients. I also want to show how the US Food and Drug Administration failed in its duty to the public: its advisers warned that routine PSA screening would cause a public health disaster, but it was approved under pressure from advocacy groups and drug companies.

    How did you discover PSA back in 1970?

    In animals, freezing prostate tissue in situ produced an immune response – antibodies to proteins in the tissue. We did a trial of the freezing technique in men with prostate cancer that had spread, and saw regression. I wondered if freezing spurred an immune response by releasing a cancer-specific antigen, or protein, from the prostate tissue. So I studied prostate tissue and I found an antigen, but it was characteristic of normal and malignant tissue – specific to the prostate, not to the cancer.

    That is one of four major concerns you highlight about PSA. What are the others?

    So, first is that PSA is not cancer-specific. Second, the level of PSA deemed worrying is arbitrary – 4 nanograms per millilitre or higher. As PSA is not cancer-specific, no level is diagnostic. Third, prostate cancer can be aggressive or, more often, very slow-growing. We can’t tell which is which.

    Last, many men will develop prostate cancer by age 70. If an older man has a PSA level that prompts a biopsy, it is likely you will find cancer. Since you can’t tell if it’s aggressive, many men get treated unnecessarily – and risk life-altering side effects including impotence and incontinence.

    But surely PSA has its diagnostic uses?

    PSA can be a useful predictor of recurrence; after treatment for prostate cancer, if the PSA level increases it can indicate they didn’t get all the tissue, or that cancer that began in the prostate has spread. But that is not how it is primarily used.

    You note that men with a family history of the disease may benefit from PSA tests to watch for major changes. As your father died of prostate cancer, does that include you?

    If your father had prostate cancer, your chances are 2:1, so theoretically you may benefit from PSA monitoring. But the decision depends on how well you deal with risk. My father was diagnosed at 67. He died a year later. I am 73. If I had a biopsy today, there’s an 80 per cent chance that I would have prostate cancer. But the data show that at my age treatment wouldn’t extend my life, and it would be likely to leave me with debilitating side effects.

    What do you advise men grappling with this?

    Ideally, it should be an informed decision between a man and his doctor. The unfortunate reality is that no current data show that men who undergo PSA screening live longer than men who decide against it. So if you have no symptoms, no family history of prostate cancer, and a normal digital rectal exam, I would say, do nothing. Because once you’re on that train, it’s hard to get off.

    ~~~~~~

    Richard Ablin is professor of pathology at the University of Arizona. He discovered PSA in 1970, and co-wrote The Great Prostate Hoax: How big medicine hijacked the PSA test and caused a public health disaster (Palgrave Macmillan)

  11. John on February 20, 2014 at 10:32

    Richard Albin sums up my feelings on cancer perfectly in these two sentences- “If I had a biopsy today, there’s an 80 per cent chance that I would have prostate cancer. But the data show that at my age treatment wouldn’t extend my life, and it would be likely to leave me with debilitating side effects.”

    I don’t know what it’s like to have an untreated cancer, but I have seen the devistating effects of radiation and chemotherapy. I can’t imagine cancer itself is worse.

    I often think back to the article Richard posted a while back “The Island Where People Forget to Die.” After all, if you decline cancer treatment, it’s not like you’re doing nothing, your immune system is still fighting the disease. Fighting a disease while compromising your immune system seems like an incredibly bad idea, certain to compromise your quality of life, with no guarantee of increasing your lifespan, and the potential to shorten it.

  12. Ulfric Douglas on February 20, 2014 at 10:57

    Nice!
    “Because they don’t think. Because it hurts.”
    I laughed inside my mind at that one MrPS Head.

  13. Ulfric Douglas on February 20, 2014 at 11:02

    If I even get to 70 I’ll only have twenty more years to live!
    No way in hell I’m taking any prostate cancer medication or radiotherapy at that age, its a cruel joke,
    old folk being used by the medical establishment to make money in the pretence of doing everything they can to save lives.

  14. Janet on February 20, 2014 at 11:32

    I am suspicious of the osteoporosis diagnosis using the scan machines also. According to many sources, the machines are not calibrated correctly in many cases, they all read differently AND this whole business of these heinous bone drugs was manufactured by the drug industry. In fact, the “diagnosis” osteopenia is a made up “disease” by the drug and scan companies to sell the crap and the scanning equipment by essentially scaring women by “bone loss” which may or may not be happening. The drugs cause all kinds of havoc to the body (including jawbone disintegration and the use of them hardly matter in rate and severity of fracture prevention). My GYN actually admitted to me that she was sorry she had previously prescribed these medications and now approaches the issue with nutrition and exercise. We should be suspicious about the diseases that seem to crop up accompanied by your local screening clinic and it’s paraphernalia ,prodded by the endless commercials to whip people up to fall for them. Of course, there is legitimate concern, but since we have been so hoodwinked by the food industry and govt., I add mammograms to the hype as well and will act accordingly by my family history and such.

  15. Steve on February 20, 2014 at 11:48

    Thanks, Ulfric, for the mention of Roar of Wolverine (roarofwolverine.com). After noting that removal of polyps increases all-cause mortality, he quips “If being a polyp free corpse is all that’s important to you then, by all means, get the colonoscopy.” I like that.

    I’ve been researching the risks of benefits of the colonoscopy, because I expect my doctor to jump on me now that I’m 50. I quickly realized these tests are nearly useless, and potentially deadly for anyone in good health. It is disappointing to see how many people go along with this charade.

    My father-in-law had one several years ago. He had a hell of a time with the preparatory bolus. Now he is 76, and his doctor recommended he get a follow-up colonoscopy. I was shocked to hear him say that. My wife (an RN) and I talked him out of it. He has no cancer history, is in good health, and 76 freakin’ years old. If they found something now, he would die of something else before the cancer did him in. There is no sense in recommending these tests for people of that age.

    I’m starting to wonder if the problem we face isn’t too little healthcare, but rather too much. As Dumb said of Dumber, “You’ll have to forgive my friend. He’s a little slow.”

    • rob on February 20, 2014 at 12:54

      My mother is 85 and her doctor always wants her to get the mammogram, I just smile and nod my head at him. He also always gives me a prescription for her statins which I throw away.



    • Paul on February 20, 2014 at 14:39

      Hi Steve,

      Have you read the book Fiber Menace (Mr Monastyrsky ) :- http://www.gutsense.org/crc/crc_colonoscopy.html

      I agree with you.



    • Steve on February 21, 2014 at 04:54

      Thanks, Paul. As far as fiber, I think he is talking only about insoluble fiber. I recall Robb Wolf, I think, saying that insoluble fiber just goes through your gut like broken glass, or something like it. I am doing the RS thing (Bob’s Red Mill), and I think I saw something that said it reduces the incidence of colorectal cancer by about 50%, and Monastyrsky does say that fiber from whole foods is good because it is mostly soluble. So I take away that insoluble is the problem.



  16. Q on February 20, 2014 at 18:13

    I have to wonder who the fuck breast cancer is sleeping with to get the press, TV time, marathons, celebrity support, retail involvement, sports team endorsements, public service announcements, and all that other hoopla that it gets. It’s a damn fine well run PR machine. Even my BC survivor friends can’t stand the nonstop pink parade of “in your face” awareness. I remember a year when both my toilet paper and Hostess fucking Sno Balls had a pink ribbons on them!

    I happen to have breast/ovarian cancer down my entire female bloodline and I have been hounded to no end by doctors since my teens because I would not do yearly mammograms. I’ve had 3 and I’m 48. I’ve had 3 because the fear of genetics and doctors warning you year after year can build up and sometimes it’s just worth it to do it to clear your mind of that fear. But more and more, for me, I think just never going back to the gyn is a better answer. Just like I stoppped going to the dentist 20 years ago. I keep thinking that breasts and vaginas and teeth and skin held up perfectly fine for millions of years without specialists scraping and testing and cleaning and scanning them. I’ll probably end up doing what I’m doing. Going in every so many years when I think it will ease my mind.

    • pzo on February 21, 2014 at 04:47

      “Follow the money.” It’s jobs in PR, in organizing, in making sure the mammogram industry keeps itself fueled. And people get involved because it seems worthwhile. As worthwhile as online petitions will change the world. “There, I’ve clicked the petition, now they are really listening and trembling!”

      I am personally impacted by an annual half marathon that goes by my house. I’m practically a prisoner here until it’s all finished. When I’ve absolutely had to be elsewhere (taking care of old Mom), I’ve had to use my horn to get the runners to one side of the road; they are so arrogant. Then when I get to the major highway, it’s blocked off down to one lane with cops everywhere preventing turns.

      To raise “awareness?” Is there anyone in this country, male of female over the age of ten who isn’t aware of this disease?

      Yeah, I think pink. But not there.



  17. Marybeth on February 21, 2014 at 05:46

    I did my mammogram and they found some calcifications and had me come back 6 mo. later. I did, and the radiologist said I needed a biopsy so, I did. It came back positive for DCIS. I have no family history, I am small (AA) and am slim and have beaten my RA into remission with diet. But I am afraid that the inflammation took a toll on my Immune system and brought me here. I am firing my doctor today and on the hunt for a new doctor because the first doctor is always flipp flopping on what she tells me. I don’t want her to cut on me again. So I am in the middle of the road … and trying to stay positive.

  18. Patricia on February 21, 2014 at 10:32

    I’ve never had a mammogram and never will. Cancer doesn’t run in my family–we tend to stroke out in our eighties instead–so I don’t worry about it. Barbara Ehrenreich’s great article “Welcome to Cancerland” inspired me to get out of all Komen and pink ribbon crap.

  19. Skyler Tanner on February 21, 2014 at 11:05

    I’m one of the rare birds who actually has risk baked in. My mother died at 47 due to complications from colon cancer, so for me any screening is actually sensitive given my background. So in ~5 years I’m supposed to get my first screening, which I assumed was to be a colonoscopy but given the mention of PET scans and the European fecal DNA test, I’ll check around and read up about them. If insurance doesn’t cover them, I have a 5 year window to save to have it done out of pocket.

  20. Gemma on February 22, 2014 at 10:30

    …continued

    and Monica Hughes links to many interesting papers about alternatove therapies focused on awaking immune response. Fascinating reading about Coley’s toxins:

    “something that’s not really a drug, but which is a trigger for an evolutionarily-conserved, complex defense mechanism that has dealt with this microbe for thousands and thousands of years. So, it ’s deep inside of us and it may be that that, in it self, is part of the reason that it evokes a response that can help clear tumors because, think of this, if you will, Streptococcus pyogenes is a commensal in us all of us. It lives
    in our oropharynx in small numbers. It’s a freakin ’ commensal. So how does our body take it out of a virulent phase and put it back into balance and homeostasis? And that’s really the question we ask
    about tumors too, because these were once stem cells, these were once macrophages, these were once platelets that were on our side. How do we get them back to our side?”

  21. Gemma on February 22, 2014 at 02:38

    Just to remind all those interested in Monica Hughes and her husband’s treatment of brain tumor (glioblastoma), she just posted an update in their journal worth reading and acknowledging.

    http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/robertlechevalier/journal/view/id/5307efa3ac7ee96a3d644969

  22. Kirsten on February 23, 2014 at 07:57

    I posted a link to http://www.breastcancerchoices.org/ in a response above, but wanted to post again so any women reading this far will take a look.

    One of the best things women can do for breast health is supplement with iodine. I’m one of many, many women who have experienced profound, palpable (literally) changes in breast tissue thanks to iodine supplementation.

    Tons of reading about iodine at the website above, e.g. http://www.breastcancerchoices.org/iodineinvestigation.html

  23. Krista on February 23, 2014 at 08:59

    What about breast thermography as a screening tool?

  24. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on February 23, 2014 at 16:10

    doctors & insurance insist on annual mammogram because of $, just like cholesterol screening + statin.

    my problems with insurance is it over-covers what you do not need & under covers what one really needs. this is more true with Obamacare.
    sigh

    • gabriella kadar on February 23, 2014 at 16:51

      Dr. Gee, hasn’t the recommendation been changed recently in re: cholesterol testing. If the patient tests high, then statins are prescribed and then no further blood testing is done. Which is even more stupid than it was before.



    • Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on February 23, 2014 at 17:20

      @gab,

      you’re correct; it is very stupid.

      it seems “standard protocols” to put anyone who’s had a heart surgery on statin. my friend had was put on statin after his heart surgery despite having low chol. (< 180). the side effects nearly killed him. finally they took him off.

      although i am ambivalent about cholonoscopy. it did save a person i know by early diagnosis. (FYI: he did not have any obvious symptoms; he is not of high risk group; no family history.
      the home "shit test kit" few months prior was negative).

      but then there is also some horrible story like wolverine's.

      although i agree completely that mammogram is a waste of time & $ for most women.
      regards,



    • gabriella kadar on February 23, 2014 at 18:20

      Dr. Gee, the Europeans are light years ahead with the DNA shit test. This occult blood test is also stupid. Obviously, as in your friend’s case, not all tumours bleed. In fact, most don’t.

      But the entire GI tract is sloughing cells all the time. I think the test kits are about $200. Your friend would have benefited from this.

      Colonscopy is certainly no gold standard either. It the only standard in North America. The preop disrupts the gut bugs too.



  25. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on February 23, 2014 at 22:22

    @gab,

    where do you get a DNA test kit?
    this is new to me.
    (Europe seems also ahead of N Am. in terms of fecal transplant)

    if there’re other non-invasive & inexpensive way, why not?

    although i think the bowl prep is not as harmful as anti-biotics; i think there is enough remain to rebuild the gut flora quickly.

    cheers,

  26. Gemma on February 24, 2014 at 00:00

    Dear Monica,
    I wish your husband and you all the luck on your way to health!

    Thanks to your post I surfed through the documents you linked, especially the Gerson diet therapy and from there the Danger Model of immunity by Polly Matzinger, which explains the efficacy of Coley’s toxins in cancer treatment. For those more interested in the topic here a little background info already collected by a blogger Maia in the forum here:
    http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=38885

    especially interesting explanation in this 1997 BBC document Turned on by Danger
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGpY3L5Uwn0

    (Posting twice intentionally since there are so many blogposts, so I react to both of your comments)

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