Saturday, April 16, 2016

Hidden Costs in Colorectal Cancer Screening

In my email this morning was a advertisement for a free report (free means free as long as you purchase the other reports and a membership, so not really free) on the myths and lies we have all been told about cancer and treatments for cancer, like colonoscopy. The very LONG advertisement (repeating buzz words and not getting to the point until you click the link for the free report) stated a simple truth hidden among the buzz words and advertising. The only medicine we need that actually works every time is good food. Good RAW food. Imagine that. We actually are what we eat -- and are affected by what we eat. Good RAW, ORGANIC food. That would be the same organic food the government is currently trying to eradicate by geo-engineering the weather that has created and is prolonging the drought in California to destroy the organic food growing industry since they couldn't get rid of organic food by passing a federal law that labels organic food as medicine and puts it under the aegis of the Food and Drug Administration that has protected our health and food by giving the go for drugs that have killed a large swath of the population with drugs that have horrible side effects that require more suspect drugs that have their own side effects.

These FDA approved drugs kill over 100,000 people a year. That does not include the test subjects in clinical trials that died as a result of the drugs in testing.

A hundred thousand people every year doesn't seem like such a high cost to pay for curing the rest of the population.  The only problem with that way of thinking is that the drugs still cost more in the USA than in Europe and still cure nothing and very few people. The drugs might extend a patient's life but the quality of life is not there. People spend years suffering while the medical community prescribes more drugs that may or may not (usually not) work. It's like throwing something at the wall and if it sticks good. If not, well, throw another drug at the wall and see if that sticks. Repeat, repeat, repeat and add up the cost increase.

The FDA has been in league with the Big Pharmaceutical companies for decades and their testing ground is the population of the United States of America. You'd think the people were cannon fodder for their war on cancer and high blood pressure and diabetes and . . . the list goes on and on. We, the people, are the lab rats and no one managed to tell us -- not the media, not the medical profession, not the government, and not the drug companies. Why tell the rats that they might live but it will cost them everything . . . including their lives? After all, we need pharmaceutical companies for the drugs they provide us that often are addictive (ensuring funds in the Big Pharma pipeline) and costly. After all, what is insurance for but to pay for the costs of getting well.

If the goal was wellness and health for the US population, the government wouldn't meddle with the weather creating droughts to stamp out the best medicine in the world -- good, organically grown and farmed food. Good, healthy food won't put money in Big Pharma's pockets or keep the money flowing in the pipeline or keep companies like Monsanto in business while they keep genetically modifying seeds that make its own herbicide and insecticide and increase growing rates on what is only marginally food with less nutritional value than cardboard images of food.

All that rain that is being diverted away from California is falling in the Midwest in record levels and the resultant floods are washing all those lovely Monsanto chemicals off the land and into the Gulf of Mexico where even the bottom feeders, like catfish, can't exist on it and plankton and shrimp and other food sources for fish and waterborne life die off taking the larger aquatic life with them.

Genetically modified food isn't food; it's poison. It's information that looks like food but has so little nutritional value that it cannot provide even the smallest levels of bio-available food -- and it is the source of many cancers, especially intestinal, stomach, and colorectal cancers that will require expensive testing to seek and destroy and even more expensive treatment to manage because there are no curative properties in chemotherapy and radiation. Such claims of a cure are a smoke screen to cover up what is really going on -- fleecing of the American people.

Colonoscopies in Europe cost a few hundred dollars while the same procedures in the US cost anywhere from $6000 to $20,000 per person per test. There are no reviews of the data proving that colonoscopies actually reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer or that detection actually increases the cure rate or possibility of finding cancer in the early stages. There are a few peer reviews recently instituted, but the results will take 7 years to come in. Do you have the time to wait for the results? Probably not.

There are options, noninvasive tests that are just as accurate in detecting signs of cancer without the pain, the damage to the intestines, and the serious side effects that accompany colonoscopies. Things like dirty instruments. You cannot put a colonoscope in an autoclave for sterilization because it would destroy the instruments -- they're expensive enough without having to replace them after every procedure. The colonoscopes are cleaned, but those flexible wires are still contaminated with blood, tissue, and fecal material from the last patient. The blood and tissue are often from polyps and cancer and spread those cancers to your colon and large intestine. Bet that's not in the medical brochures . . . and yet that is what happens. Nothing like infecting you with another patient's cancer and polyps and spreading the disease around.

You could opt for a sigmoidoscopy (and still run the cross contamination risk), which is more uncomfortable than the colonoscopy but a little less invasive. Pumping up your lower intestinal tract with air won't make it any less painful (rather more painful) but less dangerous and less invasive: a rubber tube with a camera on it rather than a bulky instrument already contaminated with someone else's tissue, blood, and fecal matter.

Even less invasive than the sigmoidoscpy and colonoscopy is the capsule endoscopy. The capsule endoscopy is a package of technology about the size of a cold capsule or gelcap you swallow that travels down the length of the digestive tract taking pictures of the entire length of the stomach and intestines and retrieved from the rectum, opened up, and the photographs developed and studied. A lot less invasive. After all, how many capsules have you ingested over the decades and suffered few if any ill effects?

Then there is the colon prep before each invasive procedure. The bland diet for a day or two followed by a liquid diet and then by a gallon jug of laxative, usually GO-Lytely, which is a strong laxative and the serial diarrhea and cramps that follow before the test. Those all go together with the dehydration and discomfort and pain with the prep that cleans your digestive tract from lips to rectum. Not to mention the starvation and lack of fluid intake that sends you to the nearest fast food restaurant for mass quantities of processed food to fill the void since waiting until you get home to get a good meal is really not an option worth contemplating, let alone going along with. You need FOOD and you NEED IT NOW!

On the noninvasive side of the medical smorgasbord there is the FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test) kit you can buy for about $20 over the counter. The FIT test is also known as the IFOBT (Immunochemical Fecal Occult Blood Test). And there are stool guaiac cards that are basically the same as the FOBT cards, testing for hidden blood in the stool.

The test is simple. Flush the toilet, defecate, wipe and put the used toilet paper in the provided waste bag, use the included brush to take a sample of the stool, dip the brush in the toilet water, and brush the sample onto the provided card. Some doctors require brushings from multiple stools. Send the samples to the lab in the provided packaging and envelope and wait for the results. The test looks for blood in the stool that may not show up on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl. Fecal occult blood is usually one of the symptoms of cancer in the colon. Any aberrant cells would also be in the stool sample and would indicate the presence of cancer -- if there is cancer present.

Aside from the ick factor of having to deal with fecal material compared to the pain, inconvenience, and danger of a more invasive procedure would be minimal. Or you can get a loved one to do the dirty work for you and avoid the ick factor.

There is also the Cologuard test, another noninvasive test you can do at home. Cologuard costs $649 and is covered by Medicare and most insurances. No doubt it is also covered by Obamacare (Affordable Care Act). Cologuard is a DNA based test that identifies the cells in fecal material that has passed through the digestive tract and would pinpoint cancer cells.

With so many noninvasive colon screening tests available for a fraction of the cost of colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy, and even capsule endoscopy, and covered by insurance, who needs the discomfort, pain, inconvenience, and stress of invasive colorectal screening.

Did you know that there is no need to check beyond the colon and into the large intestine to screen for cancer? The colon is the last section of the intestine that feeds into the rectal vault and rectum and only that small section needs to be scanned. And you get to pay extra for the more thorough examination that does not guarantee more comprehensive results.

Feeling better now? Remember. The doctor works for you; you do not work for him. You have the right to refuse any testing and procedures you don't want. Take charge of your medical care and choose what you are willing and not willing to pay for and endure. Demand answers. Ask questions. Research everything your doctor presents to you and never accept something you do not want and are not willing to undergo. You are the boss. It is your body and your health. Take charge. Don't leave the responsibility for your health an well being in the hands of doctors more interested in taking your money than taking care of your health.

That is all. Disperse.

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