Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Cancer. Over diagnosis and over treatment? Or massaging the cancer statistics?

The Journal of the American Medical Association published an article in 2013 entitled "Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment in Cancer. An Opportunity for Improvement". The problem with over diagnosis is that it unnecessarily frightens patients, who are told that they have cancer when they do not have cancer. The problem with over treatment is that the treatments are dangerous.This is how the journal described the issue.

          "Over the past 30 years, awareness and screening have led to an emphasis on early diagnosis of cancer. Although the goals of these efforts were to reduce the rate of late-stage disease and decrease cancer mortality, secular trends and clinical trials suggest that these goals have not been met; national data demonstrate significant increases in early-stage disease, without a proportional decline in later-stage disease. What has emerged has been an appreciation of the complexity of the pathologic condition called cancer. The word “cancer” often invokes the specter of an inexorably lethal process; however, cancers are heterogeneous and can follow multiple paths, not all of which progress to metastases and death, and include indolent disease that causes no harm during the patient’s lifetime. Better biology alone can explain better outcomes. Although this complexity complicates the goal of early diagnosis, its recognition provides an opportunity to adapt cancer screening with a focus on identifying and treating those conditions most likely associated with morbidity and mortality."

Natural News takes the problem more seriously in an article entitled 'Unbelievable scam of cancer industry blown wide open: $100 billion a year spent on toxic chemotherapy for many FAKE diagnoses... National Cancer Institute's shocking admission affects millions of patients'.  They say this of the JAMA article.

          "With $100 billion a year now being spent on toxic chemotherapy treatments that damage patients and cause "chemo brain" side effects, a panel of cancer experts commissioned by the National Cancer Institute publicly admitted two years ago that tens of millions of "cancer cases" aren't cancer at all. Tens of millions of people who have been diagnosed with "cancer" by crooked oncologists - and scared into medically unjustified but extremely profitable chemotherapy treatments - never had any sort of life-threatening condition to begin with, scientists have confirmed".

  • Mammograms routinely over diagnose cancer.
  • DCIS is often described as breast cancer, when it is not.
  • And prostate cancer is routinely over diagnosed.
Health News Review has also dealt with this important subject, and is also an article worth reading. Most coverage of the JAMA study focuses on two factors, first, the scaremongering, and the impact this has on frightened patients. And second, the profiteering that this gives rise to within the conventional medical establishment.

What is not mentioned is that over diagnosis and over treatment has one more advantage for the pharmaceutical industry. It can be simply stated.

When false mammogram results, and calling DCIS 'cancer', et al, increases cancer rates, it enhances the message - "Cancer is a really serious problem. It has to be tacked. Let us encourage as many people as possible to raise money for the pharmaceutical companies so that they can come up with cures". So it is not just that patients are unnecessarily treated with profitable drugs. It enhances the image of cancer as a serious threat to all of us, and facilitates more research, more drugs, and ultimately, more profits.

But then it is discovered that many of these patients, diagnosed with cancer, and treated with pharmaceutical drugs, no longer have cancer. It is a cure! The drugs are working! The five-year survival rates are improving! Pharmaceutical drugs DO work! Early diagnosis is really important.

But unfortunately, it is all a sleight of hand.
It is all part of the brilliance of the pharmaceutical marketing machine.