Can Colon Cancer Screenings Cause More Harm Than Good?

colon cancer, screenings, colonoscopyScreenings for colorectal cancer may not benefit patients with severe illnesses, and they may even cause harm, Yale School of Medicine researchers revealed.

Their new study estimated “payoff time” -- the minimum amount of time it takes for the benefits of a test to outweigh its harm (from complications and side effects) -- for using colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer among 50-year-old men with HIV, and 60-year-old women with congestive heart failure.

They found that the screening took up to five years to payoff in the men, and nearly three years among the women. Because patients with severe congestive heart failure may live less than three years, the researchers concluded that the test could cause more harm than good.

However, among the men with HIV, who can often live longer than five years, the screening would likely be beneficial.

The findings have particular importance because current guidelines encourage doctors to offer screening to everyone, regardless of individual benefit.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
For most people, colon cancer screenings are a simple, relatively painless way to screen for colorectal cancer, which is the third most common cancer in the United States (over 52,000 Americans died from colon or rectal cancer in 2007).

During a colonoscopy a long, flexible tube with a video camera at its tip is inserted into your bowel, which allows your doctor to view the inside of your colon.

Assuming your doctor is skilled at detecting colorectal cancer and precancerous polyps, the screenings can save your life if you find a polyp before it has advanced to a certain stage. This is because removal of the small tumors is nearly always able to stop the cancer from progressing.

However, this is clearly only addressing the symptoms, and not the underlying problem. My approach is not to focus on catching the problem AFTER the fact but to be more highly proactive and prevent ALL forms of cancer.

While this may seem heretical for myself, I am choosing not to do any cancer screenings. I believe the screening would put the focus on fear and potentially increase my chances for manifesting the disease. However, I am not recommending this for everyone.  I believe that because of my healthy lifestyle, I am very confident that I am at an insignificant risk of any malignancy.

You can also achieve this confidence by applying the principles I have outlined in my most recent book, Take Control of  Your Health. Some of the cancer-preventative proven strategies are:
  • Make sure you get optimal sun exposure. This alone should decrease your rate of cancer by at least 50 percent.
  • Get the <a href="/sites/articles/archive/2006/06/01/how-exercise- protects-you-from-cancer.aspx">right amount of exercise, which is one of the most important steps you can take.
  • Rebalance the ratio of omega-3 fats you consume by taking a high-quality krill oil.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables, ideally based on your body"s unique nutritional type.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough selenium. Organic vegetables and apples are excellent sources of this trace mineral.
What to Do If You Already Have a Problem or Do Need a Screen

First of all I would not ignore any symptoms. If you have rectal bleeding you will certainly want to follow that up and seek appropriate consultations. If you want to be more proactive and have a screening performed then I strongly believe energy assessment tools are the most sensitive biological indicator available today.

There are a number of different instruments available and most all of them are highly dependent upon the skill of the practitioner. Most of these instruments are descendants of equipment developed by Dr. Voll in Germany in the 1950s.

I have had a number of different assessments done by various clinicians, but one of the best was done by Dr. Lee Cowden, one of the current leaders in energy medicine in the United States. I will tell my story in the near future, but through this technology he was able to actually reverse a progressive kidney insufficiency that was moving toward kidney failure. I am happy to report that after struggling with this issue for over eight years, only one session with him and implementing his recommendations has resulted in complete remission of my kidney challenge.

So, needless to say I am a strong believer in energy medicine and would personally always use it over conventional modalities. However, the science is weak and it can’t be broadly recommended for all. Plus, there really aren’t enough skilled clinicians like Dr. Cowden to perform these assessments, however it is a tool that you should know does currently exist.

However, at the core of nearly all cancers and disease are unresolved emotional conflicts that typically occurred before the age of 6. Along those lines there are some aspects related to colon cancer you should know of.

Overcome Ugly “Indigestible” Emotional Conflicts

Your emotions play a major role in cancer development, and colon cancer is no exception. According to the unprecedented research behind German New Medicine (GNM), developed by Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer, M.D., every disease, including cancer, originates from an unexpected emotional shock.

But the disease that develops is not random. Dr. Hamer has mapped out precisely which area of your body will be impacted by emotional shocks to different areas in your brain. As he explains on his Web site, colon cancer is triggered by an emotional conflict that is:
  • Ugly, indigestible anger (colon)
  • Ugly, insidious, dirty ”sh** conflict“ (rectum)
  • Ugly, mean ”sh** conflict“ (sigmoid colon)
Examples of such conflicts, as Dr. Hamer explains, include:

“… A man thinks he has won the lottery and he has already invited all his friends and relatives, when it turns out that the lottery ticket was invalid. That is to say, the person has already ”snatched the lottery prize-morsel,“ but at the end he has to yield it up.

Another example would be that a patient suffers an indigestible conflict because he has just ”swallowed a morsel“ but cannot ”digest“ it. For instance, he just bought a house but suddenly discovers that the contract of purchase is invalid, that he has been cheated, and that he has now lost the house.”

How do your emotions trigger illness? By causing very real physical changes in your body. A traumatic emotional experience, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a severe worry or any other threat or panic, causes you stress on a physical and emotional level. It also, according to Dr. Hamer, causes a brain lesion that can clearly be seen on a CT scan.

This lesion is confirmation to your brain of the shock you have experienced, and it then transmits a biochemical signal to the corresponding body cells that can result in tumor growth, visual or hearing impairment, paralysis, diabetes or any other disease (depending on the area of your brain affected).

The solution is not to treat the physical symptoms, but instead to get to the bottom of the emotional conflict, and heal yourself emotionally.

My favorite form of emotional healing is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). If you’re not yet familiar with it, it’s a tool you can use everyday to free yourself of emotional challenges.

If you listen to these fundamental laws of nature -- to eat healthy foods, exercise and deal with your emotional hurdles -- it will go a long way toward keeping you out of the doctor’s office and helping you prevent cancer altogether.
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