No disease is as feared and misunderstood as cancer. Because of this fear and confusion, a diagnosis can shake us to our core. At which point, we’re especially vulnerable to bad advice from the medical establishment, as well as proven and potentially harmful “alternative” modalities.
Whole there are many ways of treating cancer, and different cancers have radically different potential outcomes, the best policy is always - when possible - prevention. This article will compare the evidence for the mainstream prevention strategy - early detection - with the kinds of diet and lifestyle changes I promote. You’ll discover that you have a lot more control over your health destiny than we’ve been taught.
Mainstream Prevention: Early Detection and Screening
When you stop to think about it, early detection does not “prevent” cancer. Instead, in theory, it catches cancer early enough to do something about it.
So the question is, does population-wide screening of asymptomatic people help us “do something about it” in a way that reduces suffering, disability, and death. Turns out that with the exception of the pap smear for cervical cancer, screening actually may harm more people than it helps.
The Cochrane Collaboration, a non-profit health research group that does not receive funding from industry, has determined that mammography for early detection of breast cancer has the following risk/benefit profile:
If 2000 women receive biannual mammography for 10 years:
-One woman will be saved from death by breast cancer.
-10 Women will be treated for cancers they do not have or that would never have been detectable or become
clinically significant (through partial or complete amputation of the breast and/or drug treatments).
-200 women will have a “false alarm” and experience, for a time, all the psychological stress of believing they
have cancer when in fact they are perfectly fine.
-2000 women will undergo painful mammograms with these radiation screenings increase the risk of lung
cancer and heart disease.
For more information on the science behind these statements, check out Gilbert Welch’s book, Overdiagnosed.
The risk/benefit profiles for population-based PSA testing for prostate cancer and colonoscopies for colorectal cancer are similar. They harm more people that they help, and turn hundreds of thousands of perfectly healthy people into worried patients. (For more information, see Great Prostate Hoax, by Richard Ablin with Ronald Piana.)
So if we can’t “prevent” cancer through screenings, what can we do? Are we powerless to change our fate, or do we just have to wait until we get sick enough to need treatment? And at the point, isn’t it often to late?
To answer the question, we have to look directly at cancer and its causes. (source)
How to Avoid Summer’s Health Woes
by Heather Hatfield
It’s summer, which means the mercury is on the rise, the beach is where it’s at, and a cold glass of lemonade is exactly what the doctor ordered. WebMD looks at how to survive the summer season--from heat waves to poison ivy to bad burgers.
Dehydration and Heatstroke
“Dehydration and heatstroke go hand in hand,” says Peter Galier, MD, associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “It happens most commonly in people who are out in the sun.” What happens, explains Galier, is that people sweat and replace their lost electrolyte-packed body fluids with only water. Dehydration can soon follow, and heatstroke can set in if a person becomes so dehydrated they can’t sweat enough to cool down, and their body temperature rises.
How to avoid it. “If you are outside and sweating, you should be drinking at least a 50-50 mix of gatorade and water, which has potassium and sodium,” Galier tells WebMD. “You need to be drinking at least one small liter bottle of this mix every hour if you’re working or exercising in the sun.”
Warning signs. “Symptoms of dehydration can run the gamut from thirst and general fatigue, to headaches, nausea, and confusion,” says Galier. “Heatstroke symptoms are also headache and confusion, but include delirium and even hallucinations.”
What to do. Whole mild dehydration can be treated by rehydrating with fluids, heatstroke is more serious. “If you have heatstroke, you need to go to the emergency room so you can have intravenous fluids,” says Gailer, “With really bad heatstroke, your kidneys can shut down.”
The old adage still rings true, explains Gailer. “Leaves of three -- let them be,” he says. So when the summer months begin, plan ahead when you know you’re going to be trekking through the woods.
How to avoid it. “Poison ivy is a tri-leafed plant, usually with a little yellow or purple and it tends to be anywhere with shrubbery, hiding out with other vegetation,” says Gailer. “So stay out of shrubs areas or wearing high boots or high socks, stay on the path, and don’t touch anything you can’t recognize.”
Warning signs. Poison ivy can creep up on you, even if you ear head-to-toe clothing. “It’s the oil of the leaf that’s the problem,” says Galier. “If you take your clothes off and you touch your clothes, you’re going to get it.” The “it” he’s referring to is the itching and swelling.
What to do. It’s time to get out the topical anti-itching cream again, like calamine lotion. “If you can suffer through it and it doesn't get worse, you can ride it out,” says Galier. If it gets worse, you’ll need to see a doctor for topical steroids or oral steroids. (source)