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American Cancer Society Waffles on Need for Screening Tests for Cancer

submitted by: admin on 06/18/2016
  In a field plagued by frequent controversy, the American Cancer Society (ACS) claims to have taken a major step forward to provide transparency in how justified it is in recommending cancer screening tests. It blames oncologists with a conflict of interest...what would you expect from an organization that depends on income from big pharma and the mammography...

Americans Get Too Many Colonoscopies

submitted by: admin on 05/12/2015
Gastroenterologists and the American Society for Gastroenterology recommend screening colonoscopies begin at age 50 and be repeated every 10 years unless there is a special indication for more often. However, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is questioning this recommendation.  A study published in the September 2014 issue of...

Are Colonoscopies Effective?

submitted by: admin on 05/16/2015
Most of us assume the colonoscopy is a routine screening test we all need at age 50. However, the data is controversial and it can be argued that for people who are asymptomatic that there's no benefit when complications are considered.          

Are You Germophobic with Your Baby?

submitted by: admin on 05/26/2015
Infants whose gut is colonized by ES. coli bacteria early in life have a higher number of memory B cells in their blood. according to an article posted in the May of 2012 issue of the Journal of Immunology. There has been a trend caused by an increasingly hygienic lifestyle where this colonization is occuring later than in previous decades. This is believed to...

Cancer

submitted by: admin on 02/16/2015
The definition of cancer means that cancer cells don't die as they are programmed, they lack apoptosis. The reasons for this range from genetic defects to overgrowth of chromosomes. Cancer is believed to be caused by genetic and epigenetic factors that include poor lifestyle, radiation exposure, infections, pollution, and more. The spread of cancer is complicated;...

Cancer Screening vs Prevention

submitted by: admin on 09/19/2013
  Cancer is on the rise and cancer screening is being promoted. Early detection is not as important as you'd think. The pap smear, mammograms, colonoscopy, and PSA testing have major problems that lead to over or underdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment. Screens over the age of 70 has not been shown to be warranted.          

Colon Cancer Screening

submitted by: admin on 02/17/2015
  Screening for colon cancer is controversial even though we are advised to have a colonoscopy at age 50 as a routine. However, in asymptomatic people the risk of perforation or GI bleeding offsets the benefits. The role of other screens such as occult blood in the stool, barium enemas, sigmoidoscopy and virtual colonoscopies is discussed.              

Colon Cancer Screening, Which is Right for You?

submitted by: admin on 09/19/2013
  There are many different tests used in colon cancer screening and it is confusing to know which one is right for you. Not everyone should do the same test. There are controversies about if it is even necessary in asymptomatic people.        

Colonoscopy Screening Questioned

submitted by: admin on 06/18/2016
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published an article saying that colonoscopy for primary screening might be going too far. I agree! The benefits, harms, and costs have not been determined. Checking the stool for ocult blood and flexible sigmoidoscopy have been shown to be of value but there's no data showing that colonoscopy gives additional...

Colonoscopy: Do You Need One?

submitted by: admin on 09/19/2013
  Dr. Len discusses the pros and cons for a routine colonoscopy for colon cancer screening. In asymptomatic people without a family history of cancer, the risks of doing a colonoscopy may exceed the benefits. Bowel perforations and severe GI bleeding are complications in 1 in 200 tests. Other screening tests are reviewed too.        

Do Familial Precancerous Polyps Predict Colon Cancer?

submitted by: admin on 06/18/2016
When do you need a colonoscopy? An article in Annals of Internal Medicine in May of 2012 stated that there's insufficient evidence to recommend earlier or more frequent colonoscopies for people who have a first degree relative with a precancerous polyp unless the polyp is advanced. About 30-50% of people have polyps that are precancerous, but only 5-10% warrant...

Do We Need Virtual Colonoscopies?

submitted by: admin on 06/18/2016
  Is there a need for virtual colonoscopies? In fact, is there a need for any colonoscopies in asymptomatic people? There is a lot of controversy on this topic. The advantage of virtual colonoscopy is that it is easier for the patient, but it also delivers a hefty dose of radiation and often required a regular colonoscopy if there are abnormal findings.          

Do You Need a Colonoscopy?

submitted by: admin on 09/20/2013
  Dr. Len and Nurse Vicki discuss the pros and cons for a routine colonoscopy for colon cancer screening. In asymptomatic people without a family history of cancer, the risks of doing a colonoscopy may exceed the benefits. Bowel perforations and severe GI bleeding are complications in 1 in 200 tests. Other screening tests are reviewed too.        

Gut Microflora and Colon Cancer

submitted by: admin on 04/24/2014
Studies from the Wistar Institute published in April of 2014 suggest that the microbes that make up the microflora of the intestinal tract can suppress DNA repair in the cells lining the intestinal tract and lead to colorectal cancer. It is only recently that most gastroenterologists have begun to appreciate the importance of the microflora in the gut. We...

Infection Can Lead to Cancer

submitted by: admin on 10/09/2013
  A new MIT study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in June of 2012 showed that chronic viral and bacterial infections account for 16% of cancers of the liver, colon, and stomach. When the body's immune system detects pathogens it activates macrophages and neutrophils to engulf and kill them with hypochlorous acid. When...

Is Your Colonoscope Clean?

submitted by: admin on 10/09/2013
  A scientific paper presented at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control in June of 2013 analyzed 275 duodenoscopes, gastroscopes, and colonoscopes and found 15% were contaminated by "bio-dirt." The percentages with bio-dirt were 30% for duodenoscopes, 24% for gastroscopes, and 3% for colonoscopes. There are 17 million endoscopies...

Low Vitamin D and Risk of Cancer

submitted by: admin on 10/09/2013
  The epidemic of vitamin D deficiency has put us at risk for several types of cancer such as breast, colon, and prostate. We need UVB sunlight to make vitamin D in our skin and we don't get it much anymore.        

MDs Fail to Order Screening Tests

submitted by: admin on 03/28/2017
In an article published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2012 it was determined that MDs are not ordering preventive screening tests very often. Perhaps they don't have sufficient incentive, but they certainly don't have much time in today's HMO medicine. Even though they receive automated reminders, only a few tests, such as colonoscopy,...

Medical Guidelines Questioned

submitted by: admin on 10/11/2013
  According to an article published in the October 2012 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, most medical guidelines are based on opinion and weak data. They do not follow the standards set by the Institute of Medicine. In a study of 130 guidelines, fewer than half met even 10 of their 18 standards. Fewer than half stated whether conflicts of...

Microbes in the Gut Determine the Risk for Cancer

submitted by: admin on 11/21/2013
An article published in the journal of the American Society for Microbiology called mBio showed that both inflammation and a certain microbiome contribute to the development of colon cancer in mice.  Researchers transferred a stool sample from mice with colon cancer to germ-free mice and found that the incidence of colon cancer double that when compared...