I confess, when I turned 50 I had a Colonoscopy. But I doubt I’ll have another.
I had no problems with my procedure and the doctor was great, but like so many other medical screening procedures, I have come to question whether they are really for our benefit or just another profit maker for Big Medicine.
The older I get, the more I question everything – especially in mainstream medicine. Since both my grandfathers and my uncle were doctors, I was conditioned to conform to most medical directives, from vaccinating my children, to routine mammograms.
I used to be such a good girl. Now I’m more of a rebel…I’m certain if there are death panels in our new medical paradigm, I’m a marked woman. But here I go again – challenging the medical mantra for cancer screening colonoscopies.
Are Colonoscopy Screenings Really Necessary?
After knowing what I know about the business of Big Pharma, the amount of deaths and injuries caused by conventional medicine and nutrition for cancer prevention, my answer is – no.
According to the article Death by Medicine,
“…the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US.”
Don’t you think it’s strange that natural medicine is constantly under assault, but every day 2,147 people die from conventional medicine? Be careful out there people! Don’t believe me? You’ll find all the documentation you need in the links to the Death by Medicine article.
If you think a colonoscopy is right for you, you should get one. But there are some things you might want to know before you do.
5 Things You Should Know About Colonoscopies
Like many situations in mainstream medicine, things may not be what they seem. It’s important to ask questions and dig deeper before you go through with any medical procedure. Here are five reasons to think twice before getting a colonoscopy:
- They’re expensive. Thanks to insurance billing, most of us have lost touch with medical costs and never even know what a procedure costs. If insurance covers it, everything’s great, right? No! Colonoscopies in other countries $100 to $1,000. According to this article in the New York Times, the costs are considerably higher – from $4,156 in Seattle to $8,577 in New York. With approximately 15 million people getting them every year, that’s a lot of money.
- The benefits of a colonoscopy depend on where the screening procedure takes place. And more importantly, who is performing the exam. You may not want a family doc or an internist doing the exam. According to Dr. Mercola, “Family physicians and internists were 77 percent more likely than gastroenterologists to miss the cancer in men and 85 percent more likely to miss it in women.” If you have it done, stick with a qualified gastroenterologist with good credentials.
- The procedure has significant risks. You’ll read more on colonoscopy hazards in this article from The Healthy Home Economist, written by Kaayla P. Daniel, PhD, CCN, but here are some possible risks you may not know about:
- Perforation of the colon – this can happen at any time during the procedure and some people are at higher risk than others (those with diverticulitis, colonic diseases and anyone with adhesions from pelvic surgeries like hysterectomies.)
- The process of cleaning out your intestinal tract prior to the procedure is not without its downfalls. These include, dysbiosis, irregular stool patterns, reactions to oral sodium phosphate or sodium biphosphate (the substance used to clean you out) like acute phosphate nephropathy (rare – but it does happen!) Check out the side-effect warnings on Visicol® and Fleet Enema, Fleet Enema for Children and OsmoPrep.
- Colonoscopy risks Increase with Age and Illness. Yes, if you’re over 80 and/or you have a history of stroke, diabetes, heart failure or atrial fibrillation, you should seriously evaluate the risk factors for this procedure. And, in another article cited below, it showed that for seniors over 70, almost 24% of the colonscopies done were “potentially inappropriate.”
4. Avoid having it done under anesthesia. In 2003 only 14% of people had an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist administer the anesthesia, by 2009 it went up to 30%. Why the increase? It makes more money for the clinic by saving the gastroenterologist time so they can perform more procedures in a day. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t give me confidence to know my doctor is speeding through a procedure.
5. There’s no guarantee you won’t get colorectal cancer. In fact, from GutSense.org the National Cancer Institute said in 2008, “…It is not yet known for certain whether colonoscopy can help reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer.” In another article from the New York Times, Colonoscopies Miss Many Cancers, Study Finds, reveals that this procedure can miss a lot of cancers. You should never be lulled into a false sense of security with any screening.
I came across this article, The Danger’s of Colonscopies from Roar of Wolverine. It’s the very candid story of a young man age 48 who had colitis and was convinced to undergo a colonoscopy. His colon was perforated in the procedure and the rest of his story is a living nightmare. He’s a real health hero in my book.
Stories like this are far more common than many of us realize. I fear we will see things like this happen even more in our medical system today.
Is There an Alternative to Standard Colonoscopy?
Yes. Prevention, not screenings, will always remain the gold standard for beating cancer. If you’re concerned about your risk of getting colon cancer, here are five prevention tips.
- Stop eating processed foods and sugar.
- Take vitamin D. In this article from WebMD, Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk, study results showed that “those with the hightest blood levels of vitamin D, had a nearly 40% decrease in colorectal cancer risk than those with the lowest levels.” Nuff said!
- Get a C-reactive protein test! Dr. Mercola had an article about a study done over 11 years that showed people with higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in their blood were more likely to develop colorectal cancers. CRP is an inflammation marker – the more inflammation you have, the more you are at risk not only for cancer, but diabetes, stroke, heart diseases and other chronic illnesses. You can give your body a little help fighting inflammation with a good supplement like Curamin.
- Get a thermogram! Thermograms measure physiological changes in the body (signs of inflammation) in your abdomen. It will show that something is going on even when you have no symptoms of digestive disorders. This was the case for me. My doctor told me I had digestive issues and I wasn’t even sure I believed it until I saw my thermogram results. Thermograms are non-invasive and safe….no radiation dangers!
- If you have digestive issues – do something about it! If you saw our post on constipation, you know that common as it is, it’s a health hazard, and may lead to colorectal cancers.
- Exercise! It’s one of the best ways to protect your health…and it’s free!
If you’re not willing to take those steps, it seems that dogs are able to sniff out early stage bowel cancer, so that is certainly promising! But given the high probability of a misdiagnosis or perforation, I’d trust Fido before I’d put myself at risk again.
- Read what John Horgan says in “Why I Won’t Get a Colonoscopy.”
And here’s an additional article from PreventDisease.com: At-Home Test Detects 94 Percent of Patients Who Do Not Have Colon Cancer – 15 Natural Methods of Prevention.
In my humble opinion, the art of medicine is now just big business, and if this article 6 Reasons Health Costs keep Going Up, is any indicator – it’s only going to get worse. If we never question the status quo on standard medical screenings and the excessive drug pushing and surgeries that make basic medical care out of reach for most of us, our health and healthcare are doomed.
If you think a coloscopy is still right for you, then get one. But don’t be pressured into anything before you know the risks and benefits.
Resources and References.