Virtual and Conventional Colonoscopy Increase the risk of Colon Cancer. Learn the reasons.
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Part III. Why Screening Colonoscopy Increases the Risk of Colorectal Cancer Konstantin Monastyrsky: The whole premise of using screening colonoscopy to prevent colon cancer is built around the idea of polypectomy, a medical term for locating and removing precancerous polyps inside the colon, just like explained in this advertorial by Dr. Couric. Dr. Katie Couric: If you can remove the polyp, even before it's cancerous, then you've literally nipped the disease in the bud. Konstantin Monastyrsky: But that is not what the polypectomy actually delivers. First, an estimated 95% of all polyps are benign, they will never become cancers, so removing them makes just as much sense as zapping the moles off your buttocks to prevent melanoma. Second, not all colorectal cancers are preceded by detectable polyps. It is believed an even larger share of colon cancers starts from flat lesions that no one is suggesting to remove, even though they are considered five times as cancerous as large polyps. Third, removing polyps or even doing biopsies releases cancer cells into the blood stream and the colon's lumen. In turn, these cells may seed all other cancers throughout the body. This phenomenon, of course, is well-known to cancer specialists. How do you think researchers infect experimental animals with cancers, they simply collect cancer cells from a donor and just inject them into a desired site. In essence, taking out a precancerous polyps maybe riskier than leaving it alone. Fourth, it is a well-established fact that new polyps spring like weeds following polypectomy, and probably for the same reason I just mentioned, the release of cancer cells into the body. Unfortunately, as the number of polyps goes up, so do the odds of one of them eventually turning into a cancerous tumor. Fifth, even the most thorough endoscopists may miss up to 30% of detectable polyps, and the less rigorous routinely miss up to 60%, including actual cancer tumors. All of them, regardless of skill or attention, miss 100% of all polyps in the right colon. Come to think of it, missing polyps may not be such a bad thing, considering just how risky their removal maybe. Sixth, the average age for colorectal cancer diagnosis is 72 years. So commencing invasive screenings and polypectomies in asymptomatic people at the age 50 is just as absurd as taking contraceptives after menopause. Finally, seventh, if you have poor blood coagulation, or take regular aspirin, as most people past 50 do, or are on a blood thinner such as Warfarin, polypectomy profoundly increases your risk of death from hard to detect internal bleeding, which may lead to ischemic stroke, myocardial ischemia, cardiac arrest, or sudden cardiac death. So, do the simple math to realize just how pointless and dangerous this whole charade is. Almost all polyps are benign. Removing them is riskier than leaving them alone. More than half of all polyps are undetectable. Most cancers don't start from polyps but lesions. You are likely to die from old age before colon cancer strikes you. Your risk of dying from colonoscopy-related complications may exceed your risk of ever getting colon cancer in the first place. Or, how about this undeniable fact for a proof. If screening colonoscopies and resulting polypectomies were, indeed, effective, with about half of Americans past age 50 getting screened, we should have enjoyed at least a 50% reduction in the incidence and mortality of colon cancer. But instead, we have a 22% increase in incidence, while the number of deaths remains practically the same. If that is not a proof, what, then, is? Finally, everyone keeps asking me the same question over and over again, that how come Mr. Monastyrsky does all this information come from you and not from the doctors. Let me quote The New York Times for you. "Hospitals profit from full beds and doctors profit from repeat visits. There is no financial incentive to keep patients healthy." Between diagnosis and death, an average well-in