The Cancer Council is going to spend $3 million on a campaign to convince Australian to do the bowel cancer test. They say that if 60% of the people who get the kit gets the test done this would save more than 2000 lives a year. But how scientific is this? I can tell you immediately: the science is so unclear that there are many countries that don’t do this test at all, because the risks are higher than the benefits. But the Cancer Council doesn’t care about that. They just want to make money. After all that’s also the reason why they strongly discourage people to use effective, natural and harmless cancer treatments and heavily promote the highly ineffective and dangerous conventional treatments.
What is the problem with this test? It only tests if there is blood in the stool. But this blood can have different reasons and usually it’s not cancer, but haemorrhoids. Nevertheless everyone who gets a positive test will be sent for further testing, which usually means a colonoscopy. This means that a doctor will insert a camera into your bowel to have a look. This is not only a highly unpleasant procedure, but it is actually quite risky. I’m not sure of the complication rate, but it’s more than 1%. Quite a few people die from colonoscopies every year. If you have a serious bowel problem then this risk is probably acceptable, but it’s not anymore for a very small risk of bowel cancer. And even a colonoscopy might not be enough to detect early bowel cancer anyway. Detecting cancer isn’t as easy as doctors want us to believe.
There’s another problem: colonoscopies are expensive and if the number of people who do the bowel cancer test goes up, so will the number of people referred for a colonoscopy. That simply means that the (already long) waiting lists will go completely out of hand and those people who really need this procedure done will need to wait unnecessarily long, with all the consequences of it.
So why does the Cancer Council want this? Because these kind of cancer tests bring in clients, sorry, patients. For many people who feel fine and don’t have cancer at once will be sent for tests. And maybe something is found that might be cancer, or might become cancer and that needs to be treated. And often this will be treated with the usual highly carcenogenic treatments, so that you can be pretty sure this healthy patient will get a real cancer within 5-10 years. You see the return business?
But what then about those 2000 people who will be saved? That’s wishful thinking, manipulation and plain phantasy. The cancer industry (yes, it’s an extremely lucrative industry) has a serious track record of manipulating numbers to make their terrible results look great. And as long as people believe these numbers they will do what the doctors say. And that’s good for the industry. Every industry has one main goal: growth. And the cancer industry isn’t any different. But they can’t create more cancer patients, so they target those who might have cancer. And tell them they can save them from a horrible death. They forget that cancer doesn’t need to be a death sentence, let alone a horrible death sentence. There are hundreds of highly effective, harmless and usually cheap cancer treatment available. 99% of the cancer patients can be cured, for little money and without any damage.
And that’s the problem. If cancer would be so easily cured in every patient they would make themselves redundant. And they would lose the many billions of dollars that come in annually. So what’s $3 million to protect that?