Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Vitamin D Poll
Are you currently taking a Vitamin D supplement?
Yes
No



 
 
 What Doctors Don't Tell You: BOWEL CANCER - MEDICINE'S CINDERELLA DISEASE 
 
What Doctors Don't Tell You © (Volume 10, Issue 4)

These latter three are caused by the destruction of the white blood cells that normally fight infections, and they can often result in major problems; if accompanied by a fever, death will ensue within hours or even minutes. Indeed, many cancer patients may have actually been killed by chemotherapy, and not the disease (J Clin Oncol, 1997; 15: 3320-9).

A new chemotherapy drug called irinotecan (marketed by Upjohn as Camptosar) has recently come into use, intended for patients who don't respond to 5-FU. However, studies show that, like 5-FU, Camptosar's benefits are limited, extending survival by about three months compared to no treatment at all but with all the attendant side effects (Lancet, 1998; 352: 1413-8). Chemotherapy has also been found to be useless in treating metastases in the liver the most common result of colon cancer (Arch Med Res, 1998; 29: 319-24).

Gene therapy, although heavily trumpeted in the media, is in reality a distant hope, as oncologists will admit among themselves.

First stage trials are currently underway in animals, but already concerns are being raised over toxicity, side effects and lack of ability to target specific tumours (Hematol Oncol Clin North Am, 1998; 12: 595-615).

Screening tests

Because of such poor outlooks for colorectal cancer patients, the official line is that people should be encouraged to have regular check ups to detect the cancer before it takes hold, particularly those individuals who are at high risk (see box, p 1). However, in practice there are many problems in carrying through this advice. First, the warning signs of the cancer (iron deficiency anaemia, rectal bleeding, change in bowel movements, abdominal pain and weight loss) tend to become noticeable only when the cancer is already well established.

Second, the diagnostic tests themselves are sometimes not reliable. The simplest test, called the occult blood test, measures blood in the faeces but is notoriously prone to false positive results and, more importantly, false negatives. The more complex barium enema fares little better.

The more reliable tests, such as sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy (visualisation of different areas of the colon with a lighted tube inserted in the anus) are invasive, discouraging patients from undergoing routine checks. Further more, experience has also shown that even these sometimes fail to detect pre cancerous polyps (Ann R Coll Surg Eng, 1998; 80: 246-8). Finally, if all patients who were at risk were to demand routine check ups, neither private nor state run systems would be able to cope. But as the US National Cancer Institute admits, "limiting screening or early cancer detection to only high risk groups would miss the majority of colorectal cancers" (PDQ Statement, June 1999).

Prevention

For many oncologists, the major hope for the future of colon cancer lies in prevention. Some see a bright prospect for drugs as preventive agents after it was unexpectedly observed that aspirin, which is a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID), reduced the incidence of colorectal cancer. A major clinical trial is currently underway in Europe, testing daily aspirin doses as high as 350 mg among patients who have undergone surgery to remove benign colorectal polyps.

An epidemiological study has also been completed on other NSAIDs. In 100,000 Americans aged over 65 who had been taking NSAIDs for conditions like arthritis, two year usage of the drugs reduced colon cancer risk by nearly 50 per cent, and one year usage, by about 40 per cent (Arch Intern Med, 1999; 159: 161-6). The authors predict similar results will be found with aspirin.

CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  4  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
What Doctors Don't Tell You What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't......more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Movement, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar