The True Value of Colonoscopies
Hi, and Happy New Year! This blog will be on an article Dr. Mercola just put out: “Your best bet to avoid colorectal cancer.” Years ago, I read a book by Dr. Robert Mendelson called “Confessions of a Medical Heretic,” and it went through all of these different tests being done and recommended. I’ve been extremely cautious about following any of these protocols because they’re really not anything more than an early diagnosis. It’s not health care! It’s not preventative health care! It’s an early diagnosis! Let’s go over that with the colonoscopy. Colon cancer is the third leading cancer. Approximately 151,000 cases are diagnosed yearly, and about 52,000 people will die annually in 2022. It’s about 8.6% of all cancer deaths. 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women. The real question is, “what’s the value (of this information)?”.
There are two different numbers that everyone should know. There’s a statistical number, and then there’s an absolute number. I describe it as clinical or statistical. The clinical number is, “Hey, do this, and you lower your risk of whatever it is we’re talking about by 50%,70%,80%.” When I ask my patients, “how are you doing?” or “please tell me how much improved your tremors are,” and they go “80%”, that’s a clinical number. They’re saying, “clinically,” my tremors are 80% better. It’s not some statistically manipulated number to come up with 80%. Published in the “New England Journal of Medicine,” they reviewed everything. The article may overestimate the benefits of colonoscopy.
The other interesting point is that colonoscopies lower a patient’s risk of colorectal cancer by 18% at ten years compared to not doing it; this is for the age group of people 55 to 64. But the researchers found the mortality rate (meaning, are you going to die or not) to be 0! Now, where did they get the 18%? Well, this is what it means. Colonoscopies increase cancer diagnosis by 18% but do nothing to decrease your risk of dying, as reported by the authors. Let me tell you where they get the 18% (this is a statistical number). We put a group over here, and we look at them over ten years, and if they did the colonoscopies, their risk is .98%. What’s your risk over ten years? In that group, it’s 1% over the ten years! So, what if you got the testing? What’s your risk of getting diagnosed? If you did a colonoscopy, it goes from .98% to 1.2%. They found 18% more “statistically” by doing the colonoscopy. The bottom line is (whether it is .98 or 1.2%), it’s about 1%! I mean, what are we talking about here? So, the question becomes, what is the risk of death (whether you get it or you don’t)? Well, not much at all! I don’t know about you, but I’m not doing anything for less than 1%. I’m just not doing it!
Now the question becomes what the side effects are. Well, let’s go over these real quick. Infection from poorly disinfected instruments, perforation of the colon and gastrointestinal bleeding, dysbiosis and other gut imbalances, increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and pulmonary embolism weeks later, and false results. I also want to tell you that improperly disinfected scopes cause infections. I never really thought about that, but it grosses me out a little bit. You’re going to take a scope that you just put inside someone, and now you’re going to put it inside the next person.
Dr. David Lewis, a retired whistleblower microbiologist with the Environmental Protection Agency, reported that about 80% of endoscopes are clean using Cytodex. Cytodex, a type of glutaraldehyde, fails to properly sterilize these tools, potentially allowing for the transfer of infectious material from one person to the next. By the way, 80% of these locations use Cytodex to disinfect. Your risk of infections is very high. I mean, you’re going into the dirtiest area in the body with a scope, and then you’re going to pull it out, hit it with Cytodex, and then put it back inside someone else. Your risk of infections is major with all the other things we discussed. In addition, there is something called peracetic acid. If you are going to do this, you would ask to use peracetic acid, not glutaraldehyde.
Again, if you look at your risk of dying of colorectal cancer over those ten years, it’s around 1%, and your risk of getting diagnosed or missing something is less than 1%. Again, I don’t know about you, but it’s not very impressive to me. I’m not looking at that at all. Other tests are much more valuable to look at your overall health, and to me, again, this is up to you whether you want to do it or not, but it’s not a very it’s there’s no major benefit here. These are statistical numbers, and that’s the craziest thing. When you look into a lot of these procedures, a lot of the drugs, the numbers being told and sold as statistical numbers, they’re not clinical numbers.
Thanks as always. If you have any questions, please let us know.
God bless you and have a happy new year. Thanks.