cancer

Dying cancer patients subjected to expensive, meaningless cancer screening tests

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: cancer industry, screening tests, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) Earlier this year, NaturalNews reported the kind of story that almost seems too far-fetched to be true. According to a study by University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) researchers that was published in the American Journal of Public Health, unneeded, expensive mammograms are regularly pushed on elderly women who are incapacitated and dying from Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, especially if the patients still have assets of $100,000 or more (http://www.naturalnews.com/028095_mammograms...).

Think the cancer screening industry couldn't get any greedier than that example? Think again.

Another study, just out in the October 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concludes a sizeable proportion of terminally ill cancer patients are being subjected to common, expensive (and often painful) cancer screening tests. And these tests provide virtually no benefit whatsoever to those dying of cancer -- although they do hike up medical bills and profits for health care providers.

Yes, people with a very limited time to live are being given mammograms, Pap tests, colonoscopies and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests on a regular basis. It turns out, according to background information in the study, that current cancer industry screening guidelines fail to even address the appropriateness of these screenings for individuals with terminal illnesses.

"In the extreme situation of patients with advanced cancer, screening will lead to over diagnosis (detection of a cancer which, if not found by active search, would not affect survival) in virtually all cases when a new malignancy is found. In addition, patients may be subject to unnecessary risk due to subsequent testing, biopsies, and psychological distress," the authors stated.

Camelia S. Sima, M.D., M.S., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and her research team investigated the extent to which patients with advanced cancer continue to undergo screening for new cancers by studying data on 87,736 fee-for-service Medicare enrollees ages 65 years or older. All had been diagnosed with advanced lung, colorectal, pancreatic, gastroesophageal, or breast cancer between 1998 and 2005. The research subjects were followed up until December 2007 or until they died, whichever came first.

The researchers found that after advanced cancer diagnosis, almost 9 percent of women were still being given at least one screening mammogram and almost 6 percent had Pap tests. Among men with advanced cancer, 15 percent were still being sent for PSA tests. For male and female patients following terminal cancer diagnosis, almost 2 percent were still being subjected to colonoscopies.

The strongest predictor of screening tests in people with advanced cancer was the fact they had already had screening tests before they were diagnosed with a terminal malignancy. So, the researchers stated in their study, their best explanation for the ordering of basically unnecessary, expensive tests is that patients and doctors are accustomed to obtaining cancer screenings at regular periods and just keep on continuing the tests ".. even when the benefits have been rendered futile in the face of competing risk from advanced cancer."

The study's conclusions mention little about how these tests add to the already sky high medical expenses associated with terminal cancer. However, they do mention that a policy change in Medicare payments for the screenings -- which would no doubt cut down on many of these unneeded tests -- would make sense. "... the Medicare program might not provide coverage for cancer screening procedures for patients with life expectancy of less than 2 years," the researchers wrote.

For more information:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20940384

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.