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President of Argentina latest victim of false cancer diagnosis; thyroid gland removal was a mistake

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: Argentina, thyroid gland, cancer diagnosis

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(NaturalNews) Health authorities are constantly haranguing the public to get screened for breast, prostate, cervical, colorectal and many other forms of cancer because they say early detection is the best way to help avoid dying from the disease. But cancer screenings often lead to false diagnosis, which was the case recently with Cristina Fernandez, President of Argentina, who was sent home from the hospital cancer-free after having already had her thyroid gland removed.

According to reports, Fernandez had undergone surgery on January 4 to have her thyroid gland removed after doctors diagnosed her with thyroid cancer following initial tests. But tests conducted on her thyroid tissue after the fact revealed that there was actually no cancer at all. Needless to say, the "false positive," as it is often referred to, will now require Fernandez to take thyroid hormone replacement therapy for the rest of her life as she no longer has a functioning thyroid gland in her body.

"This result was always within the realm of possibility. It does not mean that the original diagnosis was mistaken," said Eduardo Faure, a thyroid cancer expert out of Buenos Aires, to Reuters about the situation. Apparently in Faure's world, diagnosing a person with cancer when they really do not have cancer is still an accurate diagnosis.

To the rest of the rational world, however, Fernandez' original diagnosis was, indeed, incorrect. And while some experts say this type of scenario is rare, it is actually quite common among potential thyroid cancer patients. According to Dr. Glenn Braunstein, director of the Thyroid Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, doctors commonly remove the thyroid gland if they suspect even as little as a 20 percent chance that cells in the gland might be cancerous.

In 2010, a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that cancer "overdiagnosis," as they are more politely calling it, is a growing problem that is hardly being addressed by mainstream medicine. The researchers involved with that study found that at least one-quarter of all mammograms and about 60 percent of all prostate cancer screenings come up with false positives, which result in needless surgeries and life-altering treatments (http://www.naturalnews.com/028870_cancer_overdiagnosis.html).

However, there is little evidence that cancer screenings in general provide any benefits at all. Some of them actually cause harm, including mammograms which blast the breasts with high doses of cancer-causing, ionizing radiation (http://www.naturalnews.com/cancer_screening.html).

Sources for this article include:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/07/us-argentina-fernandez-idUSTRE8060CB20120107

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/01/09/argentinas-president-no-cancer-after-all/
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