melanoma

Common melanoma procedure may not be effective or safe, medical journal warns

Friday, January 25, 2013 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: melanoma, treatment, dangerous

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) A common, expensive and invasive melanoma procedure has never had its effectiveness or safety adequately proven, warns a special report published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The procedure, known as sentinel node biopsy, is meant to detect the early spread of melanoma beyond the skin and into the rest of the body. It consists of taking a biopsy of the nearest lymph node to the melanoma. If cancer is found in the lymph node, doctors usually advise that nearby lymph nodes be surgically removed.

Sentinel node biopsy is now standard procedure following melanoma diagnosis in the United States and several other countries. It costs each patient between about $10,000 and $15,000. The total cost of all sentinel node biopsies in the United States in 2012 was more than $680 million.

Not for routine use

In 2006, a major trial on the safety and effectiveness of sentinel node biopsy known as MSLT-I was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers claimed that that patients who underwent sentinel node biopsy were significantly more likely to be free of the disease five years later than the patients who had not undergone the procedure, but did not find any evidence that the procedure was associated with an overall improved survival rate in that time.

The study's conclusions were controversial and in 2007, the National Cancer Institute, which funded the study, publicly said that the debate over the procedure remained unsettled. The researchers and journals have never published any correction or clarification of their findings. Although further analyses of the data were expected in 2008 and 2011, none have yet been published and there have been no explanations as to the reason for the delay. As part of the report, the BMJ contacted the lead researcher, but he would not give an estimated date for publication of these further results.

Critics have raised concerns that in the absence of evidence as to the procedure's effectiveness, patients are being needlessly exposed to lymph node surgeries with potentially severe complications such as severe limb swelling (lymphoedema), deep skin infection (cellulitis) and scarring. According to the BMJ report, as many of the 96 percent of all patients who undergo sentinel node biopsy will have such surgery.

In part due to such doubts, sentinel node biopsy has never been accepted for routine use in the United Kingdom. In fact, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says that the procedure should only be performed as part of clinical trials carried out by centers with expertise. The report found; however, that at least 19 separate health facilities have performed the procedure since 2006, and that more than 1,100 sentinel node biopsies might have been performed in 2010-2011 alone. This is in spite of the fact that only two clinical trials of the procedure are ongoing in the United Kingdom.

According to BMJ Editor, Dr. Fiona Godlee, the report illuminates a larger problem within the healthcare system: relevant research goes unpublished, wasting money and placing patients' health at risk.

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108201647.htm
http://www.empr.com

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.