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  Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

Friday, 20 July, 2018
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False Gods (Final part of two)

Date: 01 March, 2010

By: Chief

Imageelcome back.

Moving along to the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. The PSA test is not only inaccurate it, like the cholesterol test, is worthless. Period. Quoting the BBC:

"[The PSA test] is currently used to give a preliminary diagnosis, but often throws up inaccurate results, leading to unnecessary treatment, which can cause side effects, such as incontinence and impotence."

And from the British medical journal:

"At present the one certainty about PSA testing is that it causes harm."

Isn't that just frigging wonderful? Dirtballs.

According to CancerHelp UK:

"Generally speaking, the higher the PSA level, the more likely there is cancer present. But the PSA can be raised for other reasons, such as infection or a non cancerous enlarged prostate.

"PSA alone is not recommended for screening in the UK because

  - "Men with prostate cancer may not have a raised PSA
  - "2 out of 3 men with a raised PSA do not have prostate cancer
  - "There is uncertainty about the best way to treat early prostate cancer
  - "The treatments can cause unpleasant side effects[.]"

Yet here in the good old U.S. of A., a PSA test is "routinely" ordered for men over fifty and those who are at a higher risk of contracting the disease (whatever that might mean). And, as you have read, it is useless as appendages on a boar hog. Such a deal.

Here is Doc. Brawley's, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society (ACS), statement about prostate cancer (quoting in pertinent part):

"The American Cancer Society does not have a blanket recommendation for prostate cancer screening for men over the age of 50. The ACS convened a panel of experts to look at the data and that panel recommends that men with more than a 10-year life expectancy be given the option of screening within the healthy person physical examination. This recommendation realizes that screening has not been proven to save lives, but screening might save lives. It also recognizes that there are some proven harms associated with screening. Screening, for example, leads to unnecessary treatment in some men who are diagnosed with localized disease. While screening has not been proven to save lives, it may. The ACS calls for informed decision making.

[. . .]

"A man considering screening should know that there is a chance he will be diagnosed with a disease that may lead to unnecessary treatment. The treatment can cause urinary incontinence, impotence, and even death. The man should also know that some experts believe that some men do benefit from screening in that their life could be saved. We know of the harms of screening, as scientific study has proven them to exist; the benefits are a theoretic possibility as yet unproven."

The entire article can be found here.

Hence the PSA test is a complete and utter crock of crap. Rabid dogs.

Now along comes the diabetic A1C blood test which is, yet again, another completely worthless test. Oh the American Diabetes Association praises the test and recommends diabetics be tested at least twice per year.

The problem with the A1C blood test, and it is a major problem, is simply the "average" blood glucose level results have been manipulated. They always will be as well. The manipulation occurs by the diabetic trying to maintain a decent blood sugar level. Hence it is a case of the infamous — garbage in — garbage out syndrome. What a farce.

Furthermore certain medications — Benicar HCT for one, can quite literally send a persons blood sugar level on a collision course toward Mars (hyperglycemic). The same holds true with cholesterol. I know. It happened to me. Since I quit the frapping Benicar HCT my:

levels are just fine and dandy. You are welcome.

Another blood pressure medication — Amlodipine — can also make a person hyperglycemic (high blood sugar levels) just like Benicar HCT. Oh, for your edification, high blood sugar levels can and will kill you. It just takes time. You see high blood sugar levels destroy organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver. Ain't modern medicine just wonderful? But pharmaceutical companies are chortling all the way to the next shareholders meeting. Scum sucking dogs.

See what I mean? And these are just three simple medical tests. Three out of tens of thousands. No wonder medical costs are spiraling out of control. And what good comes from all of this nonsense? I submit the answer is no good.

Preventive medicine

It could also be called the annual examination for men and the annual/gynecological examination for women. These dehumanizing, degrading and nightmarish examinations have been around for well over a century. Per the Boston Globe:

"Abraham Lincoln was in the White House when a doctor was first recorded suggesting that patients have a regular visit to detect and prevent illness."

Okay I might be able to understand, though it would be a stretch, seeing a doctor once a year and having a full checkup done — when there was no other means available. As was the case during Lincoln's time. However, as we all know, the times have changed. Drastically.

What is the point of an annual physical, mammogram or gynecological examination anyway? And how are those examinations preventive? According to some doctors an annual exam allows doctor and patient to 'connect' (ain't that the truth) "and it's a meeting that's treasured as a chance to forge a relationship that can prove indispensable during health crises" (quoting the Boston Globe).

As for the second question — it is debatable. Per researcher Ateev Mehrotra, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a policy analyst at RAND Corp:

"The discussion about whether an adult needs an annual physical has been ongoing for nearly a century, Mehrotra tells WebMD. Currently, no major North American health-related organizations recommend the routine annual exams, he says [Mehrotra].

[. . .]

"Most preventive care, about 80 percent, was received outside the preventive exams, when the patient saw the doctor for other reasons."

But wait — according to the Radiological Society of North America (you can find the entire article here):

"[A]nnual mammography screenings may be responsible for causing breast cancer in women who are predisposed to the disease. Epidemiologist Marijke C. Jansen-van der Weide from the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands suggests that doctors should be very cautious when screening younger women, especially those under age 30.

"The study evaluated women in the high-risk group and determined that low-dose mammography radiation increased these women's risk of developing breast cancer by 150 percent. Women under 20 who have had at least five mammograms are 2.5 times more likely to develop breast cancer than high-risk women who have never undergone low-dose mammography screenings."

According to an article in USA Today:

"Cancer groups have oversold and oversimplified the benefits of early detection to get women to follow their advice about breast screening. Many women now see mammograms as completely positive, with no risks, and are unwilling to give them up.

" 'When we give public health messages, we better be damn sure that they are rooted in a high level of evidence', Visco says. 'Taking back our words when we finally have the right evidence is virtually impossible'."

Even Dr. Otis Brawley stated that breast and cancer screening tools (mammograms, PSA test or digital rectal exams) and the purported benefits of same were "exaggerated."

I have asked women about the dreaded pelvic examination. They hate it. Every single one of them. I can't blame them one bit. But what about doctors? What do the docs say about pelvic examinations? Quoting Scalpel or Sword:

"For such a useless procedure, there is an unreasonable amount of emphasis placed on its performance by our consultants, probably a vestigial remnant from the olden days when CT scans, ultrasounds, and antibiotics were not as powerful or widely available. Don't get me wrong, I still do pelvic exams as often as historically indicated. But it's sort of like checking the control on a hemoccult slide. Yeah, we're supposed to do it and document it thoroughly. But how often does it really matter?"

Read the comments. They are fascinating. Most of the doctors commenting think the pelvic exam is useless — unless — the woman is pregnant and having problems. Other than that basically only gynecologists think pelvic examinations are necessary.

So, in essence, the whole and complete point of annual examinations is, well, pointless. And it costs a bundle. $7.8 billion per year. That is a lot of money for pointless connecting.

Patient care

Yes, the almost forgotten patient.

By the time a visit to the doctor is over most people, including me, are completely drained. It is emotionally taxing. A simple mental slap in the face it is not. A nightmare it most certainly is. I'm pushing toward 60. Things ain't going to be the same as they were when I was 20. They'd better not be. I gotta tell y'all this — the mileage has been a real rough.

Most people are not as lucky as I have been. They are seen by an average doctor. Most are treated as a specimen in a petri dish. As such patient care for most people — sucks. And y'all get to pay for the privilege.

I'll tell you this as well — if a doctor's office were run as a real business, especially in a small town — most doctors would be out of business. Customer service is the key. But most doctors have nary a clue about customer service. They simply do not care. They are doctors after all.

Now my healer does care. He is the consummate professional. He even listens. How refreshing for a change when compared to the idiots I have seen in the distant past. Really, this dude is excellent. His office staff are absolutely top shelf as well.

The pedestal

I believe in the final analysis the two most important questions become — are you any healthier? And do you have peace of mind? Really, after having had all of these expensive tests done and having had invasive and dehumanizing "examinations" performed upon your person — have these things:

Probably not.

It is our own fault. We the People have created a false heaven called medicine, built the church of medical science and made its God — doctors. We have placed doctors up on this pedestal. We then tithe to the tune of multiple billions of dollars per year at the alter of medical science. We also tend to allow ourselves to become slaves to these false Gods.

These are big mistakes on our part. Because when you get down to brass tacks — doctors are people. This means they have foibles and mess up just the same as we all do. Doctors are not Gods. There is no heaven called medicine or church called medical science. There never has been either.

It is time to knock doctors off their man made pedestals and close down the church of medical science once and for all.

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