For the most part, the massive cancer screening industry is a failed and flawed enterprise—relentlessly pushing dangerous, inappropriate, and ineffective screenings for breast, colon, and even skin cancer.
But when it comes lung cancer—the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths among U.S. men and women—mainstream medicine often promotes an appalling, biased, and misguided “blame-the-victim” mentality. All while ignoring the safe, effective screening technique for lung cancer called low-dose computed tomography (LDCT).
Which is just tragic—because according to a brand-new study, screening high-risk patients with the LDCT test cuts mortality rates from lung cancer by a staggering percentage. In fact, if everyone at high risk would get screened with it—it could save half a million lives over the next 10 years.
I’ll get to that new study in a moment. But first, let’s look at some origins of the bias against lung cancer victims…
Lung cancer still viewed as a “behavioral” problem
Thirty years ago, I personally witnessed the new crop of “behavioral-scientist” bureaucrats at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) make a purely political decision that funding for lung cancer would no longer go to researching and discovering promising new leads about the genetic risks and biology. Nor would it go toward finding new, effective techniques for screening or treating lung cancer.
Rather, they decided lung cancer is a behavioral problem—plain and simple. And they would only fund studies and campaigns aimed at controlling this “bad” behavior—smoking.
Then, even after the highly accurate LDCT screening became available, the NCI wouldn’t recommend it. In fact, as I reported a few years ago, one so-called “expert” at NCI mocked the whole idea of screening for lung cancer. He claimed, without any evidence, that people at risk for lung cancer would not bother to get screened because they obviously “don’t care about their health” anyway.
Another “expert” at the NCI recently relayed an anecdote about her neighbor who was a smoker at high risk for developing lung cancer. The expert claimed her neighbor didn’t want to know whether she had cancer, so, “now she’s dead.”
We’ve spent decades—and hundreds of billions of dollars—fighting the war on cancer. Yet, when it comes to lung cancer specifically, the NCI is still serving up glib, judgmental, heartless anecdotes about smokers (and dead neighbors).
But it’s terribly unfair. Because unlike other cancers, lung cancer, when detected early at stage 1, has a five-year survival rate of nearly 90 percent. (Not bad for a cancer that NCI wrote off for decades as “incurable”!) And that point brings me back to the new study I mentioned at the beginning of this Dispatch…
Better survival rate with early screening
In the new study, researchers followed more than 15,000 men and women who were current or former smokers at risk for developing lung cancer. Over a 10-year period, 203 of them ended up developing the disease and 79 percent of them died from it.
But there was one defining factor…
Those who got the LDCT screening had a 24 percent LOWER mortality rate compared to those who didn’t get the screening.
Now—as you may know—I talk a lot about mortality rate. It’s the one statistic that really counts.
For one, statisticians can’t mess with it—either a person dies or they don’t. So, in my view, it’s the ultimate litmus test of whether any screening or treatment actually works.
And—let me tell you—if the crony cancer industry had any screening or treatment that could improve someone’s odds of dying from cancer by 24 percent…it would be a gold mine! And you can bet they’d make sure everyone and their brother and sister knew about it!
50,000 unnecessary deaths each year
Almost a decade ago now, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) actually issued recommendations about who should get the annual LDCT screening.
They recommended it for:
- Adults ages 55 to 80 years who currently smoke
- Adults ages 55 to 80 years who have a smoking history (30 pack-years; or, for example, 2 packs per day for 15 years)
- Adults ages 55 to 80 years who quit smoking sometime in the prior 15 years
Currently, eight million Americans meet this criteria. Yet in 2018, the most recent year for which we have data, only 4.2 percent of Americans who met the criteria actually got the screening!
Which means in 2018 alone, if everyone who should have been screened would have gotten screened, nearly 50,000 deaths could have been avoided! Extend that statistic out over the 10 years since the USPSTF issued its recommendation—and it means half a millions lives could have been saved…but weren’t.
(My childhood home state of Massachusetts does far better than the national average—with more than 12 percent of eligible people getting screenings, thanks to places like the famed Lahey Clinic network. But in Nevada, for instance, just 0.5 percent of eligible people get screened.)
In the end, the LDCT screening is a no-brainer for high-risk patients. And Medicare now even covers it!
So, if you or someone you know has a high risk of developing lung cancer, make sure you work with a medical professional who doesn’t just pass along their biases against smokers, but who really knows the data on the benefits of early screening.
You can also learn about the many natural steps you can take to protect your lung health in my Breathe Better Lung Health Protocol.
This innovative, online protocol is the sum total of more than 40 years of personal research, study, and experience. And every solution you’ll hear about has been studied and researched by countless, cutting-edge medical institutions. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here now!
“Low-Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening Still Debated, Despite Evidence.” Medscape, 6/18/20.