I’ve written often about the overdiagnosis and overtreatment epidemic created by the cancer industry. This overzealous approach causes totally unnecessary health risks and skyrocketing healthcare costs. Colonoscopies, mammograms, and skin and prostate cancer tests have all led to the overdiagnosis problem. And now a recent report adds another overdiagnosed “cancer” to the list: thyroid cancer.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic published an analysis in August 2013 stating that new imaging techniques can detect thyroid nodules so small, they’re the size of a pinhead.i (Technologyhas not yet progressed so far as to determine how many angels are dancing on it, but they’re working on it).
Technically, many of these nodules are diagnosed as “cancer.” So according to the Mayo Clinic’s report, the number of U.S. thyroid cancer cases has tripled over the past three decades. From 3.6 cases per 100,000 people in 1973 to 11.6 cases per 100,000 people in 2009. As a result, thyroid cancer is one of the fastest-growing cancer diagnoses in America.
But consider this: The U.S. death rate for thyroid cancer has remained steady at 0.5 fatalities per 100,000 people diagnosed.i
Thyroid cancer is another example of a cancer in which the number of supposed new cases is growing wildly, yet the mortality rate remains the same (see “The business of cancer” in the December 2013 issue of Insiders’ Cures). This allows the political science generals of the “war on cancer” to claim a false victory. Trumpeting their “success” at stabilizing mortality rates. Despite rapidly increasing numbers of new cases.
But if we were really winning the war on cancer, mortality rates would be going down. What stagnant mortality rates actually indicate is that most of these newly detected cases are not really cancer at all. The vast majority of these cases are actually small, low-risk, papillary thyroid tumors. And despite our fear of the word “tumor,” these growths are highly unlikely to ever progress to cause any symptoms, let alone fatalities.
But the cancer industry has become expert at diagnosing and treating non-cancer. After all, health insurance policies reimburse physicians well for frequent, routine use of sophisticated screening techniques like MRIs, CT scans, and portable ultrasound devices.
As with most of modern medicine, new medical technologies are leading the charge (and charges). Dr. Damian Dupuy, director of tumor ablation at Rhode Island Hospital and professor of diagnostic imaging at Brown University’s medical school, recently pointed out to Medscape Medical News that ultrasound cancer screening has become so inexpensive that doctors can test virtually every patient.ii
“Are you helping [patients] by doing that?” he asked. “No, but if you can charge for it, you’re helping your own pocketbook…It’s the fee-for-service model that is pushing testing, follow-up, and biopsy because you get paid to do that.”
So now new technology is allowing doctors to practice “pinhead” medicine on thyroid nodules that never grow nor metastasize and would never harm the patient. When they should really be focusing on thyroid tumors that are actually cancerous and dangerous. Fortunately, these are relatively rare.
How can you counteract this overdiagnosis and overtreatment?
Unfortunately, there’s not much research or research funding regarding natural approaches to preventing or treating thyroid cancer. But you can watch for potential risk factors like family history, exposure to radiation, or lack of iodine in the diet, which stimulates thyroid cells to grow. Seafood is an excellent and healthy source of iodine (see “The dangerous deficiency no one is talking about” in the October 2012 issue of Insiders’ Cures).
In addition, keep an eye on your neck. The thyroid gland is very close to the surface of the neck and can easily be felt. So check your neck for any changes when you’re shaving or putting on makeup in the morning. This is particularly important if you’re feeling unexplainably hyper or sluggish, which could indicate a thyroid issue.
Make sure your doctor always examines your neck and thyroid when you go in for a physical. And always consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about a neck mass or possible thyroid tumor.
Of course, you can—and should—be doing everything you can to prevent ANY type of cancer from occurring. For complete details on the best natural approaches for preventing cancer, see my special report The “One Word” Battle Plan to Crushing Cancer. (If you don’t still have the copy you received when you subscribed to Insiders’ Cures, you can download and view this report for free in the subscribers section.
I “Thyroid cancer: zealous imaging has increased detection and treatment of low risk tumours.” BMJ 2013;347:f4706.
ii “Low-Risk Thyroid Cancer Overdiagnosed, Overtreated.” Available at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/810129. Accessed February 17, 2014.