Mini-health report: The cancers that don’t kill you

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mammogram

 

Medical over – diagnosis

Another recent report concerns the dangers of over-diagnosis. With constant screening for breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer and other “cancers of the month”, more cancers are being detected.

On the surface, this is a good thing, the orthodoxy being early detection means early treatment and saved lives. However, there are now many cancers being detected that will not kill you, so many in fact, that oncologists call them “incidental-omas”.

It has been estimated that for every woman who doesn’t die of breast cancer because of screening, three are over-diagnosed and subsequently over-treated (with the usual distressing side-effects of chemotherapy).

Our “War on Drugs” has deadly ramifications

A deadly combination of the Western world’s “war on drugs”, and its monopoly on the opiate pain-killing drugs, has meant that 90% of the world’s morphine is used in affluent countries while pain goes un-treated in Asian, African and South American countries. It is almost impossible to obtain morphine in India.

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Robert Gosstray

Robert Gosstray is a retired pharmacist and the resident health writer for Midlifexpress. He is the author of The Pharmacist's Secrets: Drugs, lies and money.

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