My letter to Ms. Katie Couric
Back in the year 2000, Ms. Couric told the American public that colon cancer is more than 90% curable — but only if you get tested in time. Since then, the number of colonoscopy screenings went up from under 1 million to over 14 million. Actually, the 90% cure rate claim is a lie.
According to the American Cancer Society as recently as in 2008, "There are no prospective randomized controlled trials of screening colonoscopy for the reduction in incidence of or mortality from colorectal cancer." The National Cancer Institute is equally unambiguous: ―…it is not yet known for certain whether colonoscopy can help reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer." That is why I approached Ms. Couric with this letter:
May 19, 2008
Ms. Katie Couric
Anchor, Managing Editor
CBS Evening News
524 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
Tel. (212) 975-3247
Dear Ms. Couric,
I am the author of the enclosed book entitled Fiber Menace, and its matching web site FiberMenace.com. Along with other articles related to colorectal health, this site features an essay entitled “Colonoscopy: Is it worth it?” This essay outlines the considerable risks related to colonoscopies, their relative worthlessness, and provides a balanced and weighted approach regarding colon cancer screening and risk avoidance.
Once you have had an opportunity to review my book and site, you‘ll have a much better perspective on why you are receiving this letter, and why I am asking you for help. My request is very simple: please use your considerable influence to become an agent of change. Some very unscrupulous people have been using your grief, prominence, and position to promote colonoscopies and fiber for their own good, not for the good of you, your family, or your audience.
At present, you are the only person in the United States who can facilitate abrupt change and bring to an end this ruthless exploitation of unsuspecting Americans. Just like you, all these millions of people who are submitting themselves to unnecessary colonoscopies are someone else‘s mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, or sons and daughters.
Lets work together to stop this disaster. I realize how embarrassing it may be for your to reverse your position and to admit that you have been used, but it would be even more embarrassing if people without your best interest in mind used this information against you, against the NCCRA, and against your current and past employers.
I look forward to meeting you in New York at your earliest convenience. You may contact me at [my cell phone number] to arrange a meeting to discuss this matter further. I have eight years of extensive experience in live radio and some experience in television, and am an effective spokesperson for causes I choose to promote. With your kind help and participation, we can save countless lives, and prevent more cases of colon cancer and more tragedies than any other approach.
Please help me, help yourself, help your fellow Americans, please, please, please!.. Thank you in advance for considering my request.
As I already said in my investigative report, neither Ms. Couric nor her producers have responded to this letter, so I contacted Ms. Couric again on June 14, 2008 via her personal blog, which, obviously, she or a member of her staff read. No response either.
As of December 1st, 2011, my two-parts post — only 1500 characters per post are accepted per post — is still there, they didn't even bother to delete it. Complete and utter contempt…
Remarkably, while promoting screening colonoscopies, Ms. Couric has failed to disclose her connection to GE Healthcare, a division of General Electric, and a sister company of the NBC Corporation, also owned by GE. This $17 billion company is one of the world‘s largest manufacturers of CT scanners used for virtual colonoscopy (around $3,5 million each), and a direct beneficiary of Ms. Couric‘s public activism.
It's worth repeating that a single virtual colonoscopy (abdominal CT scan) exposes patients to the radiation level experienced by the survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, and increases the lifetime chances of contracting any other cancer by 20%, or to 1 chance in 5. These odds are 400% to 800% higher than the lifetime risk of colorectal cancer (from 1 in 20 to 40) for up to 97.5% of all Americans.
Despite the obvious absurdity of preventing a lesser cancer by getting a patient killed by another form of cancer, virtual colonoscopies are now recommended every 5 years, even though, according to the National Cancer Institute "Whether virtual colonoscopy can reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer is not yet known."
Not surprisingly, and despite the annual cost of screening colonoscopy upwards of $30 billion, the incidence of colorectal cancer increased by 22% from the time Ms. Couric had her first televised colonoscopy in year 2000, while the colon cancer mortality rate remained practically unchanged.