Colonoscopy: Is It Worth The Risk?
In the early spring of 2008, while researching the iatrogenic (related to medical treatments) causes of colorectal disorders, I wrote an essay entitled “Colonoscopy: Is it worth it?” It was based on the following crystal-clear statement-of-fact by the National Cancer Institute: "...it is not yet known for certain whether colonoscopy can help reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer."
The facts, figures, and conclusions presented
in that essay were so appalling that I sent a private letter to
Ms. Katie Couric — a principal driving force behind colonoscopy
screenings in the United States — who has been claiming a complete
opposite: “ In
fact, it‘s [colon cancer] more than 90% curable
— but only if you get tested in time.”
Here is a copy of that letter:
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
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
Please help me, help yourself, help your fellow
Americans, please, please, please!.. Thank you in advance for
considering my request.
To my astonishment, a seemingly sincere and caring Ms. Couric has never
replied, so I've kept on digging this topic deeper and deeper. After
identifying even more disturbing facts behind the relentless
promotion of screening colonoscopies, I've produced an expanded version
of the original report
on video and released it in January of 2009.
Despite my considerable efforts to inform health reporters at major
newspapers, magazines, wire services, and television stations about the
dangers of screening colonoscopies outlined in my
report, it was also ignored.
After failing to attract the attention of mainstream media, I prepared a video appeal and accompanying cover letter
(below) to our newly elected president
and submitted both to the WhiteHouse.gov website on March 23, 2009. After
all, Mr. Obama at that time had been urging our active participation in
the formation of public policy, and I had
absolutely no reason to doubt his interest:
The President of The United
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
March 23, 2009
Dear Mr. President,
Congratulations on becoming
the President of the United States. Your
election has become a tremendous source of
inspiration to me, and the catalyst to
become a public health advocate.
Your intention to transform
our healthcare system has motivated me to
challenge one of the most deadliest of
medical dogmas — the necessity, safety, and
alleged efficacy of screening colonoscopies.
This challenge is difficult
to accomplish on my own because it adversely
affects the reputations, careers, and the
immense profits of influential individuals
and entities in the mass media, business,
and medicine that have been built on
promoting colorectal cancer screenings. For
this reason I‘ve decided to appeal to you
publicly, and ask for your intervention in
All of the facts presented
in my appeal are no more farfetched or
improbable than the recently disgraced
screening test for prostate cancer, even
though the independent experts were warning
us about its appalling potential for harm
over many years.
You yourself, Mr.
President, are just a few years away from
your first screening colonoscopy. Your
well-meaning doctors may erroneously advise
you that your colorectal cancer risk is
“higher than average” because of your
This erroneous assumption
is derived from analyzing the morbidity and
mortality of African-Americans, who, on
average, have higher rates of obesity and
diabetes — major predisposing risk factors
for colorectal cancer — than white
Hopefully, your review of
the facts and recommendations presented in
my appeal will spare you from taking
unnecessary medical risks that may
irreversibly compromise your health, future,
Your attention to this
grievous situation will also help all
Americans to learn the true facts about the
dangers of screening colonoscopies, reduce
related morbidity and mortality, and save or
redirect tens of billions of dollars to
critical services for children and the
Thank you in advance for
reviewing and acting upon my appeal.
Submitted on WhiteHouse.gov website
March 23, 2009
Well, as you can
surmise by now, my appeal [link] was ignored by
Mr. Obama's staff, and no one had bothered to alert their boss
or First Lady about this matter. Lo and behold, in March of 2010
President Obama himself underwent a
CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) test during his first physical
exam as commander-in-chief [link].
dubious procedure exposed him to a dose of ionizing
radiation comparable to “some of the Japanese survivors of the atomic
Considering Mr. Obama's ethnicity (the rates of major cancers among
black Americans are higher than among whites), smoking habit,
and overexposure to stress, his lifetime risk of a fatal cancer will
probably be even greater. Who needs to fear nuclear terrorists when your
own doctors are so eager to nuke you?
Well, truth is a stubborn
creature. On November 9, 2011, three and a half years after my first
contact with Ms. Couric, the Journal of the National Cancer
Institute published an editorial entitled «Less is More: Not
“Going the Distance” and Why» [link].
After enumerating a smaller subset of the problems related to screening
colonoscopies, it concluded:
colonoscopy can mean
more well-being for us all. ”
Sure, being righted feels great. On the other hand, a lot of people
have been harmed or killed in the past several years; a lot more,
including the President of the United States, have been exposed to
cancer-causing ionizing radiation from virtual colonoscopies, and I feel terrible about it.
dreadful — I don't expect this travesty to end anytime soon because so
much windfall profit rides on this deadly racket.
Without further ado, here is the
original report from January 2009:
DeathS FROM Colonoscopy? You Bet...
Each year over 14 million healthy Americans are getting screened for
colon cancer. Of these, according to the report “Complications of
Colonoscopy in an Integrated Health Care Delivery System” by the Annals
of Internal Medicine, an estimated 70,000 (0.5%) are killed or injured
by colonoscopy-related complications. This figure is higher than the
total number of annual deaths from colon cancer itself, 22% higher.
The number of casualties above doesn't include deferred complications
from colon prep and general anesthesia, such as kidney failure, stroke,
heart attack, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, intestinal obstruction, and
numerous others. Nor does it include the
increased risk of all other cancers from radiation exposure caused by
virtual colonoscopies. Thus, if
you are close to or past 50, and have been considering screening
colonoscopy, the next 9 minutes may save your life and prevent
Part I. The Anatomy Of A Deadly Deception
Problems watching? View on YouTube. Read transcript.
Dramatic increase in the
incidence of colorectal cancer. Despite tens of millions of
screening colonoscopies performed between the years 2000 and 2007,
the annual incidence of
colorectal cancer in the United States increased by about 30,000 more
More polyps are missed than
to a third of all colonoscopies routinely miss polyps and cancerous tumors.
According to the report I cited at the beginning of this page, practically 100% of all
polyps are missed in the right (ascending) colon.
Increased cancer risk from
radiation. X-ray exposure
from a single virtual colonoscopy increases one‘s lifetime risk of cancer by
Virtual colonoscopies are now recommended every 5 years. By age 70 one‘s
risk of developing any other form of cancer grows to 100%. Killing you with
another form of cancer before the colon gets affected is one hell of the way
to “prevent” colon cancer.
Polypectomy doesn't prevent
cancers. According to the research published
back in 2006, the screened patients
in all of the studies developed colorectal cancer “at the same rate as would
be expected in the general population without screening” in the next
few years, even though they have removed all found polyps.
No clinical research to
support the rationale of colonoscopy screening. According to the American Cancer
Society, up untill now (that‘s in 2009) “…there
are no prospective randomized controlled trials of screening colonoscopy for
the reduction in incidence of or mortality from colorectal cancer.”
In other words, the recommendation to undergo colonoscopy screening is based
entirely on its income potential, not proven health benefits.
No clinical research to
support the effectiveness of virtual colonoscopies. The National Cancer Institute is
even more explicit: “…it is not yet
known [in 2008] for certain whether colonoscopy can help reduce the number
of deaths from colorectal cancer.” and “Whether virtual colonoscopy
can reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer is not yet known.”
Part II. Turning A Probable Death Sentence Into A Manageable Risk
View on YouTube. Read transcript.
Overblown risk of colorectal
cancer death. The risk of colorectal cancer is exaggerated for
commercial purposes. Even a person in a high-risk group is 12 times as
likely to die from heart disease; 10 times from any other cancer, 6 times
from a medical error, 3 times from stroke, and twice as likely to die from
A large-scale investigation of
colonoscopy screening demonstrated its complete futility. The
eighteen-years-long Minnesota Colon
Cancer Control Study included 46,000+ patients between the ages of
50 and 80. It demonstrated only a
0.6% reduction in the incidence of colorectal cancer. Statistically
speaking, this difference is even less than the chance outcome of one
thousand coin flips.
increases mortality from all other causes, research shows. The Telemark Polyp Study I demonstrated a
157% increase in
mortality among screened patients vis-à-vis unscreened controls. The
decrease in the incidence of colorectal cancers was only… 2%, which,
statistically speaking again, is essentially none at all. In the video I mistakenly indicate 57% increase in mortality instead of
Colorectal cancer is a
lifestyle disease. The majority of colorectal cancers aren't
hereditary, and the majority of people in the high-risk group never
develop one either. This means that colorectal cancer is connected to
lifestyle factors, just like lung cancer is connected to one's smoking.
Part III. Why Screening Colonoscopy Increases the Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Watch on YouTube. Read transcript.
estimated 95% of all polyps are benign. They will never become
cancers, so removing them makes just as much sense as zapping the moles
off your buttocks to prevent melanoma.
● Not all
colorectal cancers are preceded by detectable polyps. It is believed an
even larger share of colon cancers start from flat lesions that no one
is suggesting to remove, even though they are considered five times
as cancerous as large polyps.
cancer risk. Removing polyps or even doing biopsies releases
cancer cells into the bloodstream and the colon's lumen. In turn, these
cells may seed all other cancers throughout the body.
procedure. Even the most thorough endoscopists may miss up to
30% of detectable polyps. The less rigorous routinely miss up to 60%,
including actual cancer tumors. All of them, regardless of skill or
attention, miss 100% of polyps in the right colon.
procedure. The average age for colorectal cancer diagnosis is
72. Commencing invasive screening and polypectomies in asymptomatic
people at age 50 is just as absurd as taking contraceptives after
● High risk
of internal bleeding. Polypectomy profoundly increases patients'
risk of death from hard-to-detect internal bleeding, which may lead to
ischemic stroke, myocardial ischemia, cardiac arrest, or sudden cardiac
demonstrable benefit. If polypectomies were, indeed, effective,
with about half of Americans past age fifty getting screened, we should
have enjoyed at least a 50% reduction in the incidence and mortality of
colon cancer. Instead, we have a 22% increase in the incidence of
colorectal cancer. Most likely, this increase is related to
Part IV. Why Screening Colonoscopy Increases Mortality?
Watch on YouTube. Read transcript.
● Irreversible kidney damage. Over 85,000 people die annually from
kidney failure — that is almost 50% more than from colorectal cancer.
Many of these deaths have been precipitated by a careless and damaging
dehydration. Colonoscopy prep causes severe dehydration. It may
result in dizziness, syncope, ischemic stroke, blood clotting, sudden
cardiac death, a fall or an accident, medication overdose, and other
complications. The death rate related to these side effects is not
bowel disorders. Bowel movement disruption following colonoscopy
commonly leads to chronic constipation, severe diarrhea, diverticulitis,
and bowel obstruction. All of these conditions constitute a primary
cause of inflammatory bowel disease. That factor alone increases the risk of
colon cancer by 32 times!
heart disease. The confirmed rate of severe cardiovascular risk
from general anesthesia for low-risk surgical procedures, such as
colonoscopy, ranges from 0.27% to 1.1% within the first six days after
clotting and pulmonary embolism. Deep vein thrombosis and
pulmonary embolism are a common side effect related to general
anesthesia. Pulmonary embolism causes or contributes to up to 200,000
deaths annually in the United States.
infection and pneumonia. An estimated 25% of all people develop
chest infections after general anesthesia, and many older people die
weeks or months later from acute pneumonia. The mortality rate from
pneumonia is 5%, and about 60,000 people die annually — more than from
● Complications and medical errors related to colonoscopy. At
least 70,000 patients get injured by colonoscopy, according to actual
reports. The unreported injury rate may be close to 280,000, or 2%.
risk of all other cancers. The potential long-term death toll
from all other cancers caused by polypectomy-related contamination, and
radiation exposure from virtual colonoscopies, is in the millions.
measurable impact relative to effort. Even according to Katie
Couric, who has a penchant for exaggeration, colorectal cancer mortality
is down just 2,500 cases a year, or under 2% of all deaths, a value too
small to be considered a definite trendsetter.
The following sections expand on above videos with practical advice and additional commentaries:
» Side Effects Of Screening Colonoscopies
» Frequently Asked Questions About Screening Colonoscopies
» Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors
» Colorectal Cancer Prevention
You can also access all these sections from selected sidebars.
A wealthy acquaintance
of mine died at age 56 from brain cancer. His brain tumor was
probably contributed to by earlier treatment for colon cancer.
In turn, his colon cancer was probably caused by frequent
virtual colonoscopies and coronary angiograms — a
preventative computer-assisted x-ray (CT scan) of, respectively,
the colon and heart.
With a strong conviction that money
can buy just about anything, a $1,000 scan to him was less than $1 to most
people. So, why not, as he once told me, buy some “peace of mind,” right?
I wrote my books and developed this
site for people who still value a buck and wish to prevent common
gastrointestinal disorders and escape colorectal cancer without relying on
cancer-causing screening colonoscopies, addictive laxatives, harmful fiber
supplements, ineffective and deadly drugs, and irreversible,
The information on this site complements and
expands the content of Gut Sense and Fiber Menace. Both books evolved from
my extensive research in the field of forensic nutrition. Unlike orthodox nutrition, which
studies and promotes “health food, ” forensic nutrition studies
why people get sick and die from a presumably “healthy ” diet.