National Cancer Institute May Soften Up Cancer Definition

31 Jul

There are now a group of experts who feel that the current cancer screening tests are too suggestive. Their proposal to the National Cancer Institute is that the word cancer be removed from the conversation with patients after performing some cancer screening procedures. The proposal is a result of the experts’ opinions that many cancer procedures performed are unnecessary and cause undue stress on the patients. The mention of the word cancer to the patient causes the patient to expect treatment and possible death.

“We need a 21st-century definition of cancer instead of a 19th-century definition of cancer, which is what we’ve been using,”

Procedures performed after hundreds of thousands of routine screening tests result in disfiguring and needless suffering. A change in the definition of what is considered cancer is the proposal.

“While the policy change, announced on Monday but not yet made final, has the potential to save 20,000 lives a year, some doctors warned about the cumulative radiation risk of repeat scans as well as worries that broader use of the scans will lead to more risky and invasive medical procedures.”

This comes at the same time a federal panel is suggesting that all smokers and ex-smokers get annual CT scans to detect cancer. This would affect millions of patients.

Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in the US, and decisions made by the National Cancer Institute can have a profound impact on the health of the US population. Below is a list of the leading causes of death in the US during 2010, when the official CDC data is merged with data from the book: Death By Medicine released in October of 2012.

Rank Leading Causes of Death in the US in 2010 Deaths Source

1

Heart disease

597,689

CDC

2

Cancer

574,743

CDC

3

Outpatients

199,000

Starfield(12), Weingart(112)

4

Chronic lower respiratory diseases

138,080

CDC

5

Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases)

129,476

CDC

6

Accidents (unintentional injuries)

120,859

CDC

7

Bedsores

115,000

Xakellis(7), Barczak (8)

8

Malnutrition

108,800

Nurses Coalition(11)

9

Adverse Drug Reactions

106,000

Lazarou(1), Suh (49)

10

Medical error

98,000

IOM(6)

11

Infection

88,000

Weinstein(9), MMWR (10)

12

Alzheimer’s disease

83,494

CDC

13

Diabetes

69,071

CDC

14

Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis

50,476

CDC

15

Influenza and Pneumonia

50,097

CDC

16

Intentional self-harm (suicide)

38,364

CDC

17

Unnecessary Procedures

37,136

HCUP(3,13)

18

Surgery-Related

32,000

AHRQ(85)

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