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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mammograms Proven Not to Have Saved Lives │ Antidepressants That Can Result in Bone Fractures

Partly to remove the temptation of sitting up late last night as I had done the previous night, I took remedial action early last evening.

I wish and pray such is not unnecessary, but my reality is what it is.

At least I was in bed comfortably ahead of midnight.

It was well past 8:00 a.m. when I decided to rise for the new day ─ and I had a Rogers bill payment to mail.  Supposedly, the reasonably nearby mailbox has a 9:00 a.m. pick-up.  I hope so.  The payment needs to be received by Rogers by Friday, or a late payment fee will be levied.

I have said so before, but I will say it again ─ I despise Rogers' choice of due dates.

The bill I had to pay actually said that it was due by July 18, so I was not initially concerned when I was looking it over on the past weekend.

It was only yesterday that I checked the calendar and saw that the 18th is a bloody Saturday ─ there is no mail delivery on Saturday!

So why the Hell not just make the payment due on the 17th, Friday?

Anyway, I almost stumbled my feeble way to the mailbox ─ I can scarce believe how utterly narcotized I feel after I rise in the morning.  It's truly pathetic.

I had no sooner gotten back home and was boiling the water for my day's first mug of instant coffee/cocoa powder blend, when I noticed a car entering the driveway ─ it was my wife Jack making a surprisingly early visit home from Vancouver.

It could only have been 8:50 a.m. at most.

This was good, though ─ as reported yesterday, I needed her signature on our home mortgage early renewal agreement, which has to be at the bank by the 16th.

With her signature added, I called a 1-800 number for the bank and enquired if the document could be delivered to absolutely any branch, or did it have to go directly to the branch that prepared it?

If it had to go to the branch that prepared it ─ i.e., one in New Westminster ─ then Jack was going to have to deliver it.

With relief, I learned that any branch could process it.

I will walk it to a branch in Whalley tomorrow.

The main reason Jack was home so early was that she was invited to attend a sort of birthday party for her friend Fanta at Fanta's restaurant in Langley.  It's taking place early to avoid inconveniencing the public and reducing the day's business.

Jack said that the monks from the Thai temple in Burnaby would be there around 10:30 a.m.  Apart from Fanta's birthday, periodic fests involving the monks allows them to bless the business.

For anyone who does not know, my wife is Thai, as are many of her friends.

I thought to ask Jack how the monks from Burnaby's Buddapanyanuntarama Buddhist Monastery get to events like this, and Jack explained that someone always picks up the group and drives them.

Supposedly, they are not "allowed" to drive, although she conceded that monks in the States are not always as restricted.

I learned something else from Jack concerning her youngest son Pote ─ he had started employment with a Nike shop this past Sunday, but never went to work yesterday, and is still in bed today (it is the noon hour).

Apparently Pote's schedule only involves Sundays and Thursdays at this point.

Jack also mentioned some news concerning her oldest son Tho ─ he has spoken to her of taking some time off work to experience some sort of vacation.

How the moron thinks he can do this certainly mystifies me.  He can barely survive from one payday to the next as things are ─ and he pays absolutely nothing towards upkeep of the house.

In other words, even though his income is utterly his own to disburse as he sees necessary, he is always broke by the time his fortnightly payday rolls around.

Jack said that she has tried to encourage him to get a second job in the evenings working at someplace like Walmart ─ maybe in a stockroom.  But I know he would never do that ─ it would crimp his time for his girlfriend Tiffany.

He's never had a girlfriend before her, so he clings desperately to her.

Jack probably left home around 10:00 a.m. to head over to see Fanta, but she said that she would likely return home before returning to Vancouver to work later today.

The sunny weather is definitely back.

Wikimedia.org: Woman undergoing a mammogram of the right breast

The following two important mammogram reports that were released yesterday concern a recently-published study titled Breast Cancer Screening, Incidence, and Mortality Across US Counties (doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.3043).

The first report about it is from the Health Sciences Institute (HSI) ─ a member site of NewMarketHealth.com:

An imaginary life preserver
The breast cancer industry doesn't like to let facts get in the way of good marketing.

For years they've been putting out the bumper stickers... the brochures... the reminder cards... and the commercials making the phony promise that an annual mammogram could save your life.

But a new Ivy League study has proven that's a dangerous lie. In fact, researchers say they now have the smoking-gun proof that a mammogram is more likely to wreck your life than add a single day to it.

Researchers from Harvard and Dartmouth decided to answer a basic question. One that any doctor should ask himself before exposing a woman to the pain and radiation of a mammogram.

Does this test actually save lives?

And the answer was a complete, resounding -- and hopefully final -- no.

The research team poured over 10 years' worth of mammogram screenings, breast cancer diagnoses and deaths from 550 counties across America. The study included nearly 16 million women.

And when all the data was crunched, researchers couldn't find a shred of evidence that getting a mammogram will add a day to your life.

You see, the counties where most women got mammograms had the exact same breast cancer death rates as the counties where relatively few women opted for the screening. And even as counties increased their mammogram screening rates over the 10 years studied, their death rates didn't budge.

In other words, more mammograms didn't mean fewer deaths. And, in fact, a previous study out of Canada that tracked 90,000 women for 25 years found the same exact thing.

Charles Harding, the lead author of this latest research, admits that his study "raises important questions about the benefits of mammography screening."

Harding and his colleagues discovered that mammograms were more likely to trigger painful, life-changing and unnecessary treatments than save a woman from a deadly cancer. In fact, they called overtreatment and overdiagnosis the most common effect of mammograms.

Women with tumors that were small, isolated and harmless were regularly being sent for follow-up biopsies, surgeries, and more screenings they didn't need after getting mammograms.

Plus, as I've been telling you for years, mammograms often inflict one more appalling toll on women: false positives. LOTS of false positives.

Just this past spring a Harvard study tracked 77,000 women who'd been sent for screenings and treatment after being told that their mammogram results were "suspicious." And it turned out that nearly 99 percent of them had no cancer at all.

Imagine all the agonizing days and sleepless nights those women went through for nothing.

The mammogram has been called the gold standard for breast cancer diagnosis -- but really it's more like a golden payday for the mainstream. Previous studies have found that we're spending nearly $4 billion a year on pointless tests and follow-ups after false-positives generated by mammograms.

That's a lot of cash... and a lot of misery... for a test that's proven time and time again that it's not saving lives.
I keep wondering about how many women who think they are breast cancer survivors actually never even had breast cancer, but underwent surgery anyway...and for nothing? 

Few doctors would ever admit that they made a mistake after something as drastic as a mastectomy, would they?

Dr. William Campbell Douglass II also reported on the study, and with considerably less 'holding back' than was exercised by the Health Sciences Institute:

PROVEN: Mammograms don't save lives
Every time I see a rally of breast cancer "survivors" marching around with their pink ribbons and passing out "SAVE THE TA-TAS" bumper stickers, I feel downright awful for them.

These women are survivors all right... but they're not just cancer survivors.

They're fraud survivors too, but if you try to tell them that you better be able to run fast.

They DON'T want to hear it, and nothing you say will convince them of the fact that nearly all of them were given aggressive treatments they never needed for tumors that never would've hurt them.

They're too busy passing out fliers for mammograms, which is how this whole swindle begins.

You've heard me say that plenty over the years. Now, the latest research proves it, and this new 10-year study isn't some out-there paper from the fringe. It comes from two of the nation's top universities, Harvard and Dartmouth, and was published in one of the most influential journals of all, JAMA Internal Medicine.

The team did something that had never been done before, looking at cancer rates in counties across the nation -- comparing counties with aggressive mammogram programs where people are screened more frequently to those with fewer mammograms.

If mammograms REALLY worked, then every single county with a higher rate of screenings should have a lower rate of cancer deaths years later, right?

Well, that's not what happened at all.

In fact, the death rate didn't budge despite the fact that a 10 percent rise in screening led to 16 percent more cancers diagnoses and 25 percent more small tumors found.

The researchers say the study is proof of the "widespread overdiagnosis" of breast cancer thanks to frequent mammograms -- and you know the other side of that widespread overdiagnosis coin is widespread overtreatment.

That means surgical butchery... toxic drugs... poisonous chemo... radiation... and all the stress, stress, stress, STRESS that comes with a cancer diagnosis.

And it's all for nothing.

The Pink Ribbon Mafia isn't backing down anytime soon. Even in the face of the new study, they've been out urging women to get mammograms anyway.

They don't let the facts stand in their way.

But if you really want to "SAVE THE TA-TAS," pass on the mammograms -- and while you're at it, ditch the pink ribbon, too.

Ta-ta for now,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D. 
Here are a couple of other reports on the study:
Even the researchers can't let go of the ingrained false conviction that mammograms are of value ─ that first article ends with this:
Regardless of the results of the study, the researchers said they do not believe the benefits of screening mammography is zero, and so women should continue to do it as a way to detect breast cancer – even if that is its only value.
What a mess!

Also yesterday, Dr. Douglass had a report warning against use of a certain class of antidepressant drugs ─ unless you enjoy breaking your own bones with practically no effort.

Once again, there is a study behind the warning ─ I located it, but only the abstract or summary is available to the general public without payment of a fee:  SSRI use and risk of fractures among perimenopausal women without mental disorders (doi: 10.1136/injuryprev-2014-041483).

Here's Dr. Douglass:

Common mood med could snap your bones
One day, you're battling a broken heart. The next, you're crippled from a broken hip.

Coincidence? Not if you were taking an antidepressant!

If folks knew the truth about "happy" pills, they'd be downright enraged. These meds come with almost no measurable benefit, but pack more risks than a trip to Syria.

Now, new research uncovers a brand-new risk -- and ladies, this one's aimed right at you, especially if you've been going through "the change."

Menopause alone can speed the process of bone thinning. But the new study finds that when you add an antidepressant to the mix, your bones could snap like a twig.

SSRI drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft and Lexapro -- some of the most popular meds on the planet, especially among menopausal women -- could increase your risk of a broken bone by 76 percent in the first year, according to the study.

Make it past that year in one piece, and your risk is still there. At year two, it's 73 percent and by year five -- if you manage to make it that far -- the risk of a bone break is 67 percent higher.

The study in Injury Prevention focused entirely on women going through menopause, but you can bet a plaster cast and a set of crutches that the risk doesn't magically vanish after "the change."

The same low hormone levels that cause bone loss in the first place stay with you after menopause, and if these drugs are accelerating that process then the risk will remain.

The irony is that those same low hormones are likely what's causing your mood problems -- and there's a solution so simple that you should smack your doctor on the back of his head for not offering it right out of the gate: hormone therapy.

Despite what you may have heard from the sensationalist simps in the media, there are minimal risks from hormone therapy done responsibly, and if you choose bioidentical hormones from an experienced naturopathic physician.

Putting the brakes on bone breaks,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
Here are a couple of other reports on that study:
If a drug is the concoction of some pharmaceutical corporation, leave the damned stuff alone ─ everything they come up with has numerous serious risks.

Jack never did return.

In the very early afternoon, I spent a half-hour sunning my back while lying on the sundeck, and then came into the house for awhile to work on my Lawless Spirit website.

Then in the early mid-afternoon, I sat in a chair on the backyard lawn and sunned my front for a half-hour.

I must say, I have felt rather good today ─ the depression of yesterday is not at hand.

I want to do some further work on Lawless Spirit, so I am going to close this post with an entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 24 years old, and living in a cheap housekeeping room in New Westminster.
SUNDAY, July 14, 1974

David recognized my lock to be open, so caught me home (I was upstairs bathing).  He really wants us to share an apartment.  I spent a lot of time at his place, and had his company while I laundered.  I tried a 'bennie,' but wasn't noticeably affected.

I believe I saw Al & his girlfriend in a green VW on 4th Street at 4th Avenue.

I went to Mark's; Bill had the kids at a show; Mark & Cathy were horse-riding in the U.S. with Darryl & Melanie.

Bill & I left at 11:00 p.m.
I think so very much lately of my old friend Philip David Prince.  I miss him.

We had known one another since commencing Grade VIII at Newton Junior High School during the 1962/1963 school term.  
He was very odd, but exceptionally mature physically, and deeply into what would best be described as physical culture.

But late in his teens, and throughout his 20s, he went astray, and only educated himself on pharmaceuticals, expending all of his energies into being prescribed whatever he could convince doctors he needed.

He died in his skid road hotel room in Vancouver in 1984.

I wish I had him and his friendship today.

"Al & his girlfriend" must have been my young brother Mark's friend, Al Cotts.

Mark and his girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther lived in a home they were renting together on Bentley Road in Whalley.  My old friend William Alan Gill ─ whom I had known a little longer than David ─ had taken Jeanette's two young daughters to see a movie.  He was obviously babysitting while Mark and Jeanette went off with Darryl or Darrell Porteous and his girlfriend Melanie.

Darryl or Darrell was the next youngest brother to Mark's best friend Garry Poretous.

Someone must have been at Mark's home to inform me of everyone's whereabouts...or else I gradually learned the facts when Bill later arrived back at the house with the little girls.   

At least I didn't have to walk back to New Westminster ─ Bill had a bachelor suite in New Westminster, or possibly nearby in Burnaby.  Recollection dims after more than four decades.

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