American Cancer Society

  1. How supplements can save you from cancer

    I was just about to celebrate the American Cancer Society's new common sense guidelines for disease survivors on the role of exercise and nutrition in preventing a recurrence -- until they started taking potshots at supplements.

    It's like they can't help themselves.

    "There is no good evidence that supplements reduce recurrence risk and increasing evidence that they may be harmful in some cases," the society's director of nutrition and physical activity, Colleen Doyle, told WebMD in a feature about the new guidelines.

    That's so much nonsense I don't know where to begin -- because there IS plenty of evidence that poor nutrition can increase the risk of cancer recurrence... that proper levels of vitamins and minerals can prevent it... and that supplements in particular can play a critical role in raising those levels.

    No less than three studies last year, for example, found that breast cancer survivors have a lower risk of recurrence when they take supplements.

    In one, women who took multivitamins with minerals in the year before their diagnosis and for the five years afterwards were 31 percent less likely to have a recurrence than women who didn't take them. They also had a lower risk of death from the disease as well as death from all causes.

    In the second, women who took vitamin E, vitamin C, or multivitamins in the six months after a breast cancer diagnosis had a 22 percent lower risk of recurrence and an 18 percent lower risk of death.

    And in the third, fish oil supplements reduced the risk of both recurrence and death.

    In a randomized trial of 1,200 healthy, postmenopausal women from Nebraska, the ones given calcium and vitamin D supplements had a 60 percent lower risk of all cancers than those given a placebo.

    I could go on with these all day. Here's another: In a 10-year study, patients who underwent colon cancer surgery who were given supplements of coriolus -- a type of mushroom -- were twice as likely to remain disease free compared to those given a placebo.

    And let's not forget that repeated studies on vitamin D have consistently found that people with the highest blood levels have the lowest risk of recurrence of lung, breast, and colon cancer -- not to mention a lower rate of death.

    There's only two ways to raise those blood levels -- sunbathe, or take supplements.

    Don't believe mainstream medicine's mantra that "chemotherapy" and "radiation" are the only "supplements" that can prevent cancer.

  2. A not-so-fond farewell to the PSA test

    It's one of the smartest moves ever made by a government panel -- so naturally, they're catching hell for it.

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has urged docs and patients to put the kibosh on the PSA test -- because after some 2 million prostate surgeries and procedures based on that screening, the disease's death rate has remained unchanged.

    In other words, it's crystal clear that those PSA tests haven't saved lives. They've only increased the number of life-altering surgeries and other treatments that have left men battling side effects like incontinence, infection and sexual dysfunction.

    And in the cruelest irony of all, some men have even died as a direct result of those prostate screenings and surgeries.

    But I'm sure you've heard the noise by now: Instead of welcoming the Task Force's long-overdue move toward common sense, there have been howls of protest.

    Look closely, however, and you'll see none of them are coming from objective scientists.

    They're coming from people with a stake in continued PSA testing.

    The loudest cries are from the urologists and oncologists who've earned big money on prostate procedures over the years. In fact, as of this writing, the only major medical groups to come out against the new recommendations are urologists.

    Even the American Cancer Society has remained silent -- with some of its top officers admitting that PSA tests have led to the mass overtreatment of harmless prostate cancers.

    "We didn't start using this test because we had clinical trials that showed it worked -- we started using it because it was around and we were told it saves lives," Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, the organization's deputy chief medical officer told PBS News. "There's nothing to indicate that was true."

    But many of the men who've had a cancer detected by a PSA test -- and treatments on those cancers -- are convinced it saved their lives. They make up the other group protesting this, even though they have no way of knowing whether the treatment actually prevented their own death.

    In fact, the numbers show the opposite: They almost certainly would have lived a long and healthy life never even knowing they had prostate cancer -- and eventually, they would have died of something else.

    It's tough to believe that, especially if you've gone through the trauma of a prostate surgery and battled the side effects afterwards… but those numbers don't lie.

    And now, even the government is ready to admit it. The real question today is: Will your own doctor play along?

    I'm not done with prostate cancer yet -- keep reading for more on the vitamin that WON'T raise your risk.

  3. Cancer screening gets a smack

    The American Cancer Society is revising its position on screenings, admitting that recommending them for everyone has led to over-treatment. It's about time.
  4. Cancer screening gets a smack

    The American Cancer Society is revising its position on screenings, admitting that recommending them for everyone has led to over-treatment.

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