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Katie Couric Misrepresented Screening Benefits - Claims 'Death By Colonoscopy' Expose
Date:1/19/2009

LYNDHURST, N.J., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Back in 2000 Katie Couric told Americans that colorectal cancer (CRC) is "more than 90% curable -- but only if you get tested in time." The investigative report "Death By Colonoscopy" will show that according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), as recently as in 2008, "...it is not yet known for certain whether colonoscopy can help reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer."

Nonetheless, thanks to "The Katie Couric Effect," the number of screening colonoscopies increased from under 1 million in year 2000 to over 14 million today, costing American consumers upwards of $30 billion. During the same timeframe, the annual incidence of colorectal cancer went up 22%, not down. Mortality remained practically unchanged.

According to the recently published research in the Annals of Internal Medicine, colonoscopy is 10 times riskier than any other cancer screening. According to the NCI, the rate for serious complications is 0.5%. This means an estimated 70,000 Americans are killed or injured annually by complications alone. Combined with deferred side effects, such as stroke, heart attack, bleeding, or pneumonia, the overall annual mortality related to colonoscopy screenings may exceed the mortality from colon cancer itself(<55,000).

Other relevant facts:

  • A single virtual colonoscopy exposes patients to a level of radiation experienced by the survivors of the Hiroshima a-bomb, and increases all-cancer risk by 20%, while the initial colorectal cancer risk is under 5%. (Source: FDA)
  • Virtual colonoscopies are now recommended every 5 years, even though "Whether virtual colonoscopy can reduce the number of deaths from CRC is not yet known." (NCI, 2008) Deaths from cancers caused by virtual colonoscopy are expected to affect tens of millions of Americans for generations.
  • The 18 year long
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SOURCE www.GutSense.org
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