Awareness Drives: “How dare you be at peace with your own self?"
The Times of India, November 19, 2013 headlines “Fighting a Silent Epidemic.” The write-up by Harmala Gupta, founder-president of CanSupport goes on to exhortwomen to seek early diagnosis and the sequences thereafter. “To add to this, even after discovering a lump in the breasts women in India tend to delay investigations, thereby losing precious time. Besides modesty, there is the fear of the attendant negative social consequences.” A picture of women being mammographed has the caption: “Globally more women are being cured of breast cancer than ever before.”
It is rightly said that the Pathway to Iatrogenic Hell is often paved with the Best of Therapeutic Intentions. The paper and the writer go bashing Indian womanhood, and then give data and directions totally out of sync with well-established scientific facts.
We only have to recall two sources. The Scottish Physicians’ Memorandum on Breast Cancer 1802, reprinted “with full justification” in the International Journal of Cancer by Leslie Foulds of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (UK) made it very clear that by the time a lump is formed, much less discovered or diagnosed, you ARE too latein the day, an observation just ratified on page 689 of the famed Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th edition, 2012. So whom are we kidding?
The other authority is Brooke of UK, who described the phase of asymptomatic or silent cancer as its “discreet silence.” Brooke’s assigning the wisdom of discretion is fully justified from all facts available on the cytokinetics and tumourokinetics of any cancer. Hoer’s law that “It is impossible to make an asymptomatic person feel better” has the devastating corollary of making the person feel worse. Let the Awareness-Enthusiasts realize that they are dragging their innocent victims to an iatrogenic hell.
A latest report of failure of cancer breast is from the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, The Times of India, December 13, 2013 declaring that “If breast cancer spreads, surgery can’t prolong life, and Chemotherapy gives similar results.” The powerful oncologists of Tata and elsewhere are blissfully ignorant of what Sushruta aphorized 2500 years ago, namely, that a primary form of cancer sends emissaries all over the body, the primary grows first, the secondaries grow later. So, it comes to that the so-called breast lump should not be sought, and if found should better be left alone.
A recent strategy by the Tata Memorial Centre (Mumbai Mirror, December 23, 2012) is to have an air-conditioned van, fully equipped with diagnostic nano machines persuading the people of rural coastal Maharashtra into yielding check-ups and the consequences thereof. Two years of efforts have paid off by allowing diagnosis of cancer of hypopharynx in 3, esophageal cancer is 8 and anal cancer in 13, a tally of 24, after examining thousands of cases. “The number may look small, but the findings are startling” explains radiologist Dr.Kulkarni, principal investigator in the study. “At present, the incidence of hypopharynx, esophagus and oral cancers is said to be 25 for every 10 lac (1000,000) persons.” Such a study would obviously put the cancer-scare in 1999975 persons before nabbing the otherwise silent 25 cancers.
Cancer Epidemic: Since 1980s a trend of projecting cancer as an epidemic has emerged, this continues un-abated. Epidemic is generally synonymous with contagious disease is now being used freely to depict the spread of cancer. Statistical jugglaries coupled with spreading of cancer-o-phobia are used to prove the point. As emphasized earlier that cancer is a disease of age and hence an increase in lifespan increases the total death due to cancer. Tests like Mammogram and PSA which is capable of diagnosing asymptomatic cancer adds to the number and according to an article of British Medical Journal which recently combed through American data on cancer deaths and diagnoses found that, while American deaths from certain cancers have remained pretty constant since the 1970s, the number of cancer diagnoses has skyrocketed. Which the journal feels “As screening tests become more sensitive and pervasive, they pick up more cancers or abnormalities that previously would have gone undiagnosed and caused no symptoms or harm.”