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Author Topic: Close Encounters of the Third Kind?  (Read 1864 times)

Offline pantodragon

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind?
« on: 17/01/2013 14:20:24 »


The number of invitations that come through my door increases the older I get. 

A few weeks ago I was invited to visit that big, white, sinister looking caravan that sits menacingly in the car park of my local supermarket.  Having no wish to submit myself to the excruciating embarrassment of stripping and having various bits of my naked anatomy poked or prodded or squashed or otherwise scrutinised, followed by an anxious wait of several weeks for the results of the examination, I declined.

I also decline the sort of invitation that asks one to attend the local “health” centre, strip from the waist down, lie on a couch, spread the legs (one is supplied with a minute square of paper to “protect” one’s modesty – too little, too late, is all I can say) and have a doctor administer what is termed an “intimate examination”. 

Yesterday I was invited to collect samples of my own excrement, smear them on pieces of paper and then send this foul, smelly faeces/paper concoction, by post, to an NHS lab.  (One really has to have sympathy for postmen these days – the things they are expected to handle are stomach-churningly revolting.  I mean, can every one who takes samples of their own excrement be trusted to ensure that they don’t smear the outside of the envelope as well?  It’s not a tidy business collecting your own faeces, after all, and accidents will happen.  Even if the envelope looks clean on the outside, it’s perfectly obvious to the postman what it contains……) 

Should I take the NHS up on their invitation, I then have an anxious wait for results.  And as the leaflet informs me, there’s no guarantee the results will even be accurate.  They might be false-positive, false-negative, or just plain negative or positive.  But a negative result doesn’t let you off the hook.  For example, you still have to undergo testing at regular intervals because a cancer may develop in your bowel later.  And even if you don’t have cancer, you might still have polyps, and they could become cancerous at a later date.   On the other hand, if the test is positive, heaven help you because you are then subjected to a colonoscopy i.e. an exploratory probe (a long, thin tube with a camera attached!!!) is inserted into your back passage to take pictures………. I mean, c’mon!!!  Inserting probes into private places is the sort of thing that aliens are supposed to do when they capture you and take you to their spaceship for examination, not one’s own species!!!!!!!! 

As you can no doubt tell, I have serious doubts about these practices.  But what could be wrong with them, they’re all for one’s own good, aren’t they?  No, I don’t think so.

Firstly: when the medical profession persuades people to constantly examine their own bodies, and undergo tests, for cancer, it blithely ignores the “voodoo effect”.  In other words, it could be one’s very obsession with cancer, of being highly susceptible to the suggestion that cancer is a real threat, that causes one to contract the disease in the first place.

Secondly: constantly being on the alert for cancer and frightened of contracting the disease, not to mention all the anxiety involved in undergoing the regular battery of tests for the various forms of cancer, put one under enormous levels of stress.  Stress has a bad effect on the immune system and this weakening of the immune system may result in the cancer that one is so anxious to avoid.

Thirdly: the medical profession are counteracting the good work done by the Darwin Awards!  And yes, I am actually making a serious point here. 


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind?
« Reply #1 on: 17/01/2013 20:46:27 »
Firstly: when the medical profession persuades people to constantly examine their own bodies, and undergo tests, for cancer, it blithely ignores the “voodoo effect”.  In other words, it could be one’s very obsession with cancer, of being highly susceptible to the suggestion that cancer is a real threat, that causes one to contract the disease in the first place.

I think you're out on a limb here.

Self examination of say, the skin, or a breast exam will not "cause" cancer, but could be life saving. 

Likewise, you would need to determine a method for something like colonoscopy to "cause" cancer.  Removing polyps early, however, could prevent, or halt the development of cancer. 

X-Rays are controversial in medicine.  The X-Ray does have the potential to cause cellular damage.  Yet, it may also be the only way to detect something like lung cancer while it is still treatable.  However, in high risk groups, the excess cancers caused by taking annual (or other periodic) chest x-rays is far less than the risk of undetected late stage lung cancer.

There is a lot of debate about slowly developing cancer.  For example, prostate cancer is best treated when it is discovered contained wholly within the prostate, and once it spreads beyond the prostate, it can be a devastating disease.  However, the spread from first detectable to fulminant disease with high risk of morbidity/mortality can take decades.  Treating a person for early stage prostate cancer may in fact cause a significant amount of morbidity without preventing death that may in fact be caused by something else.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind?
« Reply #2 on: 18/01/2013 04:52:33 »
bowel cancer is a common form of cancer ...
Quote
Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK (2010), accounting for around 10% of all cancer deaths. It is the third most common cause of cancer death among men in the UK (2010), accounting for 11% of all male deaths from cancer. It is the third most common cause of death among women (2010), responsible for 10% of all female cancer deaths.
http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/types/bowel/mortality/uk-bowel-cancer-mortality-statistics

I'd send the NHS the used toilet paper they have requested if I were you as it is a curable form of cancer.

BTW from personal experience I can tell you colonoscopy is not that uncomfortable: it's like having trapped wind as the colonoscopist inflates the bowel with air to allow the camera an unobstructed view.

The ward where patients are put post colonoscopy to recover from their optional "light sedation" resounds with ferocious farting as the gas used to inflate their bowels is expelled.  It’s worth having the procedure just to experience a performance of choral flatulation.  :D   [ more like "Blazing Saddles" than "Close Encounters" ].
« Last Edit: 18/01/2013 05:49:26 by RD »
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind?
« Reply #3 on: 18/01/2013 09:06:09 »
.......  It’s worth having the procedure just to experience a performance of choral flatulation.  :D   [ more like "Blazing Saddles" than "Close Encounters" ].

How odd, I was watching that you tube clip just the other day. You make a colonoscopy sound really quite exciting to a person of my weird humour. I think I'll book one right away. Do they allow recording equipment to be taken in?

But I must say I agree with pantodragon. Since passing my 60th 21st birthday, I have been inundated with invitations to have my person inspected by all and sundry for this, that and other. So far as I'm concerned, I've got this far without too much trouble and all the important bits still seem to be working OK. Well, most of them anyway. Alright, they aren't all working as well as they used to, but as well as can be expected after so many years a few years. OK, OK, OK, so I'm a physical wreck...... sheesh!!!

But I've always said 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it', leave well alone. If stops working or falls off, its probably 'cause it isn't being used anymore..... *^"*CLUNK*"^*      Ah! There goes another bit. Not to worry though, it hasn't exactly been used much over the past few years anyway. It just means I'll have to sit down when I want a wee wee. Mind you, I've been doing that for many a year anyway, my aim has never been that good.
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind?
« Reply #4 on: 19/01/2013 16:02:15 »

 

Likewise, you would need to determine a method for something like colonoscopy to "cause" cancer. 

It is well known that people are able to cope with cancer through their immune system.  However, if the immune system is defective, or just simply not up to scratch, (and that could be said of everyone alive), then the cancer will grow.  It is equally well known that stress has an adverse effect on the immune system, ergo a method  for something like colonoscopy to "cause" cancer.

However, that is trivial.  The more important point I wanted to make was about the voodoo effect.  This may be called The Power of Suggestion, but that does not do it justice.  It is a very powerful effect taken advanatge of by advertisers and it is really quite staggering the extent to which people are unconsciously controlled by all the advertising that comes at them from all sorts of places all the time - we are all drowning in a sea of advertising.  Anyway, it is beyond the scope of this comment to attempt to explore how and why the voodoo effect works, but it clearly does and doing so clearly causes cancer.
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind?
« Reply #5 on: 19/01/2013 16:04:24 »
Don_1, you ought to be given out by the NHS as a cure for cancer!  Your humour must go a long way to alleviating life's stress and to undermining the voodoo effect.
 

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Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind?
« Reply #5 on: 19/01/2013 16:04:24 »

 

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