In 2011, the international media jumped on the news that the president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. That led to the surgical removal of her thyroid gland, called a thyroidectomy.
Problem is, it takes a thyroidectomy to determine if there really is cancer in the thyroid gland. So, take it out and see. Oops, then the media celebrated her not having cancer after all. So it became “don’t cry for me Argentina” and the media expressed the Argentinian sigh of relief.
But Presidente Cristina did really have something to cry about after all. Like many who have had a thyroidectomy, she would have to be on synthetic pharmaceuticals for the rest of her life as long as she continued depending on mainstream medicine. Not a healthy situation.
Statistics show thyroid cancer as the fastest growing cancer type today. The American Cancer Society reported almost 45,000 new cases in 2010. Mainstream medicine’s solution is to remove the thyroid after inconclusive tumor testing. Yet those non-cancerous thyroidectomies are reported as cancer. Gotta make it scary to drive in more customers, right?
The vast majority of thyroidectomies are unnecessary.
Keith Heller, MD, a surgeon who has performed over 1,000 thyroid operations in 28 years, addressed a medical conference with this shocker: “I do not believe that this epidemic of (thyroid cancer) is real. It is due to …the increasing use of ultrasound-guided needle biopsy of thyroid nodules. … We are performing far too many unnecessary thyroidectomies.”
The Ultrasound Guided Needle Biopsy Conundrum
With this testing apparatus came a dilemma. The tests were good at finding nodules in or on the thyroid, but were inconclusive regarding malignancy. Absolute certainty of malignancy could not be determined until after the thyroid is partially or wholly removed.
In other words, the ultrasound guided needle biopsy is usually not conclusive about any small tumors or growths found in the thyroid gland. This has happened so often that some doctors say surgery should be avoided for microscopic papillary nodules under 5 mm in diameter. They urge a wait-and-see policy.
Many humans carry tiny thyroid nodules around until they die of other causes. They tend to be benign or not an immediate danger even if cancerous. In Finland, these tiny nodules are considered normal when discovered. So the Fins get to keep their thyroid glands.
Dr. John Cronan, in a June 2008 issue of Radiology, claimed the practice of using ultrasound machines for detecting thyroid nodules makes patients cancer-phobic, then leaves them with lifelong dependency on thyroid medications after the thyroidectomy reveals there was no cancer.
Cronan added that this is done with little regard for the patient to “control a cancer with a 99% 10 year survival.” (Emphasis added)
Maybe the $15K to $20K cost for a thyroidectomy that guarantees a lifetime of medications and office visits has something to with this surgical surge.
An American woman my wife and I knew in Mexico came back to California to look into her thyroid problem. She emailed me saying that she was diagnosed with cancer and asked for advice. I gave her links to cancer remedies, including the Gerson Clinic near where she was in LA.
Soon afterward, she emailed me again and claimed she had found the right doctor to perform what was claimed as necessary, a thyroidectomy. She underwent the surgery, much to my dismay, and returned to Mexico.
A few months later, her sister announced that she died a miserable death before reaching age 40, but not from cancer. Surgical complications? Adverse pharmaceutical reactions? I never bothered to find out more.
Minimizing Thyroidectomies and Controlling Hypothyroidism
Patient advocate and author of several books on thyroid and hormonal issues, Mary Shomon, thinks the latest extension of testing for thyroid cancer might eliminate a lot of unnecessary thyroid removals.
The Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis extends the ultrasound guided FNA (Fine Needle Analysis) with a series of tests to confirm or rule out malignancy. Currently lab facilities are limited and many doctors may not know of his extended procedure. The procedure runs around $3500.
Holistic MD Dr. Jeffrey Dach (pronounced dash) recommends natural desiccated thyroid from pigs over the synthetic thyroid hormones used for patients who have had their thyroid glands removed. This form contains both T3 and T4 hormones with some T1 and T2. Synthetic thyroid hormones usually contain only T3 or just T4. Even if both are contained, they tend to be less effective.
Dr. Dach likes the wait-and-see or less-is-better approach for mainstream medicine. He likens the rush to surgery to the aggressive approach with prostate cancer, another rarely lethal cancer unless it is approached aggressively with surgery and further complicated with chemo or radiation.
He reported Dr.Yasuhiro Ito’s findings, which observed that very few nodules grew significantly from first observations. Ito recommended avoiding aggressive surgery until the nodules reached 10 mm. Dr. Ito recommends the wait-and-see approach that a few have now adopted for PSA prostate testing.
Even the inventor of the PSA test, Richard J. Ablin wrote a New York Times op-ed piece in 2010 claiming a positive PSA test doesn’t necessarily indicate cancer and it shouldn’t be used that way.
A wise move could be to avoid mainstream medicine for thyroid and hormonal problems, except for testing perhaps. It’s possible to take those issues under your own control. A good start could be by reading more here and/or looking over Dr. Dach’s free ebooks, downloadable here.
Paul Fassa is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com. His pet peeves are the Medical Mafia’s control over health and the food industry and government regulatory agencies’ corruption. Paul’s valiant contributions to the health movement and global paradigm shift are world renowned. Visit his blog by following this link and follow him on Twitter here.