One of the biggest issues for people when it comes to cancer prevention and treatment is that the healthcare approach offered by the NHS often excludes any possibility of a patient having control or influence in how they manage their care.
In terms of breast cancer prevention, for example, the NHS approach to screening is entirely arbitrary: you are eligible for a routine scan only if you’re between the ages of 47 and 73.
My issue with this is that whilst breast cancer is much less common in women below the age of 50, the disease is not so uncommon that screening protocols should exclude them.
There are now a high number of studies that question just how effective mammography is as a screening tool – you can find references to these in previous blogs on the subject, and the world-renowned Cochrane institute of independent research has many resources dedicated to the issue – but it is now accepted that it is only accurate in two thirds of cases.
But accuracy aside (if it’s possible to ignore its biggest flaw, even momentarily), mammography is not an appropriate approach for younger women in any event, due to the density of breast tissue, which reduces diagnosis accuracy further and younger breasts are more easily damaged by the radiation exposure of a mammogram.
So you would think, wouldn’t you, that the NHS would be keen to provide information to all women on other screening choices that are available to them – like the ThermoCheck® breast thermography we use here at The Natural Doctor®, wouldn’t you?
But it doesn’t. In fact, my own view is that it purposely takes the opposite approach and actively denies people the opportunity to make an informed choice.
At The Natural Doctor® we are absolutely committed to extending choice and control to patients, whatever their health issue – whether that’s with regard to breast health, menopause, hair loss or heart health.
That’s why we’ve been working closely over the last three years with the Yes to Life charity, which works to give cancer patients the information they need to make the informed choices about their options for cancer care.
Yes to Life was established nearly more than 13 years ago with the aim of providing evidence-based information to people with cancer, and their families and to provide the often vital financial support that’s necessary for some families to access the treatment options the NHS either can’t or won’t fund.
Many women are completely unaware of the possibilities that breast thermography provides. It is able to identify cancer risk a decade before a tumour would be visible to a mammogram and allows bespoke nutritional intervention to support disease prevention.
By using non-invasive, computer assisted thermal imaging to detect abnormal breast tissue temperature, ThermoCheck® breast thermography can be an early indicator of cancer.
Its benefits are well-evidenced: unlike mammography, it’s up to 95% accurate, is suitable for women of all ages and offers the scope to diagnose wider issues than cancer alone.
The traditional cancer industry only considers treatments that have been clinically trialled. However, the evidence of those clinical trials is itself flimsy.
A British Medical Journal project that ended in 2016 set out the results of a review of the efficacy of clinical trials of all treatments offered by the NHS, based on its own literature and reports.
What is revealed is that 11% of treatments were proven, 24% were likely to be beneficial, 7% offered a trade-off between benefits and harms, 5% were unlikely to be beneficial and 3% were likely to be ineffective or harmful.
Perhaps even more significantly, 50% of clinical trials were unable to determine whether a treatment was beneficial or not.
In plain language, what that means is that of all the treatments offered by the NHS – an organisation that uses clinical trials to justify its decisions about which treatments it will or won’t offer – only 11% are proven to be effective.
Our partnership with Yes to Life is a clear statement that The Natural Doctor® is absolutely committed to ensuring women of all ages, healthy or otherwise, are given the opportunity to make the choices that the establishment seems so reluctant to give to them.
And we back that commitment financially, too – offering a discount on our Thermocheck® breast thermography all patients referred by Yes To Life.
Yes to Life was inspired by the story of Bryony Daly who died at the age of 23 having run out of treatment options with the NHS after suffering multiple cancers, amputations and a battery of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments .
Yes to Life promotes alternative treatments and campaigns for better information to be made available to patients, and although there’s no guarantee that alternative treatments would always save a life the NHS can’t save, my view – and theirs – is that people have a right to find that out for themselves.
You can find out more about the charity, how it works and the people they have helped, by visiting their website.