Breast Cancer & the 5-Year Survival Rate Myth

Breast Cancer & the 5-Year Survival Rate Myth
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Watching this video, you’ll know more than an estimated 97% of doctors about a critical concept called lead-time bias.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“While running for president of the United States…former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani” ran a campaign ad contrasting his chance of surviving prostate cancer in the U.S.—82%—with the same chance of surviving prostate cancer in England. “Only 44% under socialized medicine”— where they don’t do routine PSA testing for prostate cancer. “To Giuliani, this meant that he was lucky to be living in New York [rather than old] York, because his chances of surviving prostate cancer seemed to be twice as high [here in the U.S]. Yet, despite this impressive difference in [this] five year survival rate, the mortality rate [the rate at which men were dying of prostate cancer] was about the same in the US and the UK.” Wait; what? PSA testing increased survival from 44 to 82%—how is that “not evidence that screening saves lives? For two reasons…lead time bias…[and] overdiagnosis [bias].”

I’ve talked about overdiagnosis, where a cancer is picked up that would have otherwise never caused a problem. Without screening, let’s say out of a thousand people with progressive cancer, only 400 are alive five years later; so, without screening, five-year survival: only 40%. But, let’s say, with screening, an additional 2,000 cancers are overdiagnosed—meaning you picked up cancers that would have never caused a problem, or even would have disappeared on their own. Since the cancer was harmless, five years later, of course, they’re all still alive—assuming their unnecessary cancer treatment didn’t kill them. And, all of a sudden, you just doubled the five-year survival rate, even though in either case, the same number of people died from cancer. That’s one way how changes in survival rates with screening may not correlate with changes in actual cancer death rates.

The other is lead-time bias. This is how it works. Imagine a group of patients in whom cancer was diagnosed because of symptoms at age 67 years, all of whom die at age 70. Each patient survives only three years; so, the five-year survival for this group: 0%. Now, imagine that same group undergoes screening. Screening tests, by definition, lead to earlier diagnosis. Suppose that, with screening, cancer is diagnosed in all patients at age 60 years. But, imagine, in this case, they nevertheless all still die at age 70. In this scenario, each patient survives 10 years; so, the five-year survival rate for this group is 100%. Survival just went from zero to 100%. Call the newspapers! With this new screening test, now cancer patients are living three times longer—10 years instead of three. It’s a miracle! Whereas all that really happened, in this case, was that the person was treated as a cancer patient for an additional seven years—which, if anything, probably just diminished their quality of life.

So, that’s the second way how changes in survival rates, with screening, may not correlate with changes in actual cancer death rates. And, in fact, the correlation is zero. There is no correlation at all between “increases in survival rates,” and “decreases in mortality rates.” That’s why “[i]f there were an Oscar for misleading statistics, using survival statistics to judge the benefit of screening would win a lifetime achievement award hands down. There is no way to disentangle [the] lead time [bias] and [the] overdiagnosis [bias] from screening survival data.” That’s why “these statistics are meaningless” when it comes to screening. Yet, that’s what you see in the ads and the leaflets from most of the cancer charities. That’s what you hear coming from the government. Even prestigious cancer centers, like M.D. Anderson, have tried to hoodwink the public like that.

If you’ve never heard of lead time bias, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Your doctor may not have, either. “Fifty-four of…65 physicians [surveyed said they] did not know what the lead-time bias was.” And then, when they asked the remaining 11, “Okay, what is it?”, only two were actually correct. So, at this point in the video, already, you may know more about this than 97% of doctors.

To be fair, though, maybe they don’t recognize the term, but understand the concept? Nope. “The majority of primary care physicians did not know which screening statistics provide reliable evidence on whether screening works.” They “were…3 times more likely to say they would ‘definitely recommend'” a cancer-screening test based on “irrelevant evidence,” compared to a test that actually decreased cancer mortality by 20%.

If physicians don’t even understand key cancer statistics, how are they going to effectively counsel their patients? “Statistically illiterate physicians are doomed to rely on their statistically illiterate conclusions, [or] on local custom[s], [or] on [industry representatives] and their [information].”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: MOODY AIR FORCE BASE. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“While running for president of the United States…former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani” ran a campaign ad contrasting his chance of surviving prostate cancer in the U.S.—82%—with the same chance of surviving prostate cancer in England. “Only 44% under socialized medicine”— where they don’t do routine PSA testing for prostate cancer. “To Giuliani, this meant that he was lucky to be living in New York [rather than old] York, because his chances of surviving prostate cancer seemed to be twice as high [here in the U.S]. Yet, despite this impressive difference in [this] five year survival rate, the mortality rate [the rate at which men were dying of prostate cancer] was about the same in the US and the UK.” Wait; what? PSA testing increased survival from 44 to 82%—how is that “not evidence that screening saves lives? For two reasons…lead time bias…[and] overdiagnosis [bias].”

I’ve talked about overdiagnosis, where a cancer is picked up that would have otherwise never caused a problem. Without screening, let’s say out of a thousand people with progressive cancer, only 400 are alive five years later; so, without screening, five-year survival: only 40%. But, let’s say, with screening, an additional 2,000 cancers are overdiagnosed—meaning you picked up cancers that would have never caused a problem, or even would have disappeared on their own. Since the cancer was harmless, five years later, of course, they’re all still alive—assuming their unnecessary cancer treatment didn’t kill them. And, all of a sudden, you just doubled the five-year survival rate, even though in either case, the same number of people died from cancer. That’s one way how changes in survival rates with screening may not correlate with changes in actual cancer death rates.

The other is lead-time bias. This is how it works. Imagine a group of patients in whom cancer was diagnosed because of symptoms at age 67 years, all of whom die at age 70. Each patient survives only three years; so, the five-year survival for this group: 0%. Now, imagine that same group undergoes screening. Screening tests, by definition, lead to earlier diagnosis. Suppose that, with screening, cancer is diagnosed in all patients at age 60 years. But, imagine, in this case, they nevertheless all still die at age 70. In this scenario, each patient survives 10 years; so, the five-year survival rate for this group is 100%. Survival just went from zero to 100%. Call the newspapers! With this new screening test, now cancer patients are living three times longer—10 years instead of three. It’s a miracle! Whereas all that really happened, in this case, was that the person was treated as a cancer patient for an additional seven years—which, if anything, probably just diminished their quality of life.

So, that’s the second way how changes in survival rates, with screening, may not correlate with changes in actual cancer death rates. And, in fact, the correlation is zero. There is no correlation at all between “increases in survival rates,” and “decreases in mortality rates.” That’s why “[i]f there were an Oscar for misleading statistics, using survival statistics to judge the benefit of screening would win a lifetime achievement award hands down. There is no way to disentangle [the] lead time [bias] and [the] overdiagnosis [bias] from screening survival data.” That’s why “these statistics are meaningless” when it comes to screening. Yet, that’s what you see in the ads and the leaflets from most of the cancer charities. That’s what you hear coming from the government. Even prestigious cancer centers, like M.D. Anderson, have tried to hoodwink the public like that.

If you’ve never heard of lead time bias, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Your doctor may not have, either. “Fifty-four of…65 physicians [surveyed said they] did not know what the lead-time bias was.” And then, when they asked the remaining 11, “Okay, what is it?”, only two were actually correct. So, at this point in the video, already, you may know more about this than 97% of doctors.

To be fair, though, maybe they don’t recognize the term, but understand the concept? Nope. “The majority of primary care physicians did not know which screening statistics provide reliable evidence on whether screening works.” They “were…3 times more likely to say they would ‘definitely recommend'” a cancer-screening test based on “irrelevant evidence,” compared to a test that actually decreased cancer mortality by 20%.

If physicians don’t even understand key cancer statistics, how are they going to effectively counsel their patients? “Statistically illiterate physicians are doomed to rely on their statistically illiterate conclusions, [or] on local custom[s], [or] on [industry representatives] and their [information].”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: MOODY AIR FORCE BASE. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

154 responses to “Breast Cancer & the 5-Year Survival Rate Myth

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  1. I still don’t get how to distinguish cancers that would have killed from those that would have been otherwise been benign.

    What cancers would have been progressive and what cancers would not?

    I get the data manipulation but if we are to believe that screenings just feather the nests of treatment centers, what then Does one use to determine if they need intervention?

    1. Sandra, I think the recommendation when confronted with a positive screening, is “watchful waiting”. In other words, continue screening, maybe at a more frequent rate, in order to determine if the cancer is growing or spreading.

            1. One better is probably a Whole Foods Plant Based diet without processed oil (processed oil like olive, corn, flax, etc.).

          1. This whole website, and Dr. Greger’s lifetime of work, is to promote the scientific research that demonstrates the efficacy of a WFPB diet in prevention and treatment of disease. Go to the home page. Watch some videos. And read his book. Save yourself.

      1. I respectfully disagree: any detectable lump (where a benign fluid-filled cyst is ruled out), is a wake-up call to Change aspects of your behavior or situation: these are non-trivial adjustments, that can halt further progress of dysfunctional cells and tissues, and improve one’s over-all health. There is no space to outline everything here, but immediately, while adjusting to scary news, one can: 1. Stop drinking tap water, drink only purified water without chlorine/floride/VOC’s and heavy metals in it. 2. Switch to an entirely organic diet, with only grass-fed, free-range, antibiotic free meats; 3. Get toxic metals out of your tissues, which can be a 6-12 months or more effort with gentle chelation therapy; 4. This may require very expensive “biologic” dentistry to get rid of mercury; 5. Past time for a whole-body check-up: CBC, CMP, full Thyroid check-up; detailed look at hormone levels based in saliva or DUTCH testing; heavy metal panel (urine +/or feces); Vitamin and Mineral comprehensive testing; 6. Quit sugar; quit dairy (artificial or non-human hormones); 7. Some supplements may be appropriate, and these also get cery expensive pretty fast. It’s all worth it to stabilize your situation without chemo or radiation, and maybe in some cases without surgery. That’s not to say some newer IV treatments are not appropriate, and while they are expensive and extremely time-demanding, probably well worth it.

        Good luck to all and especially those who are willing to do the hard work to arrest the progress of your cancer. It is possible!

        1. KM

          I don’t know what you are disagreeing with. The idea of screening? Well, the data show what the data show.

          Also, regarding your advice on what to do, this is what you have heard and read. No offence but some, even much, of it is nonsense from dodgy low carb “health” websites.

          For example, there is no good reason to eat meat at all. The World Health Organization reviewed the evidence and concluded that (red) meat is probably carcinogenic.
          http://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/

          Organic meat may be marginally less harmful than industrially farmed meat but it still increases our cancer risk. This study from Uruguay where all the beef is grass-fed, organic, no added hormones etc shows that the more meat people eat, the higher the rates of cancer
          http://journal.waocp.org/?sid=Entrez:PubMed&id=pmid:19640186&key=2009.10.3.429

          Alternative health claims like those in your post are all very well but which ones are grounded in actual science rather than wishful thinking and speculation masquerading as hard facts? I’d suggest people look at the videos and blogs on this site if they want science based guidance on how to reduce cancer risk eg
          https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/cancer/

          1. Tom, thank you so much for the organic meat study.

            Honestly, I am doing mental math for the people around me and they are big meat eaters and I have been talking Cancer risks and am pushing them to minimally go grass-fed organic meat, but I inwardly wondered if it would be enough and this tells me that it won’t be.

            Still better than nothing.

          2. I was disagreeing with “watchful waiting” between imaging sessions.

            And i didn’t say anything about low carbs: i said avoid sugar. Do you think it is a trendy myth that cancer cells gain advantage from sugar?

            I did mean to emphasize organic plants, and for those who feel they need animal protein, that it be as organically grown and processed as possible.

            Also, i omited the importance of testing for glucose, insulin, adrenal gland function, pituitary function, and CTCs.

            I would advise women to avoid core needle (the large bore needles), wielded often with “punch guns”, if they do have a worrisome mammogram: they do too much tissue damage: and i would advise avoiding doing any routine mammogram.

            1. Thanks KM. I just wasn’t sure where you got those ideas from. They sound like a lot of the claims you see on low carb “alternative healt” websites.

              You wrote “Do you think it is a trendy myth that cancer cells gain advantage from sugar?” Yes, I do. So do virtually all credible cancer authorities. Cancer cells gain no more advantage from sugar than they do from fat or cholesterol or whatever which they also use to grow and replicate. I agree that there is no reason to eat table etc sugar. However, there is no evidence that eating sugar promotes cancer (despite what assorted quacks and their sensational health books may claim) For example:

              “There’s no evidence that following a “sugar-free” diet lowers the risk of getting cancer, or boosts the chances of surviving if you are diagnosed.”
              http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2017/05/15/sugar-and-cancer-what-you-need-to-know/

              “no studies have shown that eating sugar will make your cancer worse or that, if you stop eating sugar, your cancer will shrink or disappear.”
              https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths

        2. 2. Organic, Grass-fed and Antibiotic free meats pose just about the same cancer risk as non-organic. And antibiotic free meats today contain other chemicals and metals like Arsenic, farmers are not dumb to let their animals die off from infections and they don’t care about health of the people.

          3. Toxic metals and chemicals bio-accumulate in animal fats (negating your #2)

          4. Fish is the #1 source of not only Mercury and other heavy metals but also the #1 source of BPAs, PCBs, Dioxins, Phenols … etc. Plants chelate animal products are sponges for toxins.

          6. Quit dairy (YES! but those same non-human hormones you talk about are also found in meat, eggs and fish negating #2 again)

          1. I was disagreeing with “watchful waiting” between imaging sessions.

            And i didn’t say anything about low carbs: i said avoid sugar. Do you think it is a trendy myth that cancer cells gain advantage from sugar?

            I did mean to emphasize organic plants, and for those who feel they need animal protein, that it be as organically grown and processed as possible.

            Also, i omited the importance of testing for glucose, insulin, adrenal gland function, pituitary function, and CTCs.

            I would advise women to avoid core needle (the large bore needles), wielded often with “punch guns”, if they do have a worrisome mammogram: they do too much tissue damage: and i would advise avoiding doing any routine mammogram.

        3. KM,
          I agree with you. The problem with posting that on this site is that you know you are going to get a lot of people who insist that eating a small amount of high quality meat is a terrible thing to do. Even if you’re eating a small amount of low mercury small cold water fish to get your B12 and omega 3’s. You have to realize what site you are on and many strident ethical vegan only advocates will come after you. Be forewarned.
          John S

          1. This is not a vegan advocacy site. It is a site that exposes the scientific evidence for abstaining from eating animal products.  As Greger himself has said, any counsel for moderation is a counsel for dancing on thin ice- how moderately do you want to damage your health? What is the tipping point?  Why play this game? Just abstain.
            Finally, for all those who just love the idea that there is good meat and fish… you know, organic line caught, hand knitted…. whatever… the food fraud in this industry is at such an endemic level now, it has become a political choice NOT to seek to expose it, so even if you could get away with good meat in small quantities whatever that means, the chances are you would not actually be eating good (sic) flesh at all. As I have said here before, there is vast gulf between what people may have hunted down in the wild and eaten that day, in olden times (!), and the commercial food chain.

          2. John

            The evidence suggests that red meat is carcinogenic. Also, yes if you won’t use supplements, then you need to eat some low-on-the-food-chain fish or non-mammalian meat to obtain B12, zinc, iodine, omega 3s etc But a small amount is perhaps a couple of modest portion per week. The people in Naples who thrived on a traditional Mediterranean diet, observed by Ancel Keys and his wife Margaret Heaney, ate meat/fish perhaps once a week,
            “They started observing what workers ate, and the first evidence was that they eat meat once a week, on Sunday evening. It was the meat of a traditional sauce for pasta, called ragout,”
            https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042816304608

            In the Okinawan diet, meat, fish and dairy provided fewer than 4% of total calories.
            http://www.okicent.org/docs/anyas_cr_diet_2007_1114_434s.pdf

            The problem to my mind is that the people advocating consumption of “high quality meat” or fish seem to imply that unlimited consumption of grass-fed organic lean red meat is healthful or at least harmless. Ditto fish. It doesn’t appear to be. Healthy WFPB diets including small apounts of meat/fish really do include SMALL amounts not the amounts usually consumed in wealthy societies – or even the amounts considered to be “small” in those societies. And KM didn’t actually write anything about “small” amounts, he wrote “Switch to an entirely organic diet, with only grass-fed, free-range, antibiotic free meats”. There’s nothing there to me which implies small amounts – quite the opposite in fact.

            If you or KM have evidence that eating significant quantities of “high quality meat” is healthy, please post it.

          3. Just curious why one would not rather get their omega 3s from flax, chia seeds or walnuts. These sources are not polluted with industrial waste that fish have consumed. And you are not contributing to the painful and human manipulated death of sentient beings; yes fish have awareness too and feel pain when harmed.

            1. Not totally arguing against avoiding killing animals for food from an ethical standpoint. I can see why one would want to avoid it. But when it comes to killing and eating fish, don’t fish pretty routinely eat other fish any way? Isn’t any fish not caught by a human sooner or later going to be eaten alive by another fish anyway? Or caught by a bird of prey or otter or snapping turtle and eaten alive? Nature is re in tooth and claw. I’m not sure the fish really ends up with a worse end if a human kills and eats it vs what is waiting for it in nature.

    2. Stop looking for problems. Don’t go for tests unless you have symptoms that force you into the hands of the medical profession. You are going to die of something, sometime.

      1. “Don’t go for tests?” This is terrible advice for anyone who values their life.

        One example: I lead a support group for women with cancer. Several of these women deeply regret not having gone for routine colonoscopies. They had no symptoms at all until they noticed a little bleeding with defecation and then got diagnosed with advanced cancer. Stage 3-4 colon cancer makes for a very very challenging treatment course and the survival rates are low compared with early diagnosis where polyps can be removed with no further treatment besides more frequent monitoring.

        I can think of many more diagnostic tests that make a huge difference in health outcome. E.g. type 2 diabetes is often reversible through diet and exercise if caught and treated early. If diagnosed in later stages, it can be a devastating, disabling, even deadly condition.

        My philosophy: get the routine tests. Modify your ‘lifestyle’ accordingly. Listen to the recommendations of the physicians. Consult with other practitioners, if necessary. Decide on appropriate, integrative treatments.

        1. seedycharacter, Some screening is effective, as Dr. Greger points out in this video series; colonoscopies and PAP smears fall into this group. Other screening appears to cause more harm than good; PSA testing and mammography appear to fall into this group. I think it’s wise to educate yourself, and make decisions based on as much information as you are able to find, in accordance with your personal values.

          That said, no screening test is perfect. I recall reading that colonoscopies do not reach the third arm of the colon, and that it tends to miss flat cancers (as opposed to polyps) that tend to be more aggressive. I hope that the colon cancer patients in your support group can find solace in the fact that even if they’d had a colonoscopy, their cancer still might have been missed.

          1. Dr. J, I believe your recollection about colonoscopy ‘misses’ is from a JAMA study back in March 2008. Here’s a 2017 one that does show a miss rate of ~17% of small lesions (under 10 mm) and mostly in the right colon. My understanding is that the flat or recessed types were harder to detect early because their tissue blended with the colon/rectal tissue but that new endoscopes are better at detecting these types.

            No, the women in my cancer group would not find much solace given that their lesions were quite large at the point of diagnosis and would surely have been detected sooner, before metastasis, via colonoscopy.

        2. Seedycharacter OK but what about the arguments and data cited in the video? Just saying “this is terrible advice” doesn’t address any of those points and indeed it actually misrepresents the video.. Dr Greger and his video do NOT provide any advice at all. The video simply sets out the facts and lets viewers reach their own conclusions.

          Also, what do you say about the people who have died as a result of colonoscopies or who have had their colons perforated? According to Dr McDougall

          “Harms from a colonoscopy may arise from the preparation, the sedation, and the procedure. In the United States, serious complications occur in an estimated 5 per 1,000 procedures.16 When biopsies or polyp removals are performed, then the risk of serious complications, including bleeding, increases. One of the most serious hazards, often leading to death, is perforation of the colon, which occurs in about 1 per 1,000 procedures. In the face of that disaster consider that to prevent one death from colorectal cancer (the benefit), 1,250 people would need to have a colonoscopy.17 This is almost an even exchange: for one life saved from cancer, one life is lost (or at least seriously threatened) from a complication, like perforation.”
          https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2010nl/aug/colon.htm

          In my opinion perhaps we should all regret not having been informed about the risk of colorectal cancer stemming from eating the Western diet rather than not having had multiple screening colonoscopies. According to the World Cancer Research Fund

          “About two thirds of colorectal cancer cases occur in countries characterised by high or very high indices of development and/or income………. The Continuous Update Project Panel judged there was convincing evidence that consuming processed meat and alcoholic drinks, body fatness and adult attained height increase the risk of colorectal cancer. There was also convincing evidence that physical activity is protective against colon cancer specifically. Wholegrains, foods containing dietary fibre, dairy products and calcium supplements probably protect and consuming red meat probably increases the risk of colorectal cancer.”
          https://www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/data-specific-cancers/colorectal-cancer-statistics

          This NutritionFacts video on colon cancer is well worth watching
          https://nutritionfacts.org/video/solving-a-colon-cancer-mystery/

          1. I have watched that colon cancer video a few times to see if my State is really at the top of the list for colon cancer by a stretch and it is.

            So, does that make us the biggest meat eaters or will there be something else contributing?

            1. There are other less dangerous tests for colon cancer and I am going to agree with seedycharacter that having some sort of testing for that and finding out whether someone is diabetic is probably good advice if someone isn’t eating properly.

              I don’t want women to be afraid to have things looked at, especially if they are older.

              If they are trying to get screened to see if a negative result will help motivate them to make better lifestyle choices, I am not against that, but doing tests, which can harm you doesn’t make sense to me..

              1. Deb, I just read a story about a woman who nearly died before she discovered she had diabetes. The previous month she had moved in with her elderly parents to care for them. Turns out, they saved her life!

                “An ambulance was called for me on December 9, when my parents found me unconscious. I went to the ER, was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis. I hadn’t even known I was diabetic! Then they found multiple health problems, most probably because of the untreated diabetes, and I needed surgery. I had no idea there was anything wrong with me, but the docs think I probably had diabetes for months and months before I crashed. I am an object lesson regarding why regular doctor check-ups are actually important (I hadn’t been for at least 5 years)!”

                This story underscores the importance of A1c screenings. When I got a result indicating I was approaching the pre-diabetic zone, it completely motivated me to cut back on sugars/flours, starchy vegs, and fats.

          2. TG,

            My comment “This is terrible advice” was in response to Gillian 23’s comment “Don’t go for tests.” I quoted Gillian and thought I was clear, but obviously created confusion for you. Sorry about that.

            I just did a quick search of the perforation rate related to screening colonoscopies. From World Journal of Gastroenterology, Jan 2010: “The incidence of CP [colonoscopic performation] ranges from 0.016% to 0.2% following diagnostic colonoscopies and could be up to 5% following some colonoscopic interventions. The perforations are frequently related to therapeutic colonoscopies and are associated with patients of advanced age or with multiple comorbidities.

            What I gather from this study is that after the age of 75 or in people with ‘comorbidities’, it might be best to get annual FIT-DNA tests and get a colonoscopy only if results show abnormalities. Since colonoscopies are only recommended every 10 years (with exceptions), that would essentially mean that anyone over 65 with ‘comorbidities’ might choose annual FIT-DNA screenings.

            I agree with you that there should be greater awareness of the risk factors related to the SAD diet. It is maddening that the majority of general and specialist physicians barely mention diet to their patients, let alone make referrals to nutritionists. Hopefully more people will discover NF.org since Dr. G’s books’ have been published and are being widely distributed (I saw them at my local Costco last week!).

            Still, it’s discouraging that research overwhelmingly shows that a WFPB diet reduces all of our common killers, including CR cancers. I have a dear 82 yo friend who has had multiple ‘mini’ heart attacks, stent procedures, and continuous angina. Her cardiologist gives her only vague bromides such as “Eat a balanced diet.” “Cut back on the rich foods.” When I gently or even bluntly implore her to cut back on dairy, meats and eggs, she flat out refuses to change and tells me things like “I’ve lived a long life. When God decides to take me . . .” When I tell her God might not take her all of a sudden but might give her a stroke that causes her a decade of misery, she changes the subject. Sigh . . .

            1. Oops! This sentence: “Still, it’s discouraging that research overwhelmingly shows that a WFPB diet reduces all of our common killers, including CR cancers.” should read: “Still, it’s discouraging that research overwhelmingly shows that a WFPB diet reduces all of our common killers, including CR cancers, and that so few people know this fact or shift to this diet.”

            2. Thanks Seedy. Yes, i realised that you were directly responding to Gillian’s comment as soon as I posted my reply – but of course there is no edit button My apologies for the confusion.

              Also, I accept that the most recent figures show that colonoscopies are relatively safe although risks do seem to be higher in the elderly. I suppose my reservations concern the use of colonoscopies for initial screening as opposed to for subsequent diagnostic purposes. My personal feeling is that colonoscopies for initial screening purposes may carry too high a risk but I accept that colonoscopies for diagnostic purposes eg following a positive FOBT/FIT finding probably offers a reasonable risk/reward ratio. Most of the safety data though doesn’t seem to distinguish between screening colonoscopies and diagnostic/therapeutic colonoscopies. As Dr G might say, it’s a pain in the butt. However, I should really re-read the evidence review by the US Preventive Services Task Force. That may have some data I missed..

        1. But was the lump found by going for a test? Or self examination looking for lumps? I mean symptoms that press themselves upon you of their own accord, not ones you look for. Don’t open the box if you do not want to see a dead cat.

    3. ELI5

      Most people, even healthy ones, have these mini cancers somewhere in the cells of their bodies. In order to get to the point where these have grown to a what is now a real cancer, it needs nutrition and oxygen…, and lots of it…. So the mini cancers produce substances that ask the body for the formation of new blood vessels, because no blood supply (nutrition and oxygen) means no further growth… and thus no real cancer…

      When there is creening done, doctors might be looking at a mini cancer…, they think they see real cancer and yet what they’re really looking at is “cancer potential”. When this person/patient eats vegetables and fruit and the whole WFPB diet, certain compounds are going to inhibit angiogenesis or the formation of new blood vessels and prevent growthsupply to the mini cancers… in this manner, many people will be treated for cancer with traditional therapies while the same thing could have been done by,… broccoli.

      1. Not to detract from some good points you make, but i am reading that cancer cells rely on GLUCOSE, and have adapted for whatever reason to evade reliance on oxygen. Also, that they promote their own blood supply for expansion and to get glucose and other factors they need, but that they do not seek oxygen.

        1. You are right but thats because all cells feeds on glucose primarly, cancerous ones are still cells and it doesnt means thats bad, i think thats the opposite, peoples get cured of various cancers on a high carb WFPB diet raw or not~

    4. “What cancers would have been progressive and what cancers would not?”

      I think that’s the point. The doctors who are playing the odds don’t know how to tell either. They treat the patient and if the patient lives then the treatment must have worked.

    5. To answer the question of how to distinguish between the cancers that are progressive and kill and those that are otherwise are benign, well, the only true reliable test is observation. That is one of the big problems with screening, is that they don‘t differentiate. Prostate cancer is notorious for this, as 1 in 6-8 men could be diagnosed with this in a lifetime, making it one of the most common cancers, but most men will die with it, not from it. Until we have better tests our screening will remain with risk of overdiagnosis. The hard part is the aggressive/progressive cancers. We look back and wish we would have screened and acted upon them, as they would likely have been positive, but then there are those people who undergo biopsies and treatments, who have to deal with the burden of fear and invasive procedures, which are not without potential for harm. As a doctor there are certain screenings I know are very risky, such as prostate, and I rarely order them.

  2. Excellent explanation of the proper use of statistics! It’s truly amazing how the use of logic, mathematics, and statistics (when used properly) have allowed mankind to see the true nature of the Universe. Without these tools, we are left mentally bare and open to manipulation by all kinds of scams. These subjects need to be taught in our schools to everyone including medical doctors!

  3. THANK YOU, Dr. Greger!!! I have been ripping out my hair for YEARS about the stupid “5 year survival rate!” Though I am greatly disheartened to learn that most doctors don’t understand this term, either.

    Another huge bugaboo is relative vs absolute risk; e.g., we are usually told an improvement in the RELATIVE RISK of mortality, but nowhere is it reported to be the relative risk, nor is the ABSOLUTE RISK provided. So, a “50% decrease” in an absolute mortality rate of 3% means that the absolute risk goes down to 1.5%, but that the relative risk goes down by 50%.

    My gold standard questions are: What is the effect of the test/procedure/medication on my overall mortality? What is the effect of the test/procedure/medication on my overall quality of life? Very few seem to measure up. So I’m left with lifestyle, especially diet (whole foods plant based) and exercise. Of course, it now seems likely that the doctor I ask these questions of won’t know or understand; truly, patient beware! And doctors rarely if ever mention diet or exercise.

    1. Dr J, Do you actually ask your doctors these questions? If so, I’d love to know how they answer. Do they even know what you’re talking about?

  4. I love when 2 minutes of my time makes me smarter! :-) Thank you. A clear and brilliant explanation.

    I have always felt that the 5 year survival rate was more of an emotional milestone for survivors than anything else. It doesn’t even totally makes sense to me…if you’re cancer is aggressive then 3 years is a good survival, no? and if it is very slow then 10 years good… 5 is just a number that was picked in the middle.

    I am still not clear on what the actual solution to breast cancer screening is though; avoiding screening and waiting to be able to feel a lump means an aggressive cancer is likely to have spread already.

    I would love to know what Dr Greger would recommend in terms of screening in general as well as to someone who has already been treated for cancer.

      1. There is no way to determine that McDougall’s diet had anything to do with cancer remission. As Dr Greger points out, some cancers spontaneously remit and some are so slow they do not kill. This is not to disparage Dr. McDougal’s work, but simply to be more accurate about the benefits.

  5. In Dr Greger’s “Uprooting the leading causes of Death” doctors were number 3, however our personal experiences with family members would indicate that doctors may be the #1 cause. For instance my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 75. He was treated with radiation and pronounced “cured” as his following PSA tests showed no sign of prostate cancer but didn’t show that the radiation treatment (assault) gave him MDS (a form of leukemia) which he died from. His death was not recorded as caused by his treatment (ie his doctor) despite the fact that the radiation treatment, according to his doctor caused his MDS.. My mother had severe Alzheimer’s and fell and broke her pelvis and her doctor overdosed her on morphine which killed her a few hours later…again the cause of death was “Alzheimer’s” NOT the actual physician caused overdose. It’s important regarding statistics of causes of death to realize that the treating doctor is usually the one who decides that cause and puts it on the death certificate …how many do you think admit that they caused the death of a person ?

    1. Karen and Jeff, that overdose on Morphine, because Doctors don’t think anything will really help and want to put them out of their misery bugs me to no end!

      I have warred with doctors over 3 relatives and the thing is, every time my family members went home or left to get lunch or take a shower, they gave Morphine enough to knock them out, and to put them into hallucinations and to stop them being able to communicate, and if I got them listed as allergic to Morphine, they would switch to a Morphine derivative med and do the same thing.

      I hate Morphine.

      I had my uncle’s pain controlled with Methadone and he was not in any distress and was verbally able to communicate that he had no pain at all and if I slept for a wink, they would sneak back in and put him back on Morphine or a variation and he hated Morphine when he had tried it earlier and my mother communicated hating it and with both cases, I had just had scans, which said that their cancers hadn’t progressed, but both cases, they shut down their CNS and caused their kidneys to shut down with high doses of Morphine, while they were saying, ‘Please, no, I don’t want Morphine.”

      When they weren’t on it, all three of my relatives could hold conversations and were calm and peaceful and saying they weren’t in pain and when they were on it, they looked like they were being tormented and hallucinating and couldn’t talk and I felt so frustrated with them.

      My cousin, who is pro-Morphine said that it was “good” for her father, but then she went on to say that he was hallucinating that he was in the middle of D-Day with bombs going off and what kind of ridiculous system thinks that is better.

      I took my grandmother home and she was still talking the day she died and had aspiration pneumonia, but I put patches on her to keep the fluids down and she never even once communicated a fear of drowning.

      They also say that they aren’t hungry on it, but she was tugging at my sleeve whenever the food and drinks were brought in the room to her roommate and she was sitting up in bed trying to get the attention of the people who were trying to starve her to death and knock her out with medicines.

      Her crying out, “I am not dead yet” when I took her home and got her off the morphine related products caused me to never put her in hospice. I hate that their systems and I hate that they felt like they had to bully my family, because we were listening to our relatives.

    2. My dad had prostate cancer in his seventies. Had it treated invasively and all that. IN his nineties he was doing sort of well trying to eat better socializing. But on a doc exam the doc found a return of the cancer. Mid nineties asymptomatic, what are the chances he dies from prostate cancer….about zero.Cause of death AMI.Real cause not informing a patient of the real lack of significance of a diagnosis of cancer. The doc had a responsibility to tell him of the cancer but a bigger thing to explain how it did not mean much to a mid 90 year old. Severe depression was the result which caused a exasperation of dementia. ..The dementia and depression led him to refuses meds to include cardiac meds, I hired a nurse to provide them but even from her he eventually refused them. We both contacted the doc on this, social welfare, to no avail…cause of death AMI.

      REal cause….. a lack of interview with a patient and/or the patients guardian on a cancer diagnosis.Depression and a refusal of meds the result..In his age group unremediated cancer was a very strict death sentence with the dying being a most unpleasant thing. Mid 90’s cardiac history it probably was one of his least worries. Without the exam he probably lives a couple of years more.

      1. Ron, your father’s story is a topic I have thought about so often.

        Yes, depression and dementia increasing in response to fear of diagnosis is something I saw.

        With my uncle, once a week a hospice nurse would come and he would go into depression and stop eating for one day every single week terrified by the thoughts of some painful process.

        Then, we would get him out of his bedroom and get him to eat and we would laugh at silly things and he would hold hands with us and would be upbeat and happy, until the hospice nurse would come back and he would get depressed for a day and not eat and I hated that hospice nurse breaking into our laughing world every week.

    3. With my grandmother, the doctor said it straight out what their agenda was.

      He said, “We will give her Morphine and that will shit down her CNS and kill her faster and she will be on Ativan and that, if I remember right will take away her will to fight for breathing and the patch will dehydrate her to speed up the dying process and if she communicates that she is thirsty, don’t give her anything to drink, just swab her mouth.”

      My grandmother came home and pestered me all night long for nine glasses of Apple cider and cried out “I am not dead yet.”

      And they had everybody in their staff try to bully me into killing her faster and my grandmother was telling me that she was afraid of dying and we spent the next three months watching Gospel songs and Christmas movies and holding hands and singing Christmas carols and she drank gallon after gallon of eggnog and died when she was ready to go on her own terms, but hospice doesn’t allow antibiotics, so it really had to not be them involved either.

      There really is a death culture and they are big bullies.

  6. As someone who has had fairly negative experiences with the Cancer Industrial Complex in America, I am happy that this is being more widely discussed. Chris Beat Cancer has also discussed this problem.

    Now, if we can just get more people to know that oncologists have a financial incentive to make certain you are on chemo (they can legally mark up the chemo.) Additionally, a massive meta analysis estimated chemo as being a small percent of change in life expectancy despite often devastating side effects.

  7. For those interested in more on this subject, I highly recommend the books of Gilbert Welch, M.D. among them: Should I Be Tested for Cancer?: Maybe Not and Here’s Why

    As to the question of how do we know which cancers are going to be aggressive and which aren’t, I believe the answer as of 2018 is “We don’t”. So once you submit to testing and a cancer is detected, almost every doctor is going to recommend “doing something” – which is usually some form of aggressive treatment. The other alternative is “watchful waiting” – keeping a close eye on the cancer to see if it progresses and if it does, how rapidly. Since the general public has never heard of “dying WITH cancer” as opposed to “dying FROM cancer”, never mind cancers that spontaneously go away on their own, it’s easy to get stampeded into surgery, chemo and radiation – even if you never needed it.

    I’m content living as healthfully as I can and not worrying about what I might have. I think that’s the real preventive medicine, not getting all the tests the medical industry is always pushing.

    1. Jim Ross, that is an excellent book! I, too, highly recommend it: “Should I Be Tested for Cancer?: Maybe Not and Here’s Why” by Dr. Gilbert Welch.

      As for cancer doctors: Surgeons recommend surgery; radiologists recommend radiation, and oncologists recommend medications. And they are cannily persuasive. I think they believe in what they are recommending; but I also think that they don’t see their own biases.

  8. This preventive screening thing does not help my hypochondriac spouse. She admits she admit she suffers from the disease but regardless has tests after tests because her insurance is good and pays for most things. In the last 4 years she has had at least 2 pelvic ultra sounds, 2 MRI’s, one for headaches. A CAT scan for something else. All turn out to be nothing making me and her very happy. Her latest foray was spotting for about 2 weeks in a post menopausal woman age 59. Granted it could be serious yet the bleeding has stopped now however a coworker let her spotting go for over a year and died of uterine cancer shortly after being diagnosed stage 4. Meeting with the doctor they decided to take a sample and have it tested. Pretty confident it will be nothing because at the same time as the bleeding she was doing plant based intermittent fasting. Not sure what to do. It’s her life and I certainly don’t want to be the one that stopped her from getting tests. I’m guessing the best that I can do is if a diagnosis comes back with real and present concern, to research the facts before charging ahead with treatment.

    1. Has she sought out any therapy for her hypochondria? If not, research on treatments, should she be diagnosed with something, is unlikely to influence her. A true compulsion does not yield to facts easily.

    2. As a nurse weighing in on your comment, I think earlier comments to your question were insightful and would agree that your approach, not trying to argue your wife out of testing she feels she needs is probably wise, but not becoming overly concerned with her assumptions of health scares that may well prove unfounded. Remind her she is doing the most important thing every day but eating healthfully and continue to do so yourself as it seems you have challenges at times not over reacting to your wife’s concerns.

  9. “Healing Cancer From Inside Out”, is a must watch, if you know anyone dealing with cancer. It does a very good job of clarifying myths, nonsense, and medical jargon.

    You are now able to watch all of it for free on YouTube, the author did a lot of research in this film… very well done.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRKbtWblICE

    Chrisbeatcancer is a good source if you want to deal with cancer naturally, rather than with drugs. For a lot of us, it’s probably not too big of a surprise to hear whole food PBD is your major weapon against cancer… in particular raw fruits and veggies.

    1. Besides a plant based diet, consider making a witches’ brew for morning and night.

      Look up the most powerful anti-oxidants; they are spices. Buy the top five or ten in powdered bulk, and combine them. Mix with a squirt of hemp oil in a cup of your choice of liquid (I use kombucha.)

      If you want some extra mojo, add Turkey Tail and Reishi mushroom powder.

    2. Michael,

      The “Healing Cancer from the Inside Out” video was superb. I just finished watching the full 2 hours of it! Thanks for making us aware of it’s existence with the Youtube link.

    3. Michael,
      Thank you for posting the link to this documentary. I’ve just watched the entire two hours and found it highly informative and empowering.

  10. Going to the doctor is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Iatrogenic death ranks third in the industrialized world, behind only heart disease and cancer.

    1. If you look at the video below, Dr Greger suggests that the evidence from numerous studies that routine screening with mammograms and PSA tests do not decrease mortality, but screening for colonal rectal cancer and Pap smears both lead a marked reduction in mortality.

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/Understanding-the-Mammogram-Paradox/

      It is worth working your way through the full set of videos on mammograms, especially if you are (like myself) a woman in the screening age group

    2. I think I’ve read that thermography is less harmful than mammograms. There is one that is less harmful than colonoscopy, too, but I don’t remember what it is called.

    3. Hi I’m a RN and health support volunteer with nutritionfacts.org. This is definitely a tough one Dr. Greger has taken on. We are not here to give medical advice, but to share what the peer reviewed research has demonstrated.
      What I think it really comes down to is that ideally, there would be an honest discussion between a woman and her Dr. about the risk versus the benefits of a screening mammogram and empowering the woman to come to the best decision for her. But it seems more often the discussion is, “Time for your yearly mammogram”. The risk benefit ratio of doing a mammogram will be different for different women depending on risk factors.

      I don’t know if you’ve seen the whole series Dr. Greger did on mammograms, but this video discusses that aspect more.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/9-out-of-10-Women-misinformed-about-Mammograms/

      NurseKelly

  11. This analysis would be more convincing to me if one additional piece of data were obtained: What is the average age of men and women DIAGNOSED with cancer in the U.S. versus those diagnosed with cancer in the U.K.? The answer should be exactly equal to the survival rate difference if this analysis is correct. If this new analysis were to show only one year extra of life in the U.S. I think early diagnosis is still worth it.

      1. Equayona, I could not disagree more. My wife was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She was a nonsmokers and we were vegan for the previous year.  She was given a few months to live. Fortunately, she had the EGFR mutation and she was able to take a targeted oral drug called Tarceva for a year and a half before it stopped working.  We were able to squeeze twenty years into a year and a half.  We got to travel the world and enjoy that year and a half.  The next six months of traditional chemo I would never recommend to anyone and I would never do myself! Some treatments do work. Being vegan may help. It surely can’t hurt. 

        1. Billscha13: My dear friend with stage 4 lung cancer also took Tarceva. She tolerated it quite well (biggest side effect was skin-related). She lived 4 precious years beyond her prognosis and thoroughly enjoyed all of that time with her family and friends. She got mets to her brain that took her down within two weeks from diagnosis (and half of that time she was unconscious); her death was peaceful.

          Some of the folks posting here who recommend no chemo or no conventional treatment do not seem to realize that there are many types of cancer with many different treatments, including an increasing number of ‘chemos’ that are hormone blockers or immune boosters. Most of the women in my cancer support group tolerate chemo pretty well–especially since they have effective anti-nausea meds.

          I hope you are doing okay since the death of your wife. My best to you.

  12. I laugh, because people are saying Chris Beat Cancer is a good site and I agree that it has a lot of great information, but I know he has mostly likely spent hours at sites like this watching the videos on the topic of Cancer and he is putting what he learned into practice.

    There are over 500 videos under the topic of Cancer on this site and I found that the competitions between which foods fight cancers better on this site were the most helpful.

    Also the angiogenesis and Methionine and IGF1 and other topics helped for understanding how to “starve” cancer.

    I say it, because I did Chris’ videos, but it wasn’t until I came here that I understood eggs and choline, and gut bacteria and cheese and milk and I had never heard the chicken or folate and I hadn’t heard about flax seed being like chemotherapy and apple peels, etc.

    Chris is using the information and has so many great testimonies. Dr. Greger is presenting the studies with the statistics and extra information like the metabolic pathways.

    1. In reply to your question Deb . His site is good, in that it shows one person after another who reverse cancer through life style choices, where they (often completely) reject conventional treatment. We don’t get to read about this in studies; to my knowledge no one has done a study comparing a raw WFPBD vs chemo; the drug companies certainly would not be interested in seeing the results. It might not even be legal in the US.

      I’m convinced the cure for cancer has been around since the beginning of time, and its very simple: you detox your body, and then you super charge your immune system through diet. Then the immune system does what it’s designed to do – destroy cancer – heal. Also keep in mind, no one lives forever, some even say our breaths are numbered. Doing a trip to a facility where they specialize in natural healing and help you along is obviously going to be very helpful, most people have no clue on how to take care of themselves. Often we lack the self discipline needed to follow through, so people go to places like: “True North” or somewhere in mexico.

      The current medical system has has made a mess things. They overly complicate something which should be so simple a 1st grader can understand it. It’s really all about the $$

    2. Deb

      I don’t trust testimonies. You can find testimonies for almost everything. You could also have 10,000 people try some alleged cure but suppose 9,990 of them die while the remaining 10 attribute their survival to that supposed cure. There would be 10 enthusiastic testimonials trumpeted all over the internet …. but of course the other 9,990 would be silent.

      https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/chris-beat-cancer/
      https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Chris_Beat_Cancer
      .

      1. It looks like you are hell bent on calling Chris W. a quack TG. How do you know it’s not 70% out of 10k who survive after switching to a raw WFPBD? And should people who reverse cancer naturally remain silent, because you don’t trust testimonials?

        No one is saying Chris is perfect, or if he sells a product, to go buy it. A person should always do their own research. Healing via a natural, organic path is attractive to many; not everyone. Everyone is different, and there is nothing wrong with that.

        I don’t see why you feel the need to slander Chris with all your posted links. What exactly is so wrong with posting a story like this KM:

        1. Michael

          You may uncritically accept the claims on that website but most people here want to know what the facts are. I know I do. That is why I research many of those claims people post

          You think people should be free to promote/link to an alternative health website but people shouldn’t be allowed to link to sites by respected medical scientists who offer an informed analysis of the claims on that website? That isn’t how things do or should work. Believe what you want but people are entitled to disagree with you and present contrary viewpoints.

      2. Tom, I highly respect that about you. You are disciplined toward studies.

        The problem is there aren’t enough studies.

        I am a Christian and I love testimonies, but they are about hope and faith and confidence and being positive and believing.

        I find hope and faith useful.

        My example will be stroke recovery and brain plasticity. The statistics are abysmal, but some crazy fools didn’t believe the statistics and started a wave of people recovering even twenty years after a stroke, if they keep their eyes off the statistics.

        I use thst because it might be that all the statistics are lying and people just give up before they figure things out.

        I feel like I have reversed one condition after another with my uncle my grandmother and with myself and sometimes it is stubbornly ignoring the statistics and maybe going in the entirely wrong direction before you have a “thinking outside of the box type of revelation”

        Brain stormers who break through often ignore all the rules as part of the process and it is a type of faith that guides them.

        While they try 10,000 wrong ways to make a lightbulb.

        1. Dr Greger has already given examples of statistics lying and Brain Plasticity is another, but for Cancer treatment there can be complicating factors like people killing themselves through starvation.

          I have people who have done that. My dear Aunt did it and we had a three hour conversation where she was upbeat and with it and full of energy and pretty much announced which day she would be dying of starvation plus Morohine and she did die.

          That was back when I started reading about Cancer being treated naturally, but she didn’t have that information. She had statistics and became one of them.

      3. However, I will say that I have read those links you posted before AND that I also have four people in my life who had Cancer and didn’t do chemo, surgery or radiation and they are still with us, doing WFPB and juicing.

        They were diagnosed, but I don’t know which stage and I don’t know if any of them were the bogus mammogram Cancers.

        I do know my symptoms went away and that I did a lot of things, like the non-coffee enema part of Gerson therapy and what I am going to say is that during that time, I didn’t understand milk and cheese and the other links to Cancer, and Gerson got me off of the things like growth hormone and animal product viruses and methionine and fixed my gut bacteria and after a few months of that, I began eating high doses of all of those fruits and vegetables on the fruits and vegetables versus cancer list, which is something Chris referred to and I began to eat flax seed, which Dr. Greger has shown studies comparing it as similar to the chemo drug I would have probably had to go on, if my symptoms were Cancer.

        The thing is, I agree with you, the jury is still out on all of it without proof of studies, but nobody is doing the studies yet and other countries are using the methods Chris is using and those countries would be the ones I would want to see the tests done in.

        1. I went back on the dairy products after a few months of the juicing, because I wasn’t here watching these videos.

          The thing is, he is basically removing the people from things like the growth hormone and Methionine and is flooding their systems with hyper-nutrition and those things alone probably do something.

          If I didn’t believe WFPB did anything, I wouldn’t be here watching the videos.

          I believe Dr. Ornish reversed one type of Cancer with it and I believe other types can be reversed.

          1. The thing is, Chris has people eat every thing on the biggest kill part of the lists on Dr. Greger’s sites, but isn’t teaching why and Dr. Greger is not telling me to eat a huge salad with everything in the universe or swallow garlic cloves, but he is showing me things and I understand why Chris took that understanding and swallowed garlic cloves.

            And I understand why I look at the flax seed study and started eating a quarter cup of flax seed and why I eat a cup of broccoli sprouts and why I am eating kale and cabbage and why I switched to walnuts and pecans and why I bought lemons, etc. etc. etc.

            I am here, because I can see the studies and see the charts and see the information, and what I already know is that Dr. Greger adds cloves and cinnamon to add nutrition to one dish and Chris adds sauerkraut and onions and garlic and everything he can find and either these foods actually do something or they don’t.

            1. I guess I see logic to the foods Chris was suggesting and to the things people were doing.

              Eating garlic cloves whole and drinking carrot juice until he was turning orange and putting onion and garlic and sauerkraut and everything possible in his salads and flooding the body with nutrients in green smoothies and he basically does every single alternative medicine there is.

              I saw the logic of people using blood root. The doctor who used Cansema deep organ blood root to remove a tumor from her breast showed me a process, which looked disgusting and painful – though not nearly as painful as surgery and not nearly the scarring of the women who get a quarter of their breasts removed for a pimple. She showed images and her breast and thermogram looked normal after. She wasn’t crying out for drugs, like I have seen people do after surgery.

              I watched videos on the clinics in Mexico and in Germany, which are where a lot of the people go to and watched the logic for each of the things they were doing and the thing is, they post statistics and their rates are pretty good, so doing their processes might make sense.

              I just ponder what they were doing and kept thinking, I could do this and this and this and this at home and save $20,000.

      4. Tom

        And I am going to say that I read that mans statistics for if the people like Chris have different Class Cancers and he is clearly a very intelligent man, but he isn’t assigning any value to the things Chris and those people are doing.

        I am not capable of doing a fancy math thing right now, but if I use flax seed versus going on Tamoxifen both things need a statistical value and it wouldn’t be a simple value, because side effects might need to be figured in or weakening immune system would have to have a value.

        Flax looks on paper like it works, but doesn’t work as well, but if I am taking flax plus broccoli sprouts plus using blood root and eating garlic cloves and Laetrile they each need a value and he isn’t giving the things any value.

        He is just pointing out the reality that the surgery Chris had might have been enough to help his Cancer, but would any of you argue that Chris getting rid of all the junk food and most of his animal products didn’t change his odds, because that guy is leaving all the changes he made out as if getting rid of 90% of the animal products had no statistical value.

        If it doesn’t, then why are we celebrating all these videos Dr Greger shares, which I know for a fact Chris used data from, because I saw his face in the comments and saw His interview with Dr Greger.

        If I am missing a fancy math equation, then show me, because I am open to hearing. I just didn’t read the man examining all of the factors.

        1. Can you say that stopping the methionine or getting off the growth hormone or changing the gut bacteria shouldn’t be given values before We throw Chris’ baby out with the bath water?

          Shouldn’t there be a value to changing the blood to being a better Cancer fighter?

          And since Chris is choosing the foods like garlic and cabbage and cruciferous vegetables and all the other higher Cancer fighters, his blood might be more of a Cancer fighter than the regular eating vegans in that study.

          If even a few of these foods compare to chemotherapy drugs, then shouldn’t that be factored in, which the man didn’t.

          And if I go back to flax seed, does Tamoxifen’s advantage over it decrease since someone can take flax seed every day for the rest of their lives? And no I am not saying to not use Tamoxifen.

          It just seems like I would want to really try flax seed first and that guy wouldn’t assign it a proper vslue, because there isn’t a proper flax seed test.

          1. And I am sorry if I am writing this with evidence of the Alzheimer’s showing up in my logic.

            Okay, he says Chris would have lived longer doing surgery plus chemo versus surgery plus cleaning up his diet and getting rid of the chemicals.

            If Chris had stayed over that side and didn’t give up the junk food and meat would he really still be alive 14 years later?

            Is it possible that his eating garlic or something might have changed the equation somewhat?

            1. If we have to give the dietary Changes Chris talks about as a zero value for killing Cancer, then he is still doing 100 other things, one or two or three should have some value in the math.

              Does getting rid of methionine and growth hormone plus eating super foods and getting rid of stress and taking Laetrile and using blood root and having IV Vitamin C and all of it put together have no value or is he not being fair about maybe broccoli sprouts or something?

              1. Deb

                I am not trying to suggest that everything on tht website is wrong or worthless. What I am trying to suggest is that not everything is correct either and that we need to look at all the evidence and science and not simply uncritically accept claims. Critical analysis is a valuable tool in establishing the facts and testimonies can be misleading. look at both sides of the argument before believing everything we read especially when the people making these claims have a vested financial interest. Nobody finds this a problem when it comes to Big Pharma and Big medicine – why should it be any different with the alternative health people?…

  13. Back to Chris Beats Cancer, I feel like when I was there, I was confused about whether I had to fly to Mexico or do hyperthermia or IV Vitamin C or buy products which are illegal in the country and figure out whether there is a conspiracy, which made the things illegal or if there really might be risks or not.

    That made my mental process too complicated, but I genuinely LOVED the testimonies.

    Gerson was another, which I was so inspired by the testimonies, but I watched a video of a person who spent his entire day doing the coffee enemas and juicing and in the bathroom and I have to work sometimes and can’t spend all day in the bathroom.

    I watched the foods, which fight cancer and want to contact Gerson and say, Can you do a modern version and maybe put kale in, instead of greens, which don’t kill enough cancer for me to “buy in” and maybe add in some flax seed and broccoli sprouts and other things, and not have me have to turn orange.

    The enzyme doctor was another, which inspired me, but they were having people take 100 enzyme pills a day and that is so expensive and so is flying to Mexico.

  14. With this site, I was just, okay, let me buy some flax seed to grind and broccoli sprouts and garlic and onion and Brussel sprouts and kale and walnuts and pecans and black beans and lemon and cranberries, etc., etc., etc.

    And it got me to dump the dairy products, because cheese and pizza, which I loved were at the top of the risk factors on one video and nobody else had told me that.

  15. The thing I like the most about this site for Cancer information is that I never really took science and I already know more than almost any of the people around me about the metabolic pathways and none of them know that growth hormone would be involved and some of them would go Keto, but I mentally have the progression of the hardening of the arteries and I have the concept of the arteries blocking by 51% in one year for the people who jumped from vegan to keto.

    Honestly, no other site gave me the level of understanding that I am getting from here.

    Other doctors do “eat flax seed” but without seeing it compared statistically, there is no sense of even that it might actually work or whether it is a highly important to eat or not if it was just a little helpful and I know that I won’t keep eating something without knowing that it is important.

    Also, those other doctors led me to supplements and Dr. Greger showed me statistically how ridiculously ineffective most of the supplements are.

    I had Cancer symptoms and was trying to use supplements and was trying to figure out what the heck to do with the essential oils and how many times a day do you have to sniff frankincense to kill Cancer Dr. Axe or did you have her rub it on the spot with cancer or was it infused into the air or did she drink it and with how much water? Yes, the information was useless to me and I bought some and smelled it a few times and rubbed it on like perfume, but knew I wasn’t going to be using it as a primary method of anything.

  16. Dear Dr. Greger,

    I am a big fan of your work and I really loved your two books. I recommended them to many people that are close to me. I have a question about something I heard which confuses me a lot. It is the following:

    Dr. K Lance Gould has multiple publications objectively demonstrating through PET scans the reversal of CVD through a diet which includes animal proteins. Gould worked with Dean Ornish on the very early cutting-edge reversal of CVD through non-invasive measures, but, as he writes in his book felt Ornish’s approach was too high in starchy carbs and felt vegetables, lean proteins, and fruits (in that order) should be the lead foods for heart patients.

    Can you maybe help me out because I thought that only plant-based diets can reverse heart disease? Looking forward to your response! :D

    Regards,

    Ben

    1. Ben, If it was all about heart, Pritikin would be one example of one, which wasn’t vegan and yet it clearly helped Dr. Greger’s grandmother.

      But, there are things in the equation, like Cancer, and how to get low enough fat to reverse Diabetes, etc.

      Are you wondering if starches are bad? Or if you can get away with eating a little bit of animal products?

      I am not going to pretend to know if it is okay for you to eat your meat like a garnish instead of like a dinner.

      My mother mostly ate chicken and fish and died of Cancer.

    2. hi Ben, a moderator may answer your question, but I just wanted to make a comment. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/09/20/us/do-plans-to-cut-heart-risk-work-in-study-pet-scans-keep-track.html It would seem that the differences in diet between Dr Gould and Dr Ornish are pretty small. When you check out the details, Dr Gould is still calling for less than 10 % fat, mostly vegetables, and only very small amounts of fish or chicken allowed ( though why anyone would want to eat them is beyond me!) He is particularly against refined carbs that an raise triglicerides and lower HDL in some people. However, he thinks nothing of shelling out the statins to ‘stem the progress of atherosclerosis’, which is where I think the answer to your question lies.

      For me, I choose to reverse heart disease through food, exercise, and lifestyle factors, rather than usuing drugs to compensate for bad food and/or bad choices. It’s all in the fine print.

      1. Thanks Susan.

        And I would add that almost all of the WFPB doctors don’t want people eating refined carbs either, so the difference might be as slight as Ornish allows egg whites in his 10% fat and Dr Gould is allowing a little chicken and fish – and maybe I wouldn’t want any of them, because of the Cancer researchers.

    3. Are you worried about not getting enough protein?

      Feels like, Dr Ornish’s diet saves lives no matter what and I wonder if the other Dr is worried about people not getting enough protein (which has a video and vegans get almost as much protein as meat eaters – way more than they need)

      Or he was worried about starch and Dr McDougall has a whole book on that topic and he isn’t wanting people to eat refined grains either.

    4. This is apparently the regimen that Gould has trialled:

      “Patients in the maximal treatment group were on the following dietary-lifestyle and pharmacologic regimen, previously described in detail (1)and summarized as follows: 1) 10 to 20 g of fat/day; 2) 60 to 80 g of protein from non-fat or low-fat dairy products, egg whites, vegetable protein burgers or protein supplements, fish, skinned chicken breast or turkey breast, extra lean pork or beans, all baked or grilled, not fried; 3) whatever caloric-carbohydrate restriction was required to achieve ideal weight; 4) unlimited vegetables and salads; 5) exercise 30 min or more, 4 to 5 days/week, doing whatever activity maintained adherence; 6) one or more lipid active drugs dosed to goals of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) 1.2 mmol/l (45 mg/dl), and triglycerides <1.1 mmol/l (100 mg/dl); 7) aspirin daily; 8) monthly follow-up for detailed food history, lifestyle review, and medication adjustment until the aforementioned goals were reached; and 9) antianginal and/or blood pressure medications as needed, including beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and nitrates."

      Even so, 6.6% of patients suffered cardiac events and there is no mention of reversal only "Intense lifestyle and pharmacologic lipid treatment reduce size/severity of myocardial perfusion abnormalities and cardiac events compared with usual-care cholesterol-lowering drugs."

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109702026931?via%3Dihub

    5. Hi I’m a RN health support volunteer. Thanks for your great question. I was curious to know more about this. I took a brief look at Dr. Gould’s work, and it looks to me like he did use some cholesterol lowering drugs in addition to this diet:
      “However, some experts, including the lead author of the journal article, Dr. K. Lance Gould, say that such strict diets and time-consuming regimens are not essential to improving coronary circulation, especially if cholesterol-lowering drugs are also used to help curb arterial clogging.”
      “Dr. Gould, a cardiologist at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, said that at his institution, he combined cholesterol-lowering drugs and diet to stem the progress of atherosclerosis and help patients avoid bypass surgery.”
      https://www.nytimes.com/1995/09/20/us/do-plans-to-cut-heart-risk-work-in-study-pet-scans-keep-track.html

      I took a quick look on pubmed.gov, and I didn’t find any peer reviewed research by Dr. Gould. Books are great. And Dr. Greger is a best selling author himself. But books are not the same as peer reviewed research journals. Dr. Ornish and Dr. Esselstyn’s work has been published in peer reviewed literature. There programs also showed heart disease could be reversed without cholesterol lowering medication. Stain drugs are not without their problems. They reduce cholesterol, but their efficacy in reducing overall mortality in someone who has not had a prior heart attack has not been demonstrated.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-actual-benefit-of-diet-vs-drugs/
      They also are not without their problems:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/statin-cholesterol-drugs-and-invasive-breast-cancer/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/statin-muscle-toxicity/

      It looks like Dr. Gould is suggesting that perhaps, his method may be an option for someone who is not willing to do something as strict as Dr. Ornish’s. This is certainly better the standard western diet. But I’m inclined to think it does not have the results that Dr. Ornish and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn had in their programs. Dr. Ornish has said, any steps toward improvement help. It does not have to be all or none. So if someone would be willing to the Dr. Gould’s program, I am certain there would still be some benefit to it. But Dr. Ornish’s diet may have greater benefits. Also be aware, plant based diets have been shown to help with far more than just heart disease- cancer, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, impotence, multiple-sclerosis. There is information about all of that on nutritionfacts.org.

      Thanks for your great question.
      NurseKelly

      1. Dr. Esselstyn typically gave most, if not all, of his advanced heart patients in his study a low dose statin. He felt that was needed with diet to protect these patients with advanced disease. I thought it was interesting when I learned he did this and did not just rely on the low fat WFPB diet.

        1. I think the key here is that fact that Dr. Esselstyn’s patients had advanced heart disease and he carefully followed them to confirm that their LDL’s were going down then reduced statins. This seems a prudent approach not at all denying the benefits of a whole food plant based oil free diet.

  17. I’m sprouting broccoli seeds and eating the sprouts every day. Should I be worried about the erucic acid in the unsprouted seeds scattered throughout the sprouts? (If there’s a clump of seeds I remove them.) It would be an inconvenient extra step to soak the sprouts to remove all the seeds before eating them.

  18. THANK YOU, Dr. Greger, for taking time to carefully explain to us the reasoning behind the “five-year breast cancer survivor myth.” The video format allows us to watch the presentation more than once so we can absorb the contents thoroughly. I find that there is simply not enough time during an office visit to bring up statistics regarding breast cancer survival rates.

    For those readers who are concerned about a recurrence of breast cancer, please check out the following links for information on low-dose aspirin use to reduce the incidence of certain breast cancers:
    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/198782?redirect=true
    https://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/news/20170501/low-dose-aspirin-may-lower-risk-for-common-breast-cancer-by-20-percent#1
    https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2011-12/aspirin-prevent-breast-cancer-recurrence

    Thank you for the valuable discussion!

    1. Thanks Nancy. I had read that about low dose aspirin.

      Last night I was talking to a woman about the mammogram situation and her family is wondering if her daughter was one of the over treated women and are nervous about it coming back.

      I gave them the 1/4 cup of flax seed a day, but forgot about the aspirin.

      Wondering if eating the plants which have the aspirin ingredients would work?

      Most of my relatives switched off of aspirin out of experiences with bleeding or stomach problems.

      When I read about aspirin it seems like they showed lots of WFPB products.

      That was long enough ago that I already forgot the aspirin studies.

      Glad you brought it back.

  19. I don’t get mammograms. I don’t see why I should expose my sensitive breast tissue to radiation every year….it makes no sense to me. Prevention is at our fingertips but we don’t want to make the necessary changes: Plant Based Diet and remove the harmful chemicals in the home & replace with essential oils. The CD said endocrine cancer will rise 21% by 2020! Guess what perfume and cleaning chemicals are? Endocrine disruptors! Get the junk out of your diet and your body will be able to fight off those invaders. I also do coffee enemas to boost glutathione production and to cleanse blood cells.

  20. The doctors not knowing these things frustrates me, because they really do mock their patients even for bringing it up. Most of the people who are watching things like this get mocked.

    When I was doing caretaking of my grandmother and uncle, I was looking for natural products to help and kept finding them, but telling the doctors or specialists was a nightmare. I remember the guy checking my grandmother for blocked arteries making fun of me for asking him about the Pomegranate juice and it was doctor after doctor. My friends have talked about getting mocked for looking up things on-line and for watching Dr. Oz and The Doctors.

    You can bring the statistics with you and they will still reject it is what I have found.

    I have never seen a medical doctor who believed in food as medicine or who worried about things like radiation from mammograms. They push them on women and get authoritative if the women keep refusing is more what I have seen.

    Except the really old doctors who are retiring. Some of them were “old school” and were genuinely kind-hearted and open to communications.

    I haven’t ever been to a lifestyle doctor. I might do that eventually, but first I am learning everything I can here, because I won’t have people like Dr. Greger or Tom handing me the statistics of something while I am at the doctor.

    I genuinely only want to hear the research statistics, but hate that they have figured out ways to scam that, too.

  21. There is a whole language, which we do as a culture where we tell people to go back to their doctor and discuss everything and doctors being the cause of death means we need to dismantle that logic and figure out a new sentence.

  22. Hello everyone! I have a question to those who follow a WFPB diet. I have been following a WFPB diet for over 10 months now. I eat lots of organic vegetables and fruits, a moderate amount of legumes, mushrooms, whole grains, some nuts. I don’t eat soy. I understand the many benefits of a WFPB diet which is one of the main reasons I am following it but I do miss eating eggs/dairy/meat. Does anyone else miss eating those foods and what did you do about it? Thank you!

    1. I eat a small amount of meat. I am still WFPB. Mostly I eat small cold water SMASH fish. I don’t really miss eating meat. I think your body attunes to what it needs. I crave kale and kim chi.

    2. It sounds like you need to up your intake of cereals, whole grains, you know the stuff, amaranth, quinoa, rice, white and brown, whole grains.  And… and I know this is heresy on this site- but for many people it has made the difference to being able to function on this diet and not.. use oils, as in olive oil and in oriental recipes, sesame oil, and raw tahini- the stuff with the whole sesame seeds in it, in place of spreads, say. As I said this is heresy but if you do not have an existing disease (or any level of obesity) pushing you to go totally processed fat free, I wouldn’t. It helps the digestion of the veg and the feeling of satiation, knocking out those other cravings.
      People, please don’t mail me telling me how wrong I am about the added oil stuff. I know the arguments. They have been rehearsed well enough on various articles/videos on this site. It is the one point on which I depart from the Greger wisdom. I would rather use a small amount of olive oil than chow down pulverised nuts in vast quantities. Those are what I avoid as that really does feel unnatural.
      And I avoid COCONUT OIL. It is far too prone to rancidity.

      1. I thought that Dr. Greger referred to plant oils as a “Yellow Light” food — if they get a person to eat more of a “Green Light” food, then use them — but moderately. I recall some mention of bacon bits (plant based but highly processed) to sprinkle on salad (was that Dr. Greger’s weakness?) as another example of a Yellow Light food.

        So Gillian, you and Dr. Greger are really in agreement.

        And I like coconut oil as a body lotion. And as a butter substitute in my occasional baked goods — though I do use food quality for this purpose.

        1. Thanks for that, Dr J.  The only coconut oil I have ever used is food grade- supposedly raw cold pressed blah blah- and it really can go bad (and has a very low smoke point). I am not averse to canned coconut milk for very occasional use (in soups and curries) so long as it is the stuff which is just coconut, no weird emulsifiers.
          So I think we are in agreement here. Cereals, starches excepting the overly refined, and judicious use of oil/fats is the way to break free of the lure of flesh! Well, it works for me.

    3. Hi, Julia. I am not sure why you don’t eat soy. Are you allergic? If not, you might want to check out these resources. Unless a person is allergic, there is no really good reason to avoid minimally processed, traditional organic soy foods such as tofu, tempeh, and edamame. Scrambling tofu with vegetables, turmeric, and a pinch of kala namak, or Indian black salt, to give it that eggy, sulphur taste, and other herbs and spices can be a good substitute for eggs, and marinated tempeh can stand in for meat in many recipes. I If you are allergic to soy, you can make frittatas and quiches with chickpea flour and veggies. Lentils may also be used in place of ground meat in recipes. I hope that helps!

    4. Julia there are now bunches of products which mimic meat. They are processed but really are way more healthy than the real thing. Processed ham for instance is not only cancer causing but very high in salt and nitrate. Fake ham products are not so high in salt and also do not contain sodium nitrate.
      Many of the processed food items start with some other base than soy but one has to read the labels.

      Dairy there now exists bunches of variety for substitution. Cashew milk is now becoming popular. But almond rice coconut and many mixtures do exist. You may care to taste test to find which suits your taste.

      Fake hamburgers of course about but again check labels if you want to avoid soy.

      1. Just checked what I have in the frig at the moment…Beyond meat a common product found in Walmart has pea protein as its base majority material.. Soy free. One serving 12% RDA sodium so not so bad. 13 grams of protein. I use it like ground beef having a stir fry of stuff I just toss a bit in. Cheese free Pizza same thing just throw it on top. Burritos put it in with a bean filling.

        What I find is what I miss is the protein. That presents as taste preference.My lifestyle recommends it. I will likely after a little run with dog today do about 2 hours of lifting of heavy weight, 365 pounds on partial squats from the down position 5 reps as a peak effort. And I weigh about 190. So I have a great taste for protein and miss it if I don’t find it. Meat unconsciously I think is that taste, but it can be substituted.
        So maybe you are like me active and really missing the protein, showing as taste preference.

        1. I am going for that run right about now…my hunger and likely I will eat something,,,for protein, Fat is not if for me and being active..that would weigh on me make me sluggish…..It is really not conscious I crave it..
          Maybe if one is not active fat is the thing they crave. Active I think it is always the protein. So active or not you may fill the craving by this or that. Active I do not mean a day gardening though.

    5. Julia, watch the soy videos before making your mind up on soy.

      I use the fake meats when I crave things and watched the videos here on soy and on things like veggie chicken and found useful information.

      I went through the things I ate and found versions of them, which I can approximate using those products for when I do crave something.

      There are scrambles. There are egg replacers.

      There are so many types of non dairy milk that I can’t make up my mind sometimes.

      I hate most of the fake cheese, but found I like a few brands Mozzarella style and use it in lasagna and pizza and burritos.

      I like Morning Star’s fake chickn and breakfast sausage and every once in a while I will have a corn dog and I use their crumbles when I find recipes which call for ground beef.

      I found out that I can have a faux bologna and faux cheese and faux mayo and it is close enough that I feel like I went back to my childhood and I have had Veggie BLT’s and they are pretty good.

      I am just dealing with the concept of food cravings. I probably don’t eat them very often, but I have a list of everything I crave and have a veggie version.

      If I go to a cookout, I bring a Prime griller from Morningstar and I fit right in to the crowd.

      The hardest was milk for my coffee. I wasn’t happy with any of them and switched to tea.

      1. Julia,

        Everybody around me is afraid of soy and afraid of gluten and afraid of corn and afraid of bananas and all sorts of things.

        If you have a food allergy, then you are right to not eat it.

        If you have heard a lot of stuff around the internet scaring you about soy, then watch the videos and get informed.

        I have a Starbucks worker who didn’t want to serve me a green tea latte with soy and three of the workers warned me about how bad soy is for me, but I know I don’t eat anywhere near 15 servings per day.

        Yes, I do understand that it removes the antioxidant benefit of the Matcha, just like milk would.

        But watching Dr. Greger’s videos, plus a video of a Cancer researcher on Ted Talks, plus the research for NT Factor, which helped my brain, I have come to love soy. Just not more than a few servings per day.

          1. Feeding my good guy gut flora
            Turning my mitochondria back to a 20 year old.
            Lowering my breast cancer risk
            Benefiting my kidneys
            What’s not to love about soy?

            I add it to our list of things women who had cancer once can take to prevent getting it again:

            “Overall, researchers have found that women diagnosed with breast cancer who ate the most soy lived significantly longer and had a significantly lower risk of breast cancer recurrence than those who ate less.”

            So what do we have so far, Flax, Aspirin and Soy.and Broccoli Sprouts and Turmeric and I am adding in Dandelion Tea, even though Dr. Greger only covered it as the most antioxidant and didn’t cover any Cancer studies with it.

            There might be more, but those are what I remember and I do all of them, except the turmeric, which I still haven’t started liking yet.

            Turmeric and broccoli sprouts seem like things

            1. Thank you to those who took the time to answer my question about what one can do about missing eating eggs/dairy/meat! You gave me some good ideas!

    6. Perhaps watch the films Earthlings and Speciesism; it may help you stop craving animal food. Did you know that 6 million animals are murdered every hour. That’s about 144 million animals a day, and this doesn’t count fish. Can you visualize all this harm and murder? Can you perhaps think about all those body parts being hacked off an animal and ground up? Perhaps put yourself into the consciousness of animals and you might find it easier to embrace plants and not have cravings for sentient beings.

  23. The problem is that aggressive and non-aggressive cancers cannot differentiated leading individuals to opt for treatment. The number dying from prostate cancer in the UK has remained stable for decades yet thousands more are treated now than decades ago. If your cancer is aggressive not much can be done but how do you know whether your cancer is aggressive and who wants to take that chance. Research needs to be focused on identifying the type of cancer which would reduce unnecessary treatment for thousands.

  24. Thank you Dr. med. Greger for this lightening information about statistics.

    About the screenings – I have two toughts. First – screenings by them selfs may not bad, if they would use in the right way – not in this way they are used today. Dr. T. Colin Campbell wrote in his China Study already, that a healthy diet can be used to stop the early state of cancer called foci – so I think, if people are going to a screening and the stuff discover a early state of cancer – then the advise to the patient is very important for the 5 or 10 year survival rate is important.
    If you say to the patient: Oh, we have seen such early cancer, you must immediately start a chemo therapy because you are in danger…. that will not help for the survival rate. But if you use this awareness for a emphatic consultation to show the patient what he can do for his health (with other words, tell the patient that he or she still has the control over their health and there is not yet time to think “good by” and they are not depent on the magic of their doctor and the chemo) this will have a positive effect on the 5 or 10 year survival rate…

    Unfortunatly we are already again by Geoffrey Roses article about sick people and sick populations – screening is not the best way for a population health, in this way we use it at the moment. If we going over to use screening to open the general public view of “what can I do to save my own health as much I can, before I getting sick” – then we will have a real chance in the future, that we don’t need screening, in general for most of the people, to prevent cancer.

    1. In the article you are talking about, is it saying that screening doesn’t change things like lifestyles?

      That is my question, because most of the people I know DO change lifestyles at least some in response to a negative diagnoses.

      And none of them, including me, changed lifestyles before having symptoms or diagnoses.

      It was the threat of being put on Metformin or Insulin, which changed many of my friends and the polyps in a colonoscopy, which changed others and high blood pressure changed a few.

      I didn’t do any screening at all and did eventually just change from the symptoms, but it took years of symptoms before I changed. If I had been screened, I might have changed in the months before my doctor’s appointment, which is what my brother’s family is doing now. Trying to fix their diet so that they weigh less and have lower blood sugar before next appointment.

      Is it that people feel in a rush and get pressured into going straight into treatment with Cancer?

      Is that why some sort of screening doesn’t help?

      If I had a supportive doctor and was going to do it the medical model way, I would have done a thermogram and said, “I need six months of changing my diet to try to see if it shrinks.” I didn’t want the extra stress of having a doctor pounding me on the head trying to manipulate me into doing something that I am not comfortable with.

      Either way, I saw symptoms, suddenly changed my diet after 50-something years and the symptoms are gone and I didn’t get screened, but do see that my friends and relatives don’t change without diagnoses. Their bigger problem is that there are too many voices saying which direction to change and they have gotten rid of gluten and soy and corn and got rid of aluminum shampoos and gone keto – all based on loud voiced authority figures.

      I guess it depends on whether you are doing it on your own beforehand or not.

      I had a friend pass away last night and he never did change and it may be that he needed a screening “kick in the pants” or maybe it wouldn’t have helped, but not changing his diet also didn’t help.

      1. I am going to say that the people who were given the opportunity to NOT go on medicine and NOT get treated are the ones who changed their diets.

        The ones who went straight to insulin, change their insulin levels and the ones who went straight to surgery and chemo also didn’t change their diets.

  25. Hi, thank you for this video, as always, it provided very interesting information. I’d like to ask why you had named it “breast cancer and the 5 year survival rate myth”?

    it works in a generic way for cancer, and the most talked about one in this video is “prostate cancer” while there is only a tiny slide that passes by at about 03:25 with a title that has the word “mammography” in it.

    just curious :-)

      1. To her point however, the mammogram series should stay focused on breast issues and leave prostate screening for another series. It weakens the argument that you’re trying to make.

        1. Sandra, actually, breast cancer and prostate cancer share several characteristics — and one is that the screening tests for them were oversold: they don’t actually save lives overall, and appear to cause more harm than good. PSA testing is no longer recommended as screening for prostate cancer, and I suspect the same may ultimately be true for mammography. So the situation for screening for prostate cancer is analogous to screening for breast cancer at this time.

          I have read a great deal about both, since my husband was diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer (found by PSA screening and biopsy) whereas I was more recently diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer (found as a lump). Though we’ve been told that PSA testing is a useful marker if prostate cancer returns — but does it make any difference to eventual outcome? Does it result in improved overall mortality, and/or quality of life? I have no idea how useful mammography is after treatment for breast cancer, since the same questions exist for it, and I haven’t found any answers.

  26. At the start of the video Dr. Greger explains in a table the screened vs unscreened survival rates. Is there a clear ratio such as what he presented 2000 people vs 1000 in screening statistics (a ratio of 2 to 1)? In other words what is the real ratio of progressive versus non progressive cancers in the USA? and is that ratio common across all cancers?

    Thank you for your clarification on this point.

    1. Part of the problem is that the exact number of certain cancers (especially breast and prostate) that will progress to more invasive types is not known. We do know that not all early diagnosed prostate or breast cancers progress to invasive, and we can use some factors that help predict which ones will progress, but we’re not very good at predicting whether an individual’s breast or prostate cancer will progress, which ones benefit from aggressive treatment, etc.

      Cancers differ greatly in their likelihood of progression and effectiveness of treatment. Some cancers, say basal cell skin cancer, often grow, but slowly and locally rather than spreading to other organs. They are also very amenable to removal. Others, say melanoma skin cancer, can spread quickly, and excision before they spread (detection by early screening) greatly improves mortality long term.

      It’s complicated stuff. But know that if a doctor or organization uses the likelihood that someone will be alive five years after early diagnosis to say that folks must be screened early is generally not a useful statistic. It would be best to know for each particular type of cancer whether early detection and treatment prevents death and disability over the person’s life, not just five years from diagnosis.

      Hope this helps!

      Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  27. Please help me to understand this. In the USA, deaths for prostate cancer(PCa) per 100,000 increased in every year form 31 in 1976 to 39 in 1993, the year that PSA testing started becoming wide spread. From that very year that PSA testing started increasing, deaths per 100,000 plummeted to 19.1 in 2014. According to the table at seer.cancer.gov. This is an actual decrease in deaths per year, not just an improvement in death rates as a % of those diagnosed. Since new cases diagnosed went up sharply during most of that time after PSAs began being tested, especially during the 1st 10 years or so, the % surviving increased even more spectacularly. But just based on the total numbers dying, it has been cut in half starting the year of PSA testing becoming more common. Now I have been told that the early detection of prostate cancer has nothing to do with the drop in death rates starting in 1992, that it is all due to improved treatment. That seems a stretch and a huge coincidence that the early detection played no part. Is there any evidence that that is indeed the case? Evidence that early detection helped not at all, but rather the huge drop in death rates was all due to improvements in treatment? If there is no evidence of that, then screening for sure saved lives, even if many men were over treated. But surely the over treatment can be stopped without denying early detection to those with deadly forms of PCa? Thanks in advance!

  28. Cancer is a life-threatening disease if the treatment is delayed or if best treatment is not provided. This article includes some of the best cancer hospitals in India, we tried to cover hospitals in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata. This article also covers some of the government funded hospitals and private trust hospitals. List of “Best Cancer Hospitals in India”

  29. Wondering how you can find out if you are a part of the 5% of human race which is subject to particular kinds of cancer? I tested POSITIVE for BRCA 1 and my family has a strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer. Already changed my diet, no sugar, only organic. However I am ‘in the system’ as my doctor boyfriend says and now doctors are pushing me (at 30 y.o.) to have a full mastectomy and at 35 y.o. have a hysterectomy. Advise from experts with articles PLEASE!

  30. Hi Kelli- I would urge you to visit with at least two respected oncologists to get details on your specific risk of breast cancer, what all of your options are, and what your specific risks and benefits of each therapy are. Then you can make the best decision for you.

    BRCA1 mutations substantially increase the risk of breast cancer. Whereas about 7 in 100 women without the BRCA1 mutation will get breast cancer by age 70, about 60 in 100 women with the BRCA1 mutation will get breast cancer. That’s not every women, but it’s very high. The risk of ovarian cancer is also increased. Your family history correlates with your personal increased risk as well. There is a lot of detail to review with a cancer specialist about how to reduce that very high risk, changes in screening advice, and therapies that can be used.

    Your boyfriend should be able to help you find an oncologist and second opinion oncologist that will best help you get the full story in your individual case.

    Best luck!

    Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  31. This is incredibly irresponsible. In another video he says that the reason women with breast cancer are surviving longer is because of Tamoxifen. Well how do you know if you need Tamoxifen without a mammogram? Further, he does not mention, or is perhaps not aware, that with the use of genomic testing like Oncotype and Mammaprint, the type of cancer you have can be determined. This prevents over-treating. Luminal A cancers are less likely to metastasize and do not need chemotherapy, and this is determined with genomic testing. However, basal cancers and Her2+ cancers spread quickly. Without identification of her cancer a woman would not receive Herceptin, which significantly increases survival for Her2+ women. A watch and wait approach would be extremely dangerous for this type of cancer. Having an MD does not make you an expert in all areas. Is Dr. Greger an oncologist, a gynecologist, or a breast surgeon? If not, perhaps he should stick to nutrition. I have been a vegetarian for a decade. I exercised regularly, and ate a healthy diet. I was still diagnosed with an aggressive type of cancer. Nutrition does not change everything. Our environment is increasingly toxic. 40,000 women per year die of breast cancer. There have been improvements in treatment that have led to fewer women dying. If these women are not identified in some way and do not receive the new treatments, their cancer is far more likely to metastasize.

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