The tragic risks of a colonoscopy – Cancer Defeated

The tragic risks of a colonoscopy

By Lee Euler / April 26, 2017

Every year, about 15 million Americans undergo a colonoscopy. About 15,000 of them die. Not from the cancer. From the screening.1

Colorectal (colon and rectum) cancer kills about 50,000 Americans every year. It’s the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. But out of a population of 319 million, your risk of death from this particular illness is pretty low. In contrast, your one in a thousand risk of dying of a colonoscopy is actually much higher.

Even if we take the 109 million Americans over the age of 50 who are in a high risk category for cancer – and then assume all 50,000 colorectal cancer deaths are in that age group – the death risk is still less than 5 out of 10,000. Way lower than the one in a thousand risk of dying of a colonoscopy.

So this ranks as a dangerous test.

The medical profession promises colonoscopy could save your life. My doctor says I should get one about every ten years (I’ve had two already). But now I’ve learned you’re more likely to die from this routine cancer screening than from the cancer it tries to prevent.2

Here’s the real story. . .

Continued below. . .

Breast Cancer Survivor was told:
“You’ll be dead in a year”
(Pssst!! That was 12 years ago!)

Doctors didn’t give Wiltrude much hope when they diagnosed her with cancer in the year 2000. Wiltrude, a German psychologist, never thought cancer would happen to her. But it did. And it came as a big shock.

One doctor told her, “You’ll be dead in a year.” Late stage breast cancer is virtually incurable using conventional treatments. Even M.D.s admit it. They talk about “buying you more time.” (Don’t count on it. The evidence shows you’re better off doing nothing than chemo.)

When Wiltrude told her doctor she was going to try alternative treatments, he said, “You are committing suicide with what you’re doing.” But she was determined to find a way to beat her cancer.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, this European woman came across a book by my good friend Bill Henderson, one of the smartest and wisest people I know when it comes to cancer treatment.

She tried Bill’s top, number one recommendation — a gentle treatment you can do at home for just $5.15 a day. What’s more, the cost goes down to $3.50 after six weeks because you just need a maintenance dose. And it even tastes good.

Not only has Wiltrude passed the five-year cancer survival mark, she’s survived for 12 years. We just interviewed her recently for this publication. The radiologist who tests her every year told her, “You’re the only one with this kind of result.”

You can find out more about Bill’s proven cancer treatment plan if you click here.

When I ask him about some of the treatments that top alternative doctors use, Bill sort of shrugs and says, “They’re fine, but why bother? My treatment works, you can do it yourself, and it costs practically nothing.”

He’s coached thousands of cancer patients with all different types and stages of cancer. Most of the people who follow the detailed, specific plan in this Special Report get over their cancer and live for years.

“Almost any kind of cancer is reversible,” says Bill. “I never give up on anyone.”

Click here to learn more about Bill’s amazing cancer protocol.

If you think you’re too young to have to worry about colon cancer, think again.

For adults between 20 and 39, the risk of colon cancer has increased from one to two percent a year in the last 30 years.3 Young adults now have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer seen in previous generations.4

But alarming as it is, it’s nothing compared to the risk of colonoscopies.

A risky exam

One in every 2005 to 3506 colonoscopies results in serious complications.

Those complications are ten times more likely in colonoscopies than in any other commonly used cancer-screening test, according to the Annals of Internal Medicine.7

Dr. Harlan Krumholz, director of the Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, says that 1.6 percent of low-risk, healthy patients who get a colonoscopy suffer a complication requiring hospitalization within seven days.8

An additional one percent are hospitalized seven to 14 days after their colonoscopy, and three percent are hospitalized within 30 days after their procedure.9

That’s a 5.6 percent chance – about one in twenty — you’ll be hospitalized sometime within one month of your colonoscopy. Is that really acceptable?

Six common complications of colonoscopy

We’ll get to alternatives in a moment. But first, the five most common complications…

Infections: Doctors use a long, flexible tube (an endoscope) to see inside your body during a colonoscopy. Endoscopes have a tiny camera at the end so doctors can see inside your stomach or colon. If the camera gets covered in blood, they clean it off with a water and air nozzle, which is a breeding ground for infection.

Retired EPA microbiologist Dr. David Lewis notes that scopes get so clogged with tissue, blood, feces, and other patient ‘material’ that water and air can’t pass through the tube.

The air/water channel is so miniscule you can’t get a brush in to clean it.

So clinics ‘clean’ endoscopes by submerging them in a 2 percent glutaraldehyde solution for 10 to 15 minutes.

Don’t bet on its being clean when you come in for your procedure!

Dr. Lewis says even after spending two hours in that solution, endoscopes still trap pathogens. Some of those may be antibiotic-resistant ones, especially considering the kinds of microbes that run wild in hospitals.

Here’s the secret your doctor’s never told you:

Glutaraldehyde acts like formaldehyde. So instead of dissolving tissue, blood, and flesh… it preserves them. These preserved remnants build up over time and can readily infect you during your colonoscopy.

Perforations: You also have a one in 800 chance of internal perforations (gashes and cuts)10 resulting in bleeding, hemorrhaging, and infection.

These dangerous side effects often don’t show up till a day or several days after your procedure.11

Because of this delay, doctors rarely connect the dots back to the colonoscopy.12 These perforations are considered ‘random.’ But ‘random’ doesn’t preclude deadly.

For every 1,000 people who suffer perforations during colonoscopy, 52 of them die.13 Meaning about 52 out of 800,000 people who originally undergo the procedure die of this cause.

Dysbiosis is an imbalance between the protective (good) and harmful (bad) bacteria in your gut.

Before your colonoscopy, you’ll be asked to flush your intestines with harsh synthetic laxatives and a bowel wash, killing both your good and bad bacteria in one fell swoop.14

Without good bacteria, your intestines are at high risk.

These laxatives and washes are linked to irregularity, constipation, IBS, Crohn’s, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, and other diseases that actually increase your risk of colon cancer.15,16

Anesthesia complications: You shouldn’t need anesthesia for a colonoscopy. But because doctors like to race through them as fast as possible, you’ll get it.

Anesthesia comes with its own dangers and complications, including blood clots – especially dangerous if you have diabetes or heart disease.17 It can also cause hypoxia (low oxygen), aspiration pneumonia, cardiac arrhythmias, abdominal pain, and nausea.18 It also affects cognitive function and memory – and that makes me very reluctant to ever undergo another colonoscopy.

If you must have a colonoscopy, ask for the lightest sedative possible – or none at all.

False negatives: This one is related to the use of general anesthesia. Doctors prefer to “put you under” because they want to work fast. That’s not a good thing. The New England Journal of Medicine notes that doctors, because they’re working so quickly, completely miss full-blown colon cancer 15 to 27 percent of the time that cancer polyps are actually present.19

They seem to be more bent on speed than accuracy.

False positives: The National Cancer Institute notes that the consistency of colonoscopies is ‘poor.’20 As might be expected, the more screenings you have, the greater chance you’ll eventually get a false positive.

After four screening tests, men have a 36.7 percent chance of getting a false positive and women have a 26.2 percent chance.

After 14 tests, it skyrockets to a whopping 60.4 percent of false positives for men and 48.8 percent for women, per the Annals of Family Medicine.21 That’s a lot of colonoscopies, so this isn’t typical.

False positives lead to unneeded treatments for non-existent cancer. If the treatments are conventional, that’s always harmful. Aside from the physical harm, the mistaken cancer diagnosis puts you and your family on an emotional roller coaster.

Asking these 3 questions could save your life

Don’t just take your doctor’s suggestion on faith. Ask questions. Rinse and repeat.

It could save your life – because precious few doctors even know about these risks, let alone advise you on them. You can argue that they should, but they don’t.

1. Why not do a FOBT or sigmoidoscopy instead?

There are three ways to screen for colon cancer – colonoscopy, fecal occult blood test (FOBT), or flexible sigmoidoscopy test.

A colonoscopy is the riskiest of the three, yet doctors recommend it 95 percent of the time.22 Yes, even holistic doctors, sadly. The other two tests have 10 times fewer complications than colonoscopies.

2. What cleaning agent do you use to clean your scopes?

If they say glutaraldehyde (Cidex is the most common brand), run the other way. Cancel your appointment, or don’t make it in the first place.

Find a lab that uses peracetic acid 100 percent of the time. Only about 20 percent of labs use it because it’s more expensive and time-consuming. Peracetic acid actually dissolves proteins. It’s by far your safest bet.

3. How many of your colonoscopy patients end up in the hospital within one month after their colonoscopy for any reason?

Even if you feel uncomfortable asking, this is must-know information. You deserve answers, so don’t accept a blow-off response. Listen to what your gut tells you.

Keep cancer far from your colon

Naturally, if you’re smart about caring for yourself and avoid known triggers, you can radically reduce your risk of colorectal cancer, and by extension, your need for screening. Here are three simple lifestyle hacks:

Adjust your diet.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers processed meats — hotdogs, sausages, luncheon meats, and salami — carcinogenic, especially for colorectal cancer.23 So eat accordingly.

On the other hand, eating more vegetables lowers your risk of cancer.24

  • The fiber in psyllium seed husk, flax, hemp, and chia seeds boosts healthy gut bacteria, promotes healthy bowel movements, and lowers your risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Phytochemicals in plants reduce inflammation and usher carcinogens from your body.
  • Garlic lowers your risk of colon cancer 35 percent.25 So enjoy it liberally.

Get outside for 15 minutes a day without sunscreen, near solar noon.

Vitamin D deficiency boosts your risk of nearly every type of cancer.26

Most Americans are woefully low in this vitamin. Get your levels tested a couple times a year and keep them between 45 and 60 nanograms for cancer protection. Take vitamin D3 orally if necessary, especially during the winter when you may not get much sun.


Active people are 30 to 40 percent less likely to get colon cancer compared to inactive people, because it. . .27

  • Reduces your insulin levels, and in turn, your cancer risk.
  • Triggers apoptosis, or natural cancer cell death.
  • Boosts immune function, helping you fight infections and diseases like cancer.
  • Reduces belly fat (a risk factor for many types of cancer, including colon cancer).

There’s so much you can do to avoid becoming a statistic. So grab hold of the reins, do your homework, and don’t let your doctor bully you into doing any test you feel uneasy about.

Best regards,

Lee Euler,

1 Colorectal Cancer Screening Capacity in the U.S.
2 Monastyrsky, Konstantin. Fiber Meance. 2008 October.
3 STAT News. 2017 March.
4 Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2017; 109(8): djw322
5 Annals of Internal Medicine. 2006 Dec. 19;145(12):880-6
6 “What to Take Before a Colonoscopy.”
7 Daniel, Kaayla, PhD, CCN. “Avoiding the Serious Health Risks from Colonoscopy Screening.” The Healthy Home Economist. 2017 February.
8 Clark, Cheryl. “Colonoscopy Complications Occur at Surprisingly High Rates.” Gastroenterolgy. MedPage Today. 2016 February.
9 Ibid.
10 Emergencies in Gastroenterology and Hepatology. p. 359
11 Clark, Cheryl. “Colonoscopy Complications Occur at Surprisingly High Rates.”
12 Daniel, Kaayla, PhD, CCN. “Avoiding the Serious Health Risks from Colonoscopy Screening.”
13 Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2003; 95(3): 230-236
14 Washington Post. 2015 May 19.
15 Daniel, Kaayla, PhD, CCN. “Avoiding the Serious Health Risks from Colonoscopy Screening.”
16 Ibid.
17 Ibid.
18 Clark, Cheryl. “Colonoscopy Complications Occur at Surprisingly High Rates.”
19 Ibid.
20 National Cancer Institute. “Colorectal Cancer Screening (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version.” 2017 February.
21 Croswell JM, Kramer BS, Kreimer AR, et al. Cumulative incidence of false-positive results in repeated, multimodal cancer screening. Annals of Family Medicine. 2009; 7: 212-222.
22 American Cancer Society Colorectal Cancer Screening.
23 Scientific American. 2015 October.
24 Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2014 March.
25 University of Maryland Medical Center. “Garlic.”
26 Gut. 2015 January.
27 Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2003 November; 35(11): 1823-1827
About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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