RUSH: And welcome back to the most listened to radio talk show in America: The Rush Limbaugh program on the famous and distinguished Excellence in Broadcasting Network. Here’s the phone number if you’d like to join us. 800-282-2882, and the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
From the New York Times today: ‘In Shift, Cancer Society Sees Risks in Screenings — The American Cancer Society, which has long been a staunch defender of most cancer screening,’ meaning testing, ‘is now saying that the benefits of detecting many cancers, especially breast and prostate, have been overstated.’ Now, you have got to be kidding me. After years of being berated and shamed into getting mammograms and getting PSA tests that cost a lot of money, they now tell us it’s overstated? ‘The American Cancer Society … is quietly working on a message, to put on its Web site early next year, to emphasize that screening for breast and prostate cancer and certain other cancers can come with a real risk of overtreating many small cancers while missing cancers that are deadly.’
Can I read that to you again? ‘It is quietly working on a message, to put on its Web site early next year, to emphasize that screening for breast and prostate cancer and certain other cancers can come with a real risk of overtreating many small cancers while missing cancers that are deadly.’ Now, I’ve got a story here. I didn’t print it out because I didn’t think it was going to be relevant because I got a story here today about a guy in Japan. Let me find it. Something about… I don’t know if the guy’s in Japan. Look, I don’t care where it is. It doesn’t matter where it is. The guy was diagnosed with rectal cancer. They removed the rectum and put in an artificial rectum. He didn’t have cancer. He’s now suing for 400-and-some-odd thousand dollars.
It either happened in Japan or he’s in Japan, or happened here and moved to Japan. I don’t know which. So I guess the American Cancer Society has a point. They miss many big cancers. Now, think about this. Isn’t ‘prevention and early detection’ the cornerstone of the Democrat health care plan? Haven’t we been berated as a society and a culture from the American Heart Association to the American Cancer Society, you name it? We have been beat over the head. ‘We must get tested! We must get tested early. We must get tested early and often! We must, we must, we must! You must, you must, you must! It will save us money. We will find ways to treat cancers before they become deadly, and we will save money.’
Now all of a sudden it’s overrated? Does the timing of this make anybody suspicious? Here we are in the midst of a free fall in support Obama’s health care plan, not just the public option, but everything that’s in it. And part of this is, ‘Well, too many tests are going on out there.’ Obama is running around saying (summarized) ‘We have too many tests and doctors are amputating too many feet and taking out too many tonsils to line their pockets — and there’s too much testing going on out there, and unnecessary tests are taking place, and this is driving up the costs,’ and just now conveniently here we are in the midst of the free fall in support, we get the American Cancer Society saying that there are ‘risks in early screenings and that the benefits of detecting many cancer…’ Get that. ‘Detecting’ means finding!
‘[T]he benefits of [finding] many cancers, especially breast and prostate, have been overstated’? You mean we’re not supposed to find it early anymore? We’re supposed to wait ’til it’s at some other stage and then find it and we’ll all be better off? What in the name of Sam Hill…? What is happened to anybody’s integrity here? This man, Barack Obama, is seeing to it that anybody who had any character, any integrity, goes along with him or are forced to and they just lose it. They lose their character. They lose their integrity. They lose their credibility and they themselves become corrupt. ‘The American Cancer Society … is quietly working on a message … to emphasize that screening for breast and prostate cancer and certain other cancers can come with a real risk of overtreating many small cancers while missing cancers that are deadly.
”We don’t want people to panic,’ said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the cancer society. ‘But I’m admitting that American medicine has overpromised when it comes to screening. The advantages to screening have been exaggerated.” Maybe I’m the one that’s the idiot here. I thought the purpose of screening and testing was to find out if you had it. Right? Is that a sensible thing to say? How in the world can that be exaggerated? How in the world can it be exaggerated to go in and get tested? Meaning, you don’t need to get a mammogram every year, maybe just every three? Maybe you don’t need to get a PSA test every year, just every four years? What? I’m telling you, folks: With all the people Obama’s recruited to put in his back pocket or has intimidated to end up in his back pocket supporting his plan, I don’t know how to deal with this.
‘I’m admitting that American medicine has overpromised when it comes to screening. The advantages to screening have been exaggerated.’ Listen to this: ‘If breast and prostate cancer screening really fulfilled their promise, the researchers note, cancers that once were found late, when they were often incurable, would now be found early, when they could be cured. A large increase in early cancers would be balanced by a commensurate decline in late-stage cancers. That is what happened with screening for colon and cervical cancers. But not with breast and prostate cancer.’ Well… ”The issue here is, as we look at cancer medicine over the last 35 or 40 years, we have always worked to treat cancer or to find cancer early,’ Dr. [Otis] Brawley said.
”And we never sat back and actually thought, ‘Are we treating the cancers that need to be treated?” The very idea that some cancers are not dangerous and some might actually go away on their own can be hard to swallow, researchers say.’ Yeah. Do you think we’re ever going to get to the point where doctors say, ‘You know, we just discovered cancer,’ and you go, ‘Oh, good! Good, good. Well, it’s not a bad cancer. It’s not dangerous. Fine. It may actually go away on its own.’ Is that where we’re headed here? Ha. ‘The very idea that some cancers are not dangerous and some might actually go away on their own can be hard to swallow, researchers say’ but that’s what we’re going to have to deal with. We’re going to have to deal with the fact that some cancers are not dangerous.
‘But finding those insignificant cancers is the reason the breast and prostate cancer rates soared when screening was introduced, [Dr. Barnett Kramer, associate director for disease prevention at the National Institutes of Health.] said. And those cancers, he said, are the reason screening has the problem called overdiagnosis — labeling innocuous tumors cancer and treating them as though they could be lethal when in fact they are not dangerous. ‘Overdiagnosis is pure, unadulterated harm,’ he said.’ So I guess what they’re saying is that when they go through all these tests for breast and prostate cancer, they find stuff that actually isn’t really malignant or that is not metastasizing. They just find a tumor that might be about an or whatever, but let me tell you something. I don’t know of a single woman who wants to be told, ‘Uhh, we found a lump in there. Don’t worry about it! It’s probably innocuous. It’s going to go away.’ I am not… The feminists have been on the marching path about how there’s a bias against breast cancer, and that’s why some of these screening things started. Folks, I just find the timing of this amazingly coincidental when Obama’s trying to push a health care plan that tries to condition everybody to less and less testing in order to reduce costs.
RUSH: You know, here’s the dirty little secret on all this preventative testing, preventative health care, all these steps you can take. Obama claims he can keep the cost of health care — well, he doesn’t have a plan, excuse me. Obama claims he can keep the cost of a health care plan down to a mere $900 billion in part by requiring insurance companies to cover preventive care which he claims saves money, but the CBO wrote in August that the evidence suggests that for more preventive services expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall.
RUSH: Gina out on Long Island, welcome to the EIB Network. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. I cannot believe I’m finally speaking to you.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: I want to tell you, you are the smartest person in the country. You are right on the money about this American Cancer Society article that you quoted.
RUSH: No, it’s a New York Times article — and, of course, the New York Times doesn’t question it at all. They just duly take the stenography and report it.
CALLER: That’s right. I want to tell you I’m a two-time breast cancer survivor, and I run a nonprofit foundation which advocates for women with breast cancer.
RUSH: Well, now, wait a second. Do you actually know you had cancer? I mean, was the screening even right? You probably needn’t have had the screening according to the Cancer Society.
CALLER: Let me tell you: If I didn’t have the screening I wouldn’t be talking to you right now. I’d be dead. And what I do is I advocate for women to get early screening, particularly if they’re under 40 because that’s when I was diagnosed. But one of the doctors quoted in this article, Dr. Esserman, I was at an oncology conference this weekend and she and I spoke about these tumors that are hard to find, and what she was describing was between the yearly mammograms you can grow a tumor that’s very aggressive and grows very fast, and those are the ones that kill women. So what you have to do is find more expensive screening in between, more expensive than a mammogram, do an ultrasound or an MRI. That adds cost. So when I read this article this morning, I wrote on my blog: ‘This is the American Cancer Society throwing women under the bus to be politically correct, to keep costs down through Obamacare.’
RUSH: How can we interpret it any other way?
CALLER: There’s no other way. And what it’s going to do, it’s going to give women a false sense of security, and three women, I know three women who died this week. I mean, we’re losing a generation of women.
RUSH: Now, had they been screened, had they had any testing?
CALLER: Well, let me tell you, my best friend had the same tumor I did, but because mine was found earlier than hers, I’m alive and she died.
RUSH: See, I’ve often wondered this about testing. You go and get tested, in my case a PSA test for prostate cancer, and it shows up fine and dandy but what about a month later? Shouldn’t you get tested every month if you’re really serious about this stuff?
CALLER: Well, that was the argument that Dr. Esserman was making.
RUSH: Based on Dr. Esserman’s own example to you, that sometimes the screening misses the big cancers in the year that you get tested.
CALLER: The ones that grow in that year are the ones that grow the fastest.
RUSH: We go back now to Gina somewhere in the midst of Long Island. Gina, thanks for holding on.
CALLER: Hi. Thank you.
RUSH: Now, I need to say something to the people watching on the Dittocam, because sometimes this happens. It happened to me talking to you, Gina. I was trying to chat with you, and our incompetently, inferior, stupid phone system would not allow you to hear me.
CALLER: No, I couldn’t hear you.
RUSH: Of course you can’t hear —
CALLER: I’m sorry about that.
RUSH: You can’t hear me now when you’re talking. That’s my point. I don’t know why it is. On every other talk show in this damn country the caller can hear the host. At any rate, so I’m in here, and gesticulating and I am shouting obscenities and I am just mad as I can be. I’m about to explode in here and people watching on the Dittocam think I’m mad at you or that I am insulting you so I get e-mail about it. Now, you’re probably not watching all this on the Dittocam —
CALLER: I don’t have the Dittocam.
RUSH: Right. Well, you should. You want the Dittocam?
CALLER: I would love the Dittocam.
RUSH: You want to be a subscriber to Rush 24/7, our website? I’ll make you one.
CALLER: Oh! (giggles) Thank you!
RUSH: You bet. Hang on after the call, and Snerdley will tell you how to sign up, we got it all set up. For those of you watching on the Dittocam, this is why I do not like cameras. A radio show is to be heard, not seen.
RUSH: Here I am. I’m worried about having the bars on. ‘Can I take ’em off now? There are some things I don’t want people to see going on in here,’ and then the phone system had me all bent out of shape and the people watching think I’m yelling at you and that can end up on the Letterman show or some such thing, ‘Limbaugh going nuts at a caller!’ or what have you. So I just wanted to take a moment here to explain that I was just frustrated. I don’t know how many you’ve ever talked to the phone where the person you’re talking to can’t hear you, but it happens here all the time and it was happening to the caller. In fact, Gina?
RUSH: Just to prove this to people, I want you to count to ten. Count to ten and do not pause. Go. One, two, three, four. Go. One, two…
CALLER: One, two —
RUSH: Gina, stop.
CALLER: — three, four —
RUSH: Please, stop.
CALLER: — five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
RUSH: You didn’t hear me.
RUSH: Did you hear me? Did you hear me say stop?
RUSH: See? So it makes having a conversation frustrating. Plus, we’re coming up to a commercial break. It’s a ‘hard break’ as we call it inside business broadcasting.
CALLER: I’ve listened to you long enough to know what that is.
RUSH: All right so I was… So, those of you watching on this camera… Well, I’m not going to apologize. I’m still mad at the damn phone system, but I just want you to know I was not mad at Gina. Now, Gina, in talking to you, and your crusade here on breast cancer vis-a-vis this New York Times story today on the American Cancer Society. Listening to you and reading that story, it is maddening that health care has been reduced to arguments between politicians and bureaucrats about money. That’s the problem. We have to talk about price fixing. We have to explain what this is. We have to explain the difference in cost and price. We have to talk about doctor-patient relationship and how the government’s getting in the middle of it and screwing it all up and they want to make teen worse and it’s sick!
CALLER: And women are going to die because of it.
RUSH: That’s right. There are simple ways to reduce the cost of insurance, and we’re not doing that. We’re fighting over control of our lives by the government. That’s what the fight here is about. This is not —
CALLER: Well, Rush, can I just tell you something? I’ve had chemotherapy twice. I’ve had all the surgeries, and I have private insurance that I pay because I’m self-employed, and I’ve been covered for everything, and the system works.
RUSH: It does.
CALLER: I don’t want them to touch my system.
RUSH: Exactly. That’s right. See, this is not about health care. We having to sit here every day and sort out lies, damn lies, and budgets.
RUSH: It gets frustrating as hell to sit here and tell the American people every day that this damn administration is one giant lie. Charles Grassley ‘warns that the Health and Human Services website may be propaganda. He’s raising concerns that a website that urges visitors to send an e-mail to President Obama praising his health care reform may violate rules against government funded propaganda.’ The Health and Human Services website says, please send Obama an email. Folks, can we just save some time here? Everything from this administration is propaganda! Everything in the mainstream media is propaganda!
CALLER: This health care, if it goes through, will be the worst thing to happen for people with cancer, because all of the research funding will be cut. Things like this New York Times article stating that we don’t need early staging, early screening. It will be the worst thing to happen.
RUSH: Gina, we pointed out yesterday: The New York Times has a reporter that believes that we can really save the climate and the planet by having fewer children. We’ve got Obama thinking that it would be better off if we saved costs if more people didn’t live as long as they live.
CALLER: Yes! I know about the beds not being given to advanced cancer patients to keep them free for flu victims in Florida.
RUSH: Yeah. Yeah. The answer to that is: We ought to have a health care system can handle everybody that gets sick! We’re the United States of America. When did we start choosing between children and old people, one who has the flu and one who might have cancer? I’ll tell you what: It’s just madness. All of this is madness. There’s been such a huge effort for years, to the point of driving some people crazy. Every day you’ll turn on television and radio, there’s a PSA: ‘The American Cancer Society says get tested,’ and the next day, ‘We told you to get tested and we didn’t see you show up! So get tested.’ They browbeat you: ‘Don’t eat this and don’t drink that and get tested,’ especially for women in the minority communities, but everywhere, really, to start getting mammograms. There’s even, what is it? One month a year now, with discounted or free mammograms because of how it saves lives, early screening? Now we’re just going to toss all that out so that some organization can be said to be on the same page with President Obama. Gina, thanks. Now, you hold on and Snerdley will get all your vitals to make you a complimentary one-year subscriber to RushLimbaugh.com.