Monday, November 25, 2013

THC May Treat Inflammatory Diseases and Cancer By Altering Genes

An intriguing new government funded study published by the Journal of Biological Chemistry has found that THC may actually alter certain genes in our body, which may result in a positive effect on a number of conditions, especially cancers and inflammatory diseases.

Researchers using rat models found that THC positively altered 13 different microRNAs, including mir-690, which is strongly linked to inflammatory responses; the study claims that; “Among the differentially expressed, miRNA-690 was highly overexpressed in THC-MDSC (~16 fold)”.
According to researchers; “Select miRNA such as mir-690 targeting genes involved in myeloid expansion and differentiation likely play crucial roles in this process and therefore in cannabinoid-induced immunosuppression.”
They conclude that these results indicate that THC may treat “inflammatory diseases as well as cancer.”
The study was funded by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cannabis may help reverse dementia: study

Cannabis may help reverse dementia: study

Cannabis may help reverse dementia: study

February 6, 2013

Amy Corderoy
Amy Corderoy
Health Editor, Sydney Morning Herald

View more articles from Amy Corderoy

It makes most people a little foggy-headed, but scientists are investigating whether an active ingredient in cannabis could actually stave off dementia.

A team from Neuroscience Research Australia is in the early stages of research examining if one of the main active ingredients in cannabis, called cannabidiol, could reverse some of the symptoms of memory loss in animals.

Tim Karl, a senior research fellow with the group, said cannabidiol does not have the same psychoactive effects as the main component of marijuana, THC, but it has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and other effects that could be beneficial for the brain.

“Back in the day cannabis was used for medical purposes, I'm talking 200 years, 100 years back, then at some point people discovered it had other effects and, as quite often happens in our society, people decided it was a bad drug,” he said.

“But it's not one compound, it is a mixture of 60 different compounds, and you just have to look at those different compounds because some of them might be good for you.”

His study involved injecting cannabidiol into mice that had been bred to have similar symptoms as those seen in Alzheimer's, as well as examining what would happen to brain cells treated with the drug.

Dr Karl found that when the mice were given the cannabidiol they showed drastic improvement on parts of the tests that were related to recognising and remembering objects and other mice.

“It basically brings the performance of the animals back to the level of healthy animals,” he said. “You could say it cured them, but we will have to go back and look at their brains to be sure.”

The study was done as part of the PhD of student David Cheng, who has also collected the brains of the mice and intends to examine them to see if they showed physical improvements.

As part of the research, which is being presented at the Australian Neuroscience Society annual meeting in Melbourne this week, the team also treated animal brain cells that produced a protein linked to the development of plaques in the brain in humans with Alzheimer's disease, amyloid precursor protein.

The cell research, done at the University of Wollongong, found treating the cells with cannabidiol also reduced the amount of the harmful protein that they produced.

Dr Karl said there had been case reports in medical literature of marijuana smokers who had developed Alzheimer's disease, only to find their smoking seemed to relieve some of their symptoms.

“Most of the components [of marijuana] are detrimental, they worsen your cognitive performance and have psychoactive effects… cannabidiol seems to not have any of these negative effects,” he said.

Cannabinoids Destroy Leukemia Cells, New Study Finds

New research has shown that the non-hallucinogenic components of cannabis could act as effective anti-cancer agents.
The anti-cancer properties of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary hallucinogenic component of cannabis, has been recognised for many years, but research into similar cannabis-derived compounds, known as cannabinoids, has been limited.
The study was carried out by a team at St George’s, University of London. It has been published in the journal Anticancer Research.
The team, led by Dr Wai Liu and colleagues carried out laboratory investigations using a number of cannabinoids, either alone or in combination with each other, to measure their anti-cancer actions in relation to leukaemia.
Of six cannabinoids studied, each demonstrated anti-cancer properties as effective as those seen in THC. Importantly, they had an increased effect on cancer cells when combined with each other.
Dr Liu said: “This study is a critical step in unpicking the mysteries of cannabis as a source of medicine. The cannabinoids examined have minimal, if any, hallucinogenic side effects, and their properties as anti-cancer agents are promising.
“These agents are able to interfere with the development of cancerous cells, stopping them in their tracks and preventing them from growing. In some cases, by using specific dosage patterns, they can destroy cancer cells on their own.
“Used in combination with existing treatment, we could discover some highly effective strategies for tackling cancer. Significantly, these compounds are inexpensive to produce and making better use of their unique properties could result in much more cost effective anti-cancer drugs in future.”
This latest research is part of a growing portfolio of studies into the medicinal properties of cannabis by the research team at St George’s. The next step will be to examine in the laboratory these compounds in combination with existing anti-cancer treatments and study treatment schedules to identify strategies that will maximise their efficacy.
The study examined two forms of cannabidiol (CBD), two forms of cannabigerol (CBG) and two forms of cannabigevarin (CBGV). These represent the most common cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant apart from THC.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

THC Cannabinoid Helpful in Treatment of Parkinson’s

Posted by Monterey Bud & filed under marijuana research, marijuana studies.
Weed - New Research: THC Cannabinoid Helpful in Treatment of Parkinson’s

Add this November 2013 report – soon to be published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry  (in next month’s hard copy issue) – to the long list of scientific research, documenting marijuana’s THC cannabinoid as  demonstrating remarkable positive medicinal effects. Already accessible to the public,  the National Institute of Health was the first to disseminate the report online:




Cannabinoids such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) are neuroprotective in animal and cell culture models of Parkinson’s disease (PD). In a PD cell culture model we recently demonstrated that Δ9-THC is neuroprotective through activation of the nuclear receptor peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ). Furthermore, activation by specific agonists rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, has also been found neuroprotective. PPARγ is a nuclear receptor whose activation can lead to the expression of proteins involved in the de novo synthesis of mitochondria. One such protein is the PPARγ co-activator 1 α (PGC1α) as it co-activates NRF-1 mediated gene expression which is essential for the production of nuclear encoded, mitochondrial proteins. Here we investigate the effect of Δ9-THC and pioglitazone on mitochondrial biogenesis.


SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells were differentiated with retinoic acid and exposed to the PD relevant mitochondrial complex 1 inhibitor, MPP+. Δ9-THC and pioglitazone were co-administered with the minimum concentration of the specific PPARγ antagonist T0070907 able to block the protective effect of each compound respectively for 48 hours. The production of reactive oxygen species was then measured, proteins were extracted for Western blotting and total DNA was extracted to determine mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content by QPCR.


Δ9-THC resulted in significant inhibition of MPP+ induced oxidative stress which was completely reversed by T0070907 whereas pioglitazone induced reduction in oxidative stress did not seem to be PPARγ dependent. Accordingly, both pioglitazone and Δ9-THC were able to restore MPP+ induced down-regulation of PGC1α, to the level of untreated control. This effect was inhibited by T0070907 in the case of Δ9-THC but not pioglitazone. Whilst NRF1 expression remained unaffected by all treatments, the mitochondrial transcription factor (tfam) which is necessary for mtDNA replication was reduced with MPP+ and up-regulated by Δ9-THC only. Similarly, mtDNA content and the mitochondrial marker COX4 were only increased by Δ9-THC.


Even though Δ9-THC and pioglitazone are both protective against MPP+ only Δ9-THC induces PPARγ dependent mitochondrial biogenesis, a mechanism that may be beneficial for the treatment of PD.

Monday, July 29, 2013

34 Medical Studies Proving Cannabis Cures Cancer

WIKI - Cannabis5
Michael Taillard, Guest
Waking Times
There’s still a lot of confusion across the nation about whether or not marijuana is effective for cancer patients. Odds are you’ve heard something about it but weren’t sure whether the information was reliable or definitive. So, in order to help clear things up, here is a list of 34 studies showing that marijuana cures cancer, categorized by the type of cancers being cured in each study. As you sort through the articles, note that the consistent theme between them is that cannabis shrinks tumors and selectively targets cancer cells. As bills and voter initiatives to legalize medical marijuana spread from state to state, remember that we’re not just talking about mitigating the side effects of chemo (though this is another viable use), we’re talking about curing the cancer itself as well as preventing its spread. I’ve taken the liberty of only including articles from credible scientific journals, removing any biased or otherwise improperly cited studies. Enjoy!

Cures Brain Cancer

Cures Mouth and Throat Cancer

Cures Breast Cancer

Cures Lung Cancer

Cures Uterine, Testicular, and Pancreatic Cancers

Cures Prostate Cancer

Cures Colorectal Cancer

Cures Ovarian Cancer

Curse Blood Cancer

Cures Skin Cancer

Cures Liver Cancer

Cures Biliary Tract Cancer

Cures Bladder Cancer (Sign-up required to view study)

Cures Cancer in General

Thursday, June 6, 2013

2013: An Excellent Year for Cannabis Research

Only five full months into the year, and 2013 has already been one of the best in regards to meaningful and impactful cannabis-related studies and research. As time goes55555 by science continues to crush decades of absurd propaganda, in addition to finding benefits of cannabis and ending its prohibition that even advocates may not have expected. The more cannabis science that’s released, the easier it becomes to get the public to understand and pay attention to its vast benefits.
Here’s a list of some of the most important cannabis studies to come out this year. We look forward to the studies yet to be released.
  • Study Shows Cannabis May Reverse Symptoms of Dementia – February, 2013: A group from Neuroscience Research Australia has found early evidence that cannabidiol – one of the main ingredients in cannabis – may reverse some of the symptoms of dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease. “It basically brings the performance of the animals back to the level of healthy animals,” said Tim Karl, one of the study’s researchers.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Study: Why Pot Smokers Are Skinnier

Marijuana users had smaller waists and scored higher across several measures of blood sugar regulation.
Nick Adams/Reuters
PROBLEM: "Marijuana use is associated with an acute increase in caloric intake," goes the clinical jargon for popular lore. Still despite eating more while high (by some measures, over 600 extra calories per day), marijuana users' extra intake doesn't seem to be reflected in increased BMI. Indeed, studies have identified a reduced prevalence of obesity in the pot smoking community.

METHODOLOGY: Researchers at the University of Nebraska, the Harvard School of Public Health, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of over 4,600 adults. About 12 percent of the participants self-identified as current marijuana users, and another 42 percent reported having used the drug in the past. The participants were tested for various measures of blood sugar control: their fasting insulin and glucose levels; insulin resistance; cholesterol levels; and waist circumference.
RESULTS: Current marijuana users had significantly smaller waist circumference than participants who had never used marijuana, even after adjusting for factors like age, sex, tobacco and alcohol use, and physical activity levels. They also had higher levels of HDL ("good cholesterol"). The most significant differences between those who smoked marijuana and those who never or no longer did was that current smokers' insulin levels were reduced by 16 percent and their insulin resistance (a condition in which the body has trouble absorbing glucose from the bloodstream) was reduced by 17 percent.
People who had previously used marijuana, but not in the past thirty days, tended to have similar outcomes, but to a much lesser degree. In addition, none of these measures were impacted by how much marijuana people reported smoking.
IMPLICATIONS: Although they're not sure exactly how it happens, write the authors, these findings suggest that marijuana somehow works to improve insulin control, regulating body weight and perhaps explaining why marijuana users have a lower incidence of diabetes. Adding to the big questions -- "can weed can treat obesity?" and "marijuana makes you skinny?!" -- is the possibility that marijuana might be useful in helping people to manage their blood sugar.

The full study, "The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults," is published in The American Journal of Medicine.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Apr 5.


The pseudokinase tribbles homologue-3 plays a crucial role in cannabinoid anticancer action.


Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I, School of Biology, Complutense University, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major active ingredient of marijuana, and other cannabinoids inhibit tumour growth in animal models of cancer. This effect relies, at least in part, on the up-regulation of several endoplasmic reticulum stress-related proteins including the pseudokinase tribbles homologue-3 (TRIB3), which leads in turn to the inhibition of the AKT/mTORC1 axis and the subsequent stimulation of autophagy-mediated apoptosis in tumour cells. Here, we took advantage of the use of cells derived from Trib3-deficient mice to investigate the precise mechanisms by which TRIB3 regulates the anti-cancer action of THC. Our data show that RasV12/E1A-transformed embryonic fibroblasts derived from Trib3-deficient mice are resistant to THC-induced cell death. We also show that genetic inactivation of this protein abolishes the ability of THC to inhibit the phosphorylation of AKT and several of its downstream targets, including those involved in the regulation of the AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) axis. Our data support the idea that THC-induced TRIB3 up-regulation inhibits AKT phosphorylation by regulating the accessibility of AKT to its upstream activatory kinase (the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2; mTORC2). Finally, we found that tumours generated by inoculation of Trib3-deficient cells in nude mice are resistant to THC anticancer action. Altogether, the observations presented here strongly support that TRIB3 plays a crucial role on THC anti-neoplastic activity. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Dysregulated Lipid Metabolism in Cancer.
Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V.
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cannabis Helped Heal My Cancer

March 21, 2013  |  
Editor’s note: Michelle Aldrich, 66, has been working for marijuana legalization —which she defines as “the right to grow it for free in your backyard”— for most of her life.  She and her husband Michael live in a comfortable old apartment near the San Francisco Marina which they moved into 40 years ago. The following is adapted from a talk Michelle gave in July 2012 to the Women’s Visionary Congress.
I had smoked cannabis since 1967 but early in 2011 I kept saying I could not get high. I was smoking a lot. I now believe that THC was going to the tumor and lymph nodes, which is why the cancer did not spread more than it had.
On November 15, 2011,  I was supposed to have lunch with Diane Fornbacher from the NORML Women’s Alliance. I was too sick to go. I felt like I had the flu.
That week I got a call from Linda Ward, who is now my therapist. I had been looking for a new therapist since 2009, when I got off all the meds that I had been taking for 20 years for depression —Prozac, Lamictal, and Trazadone. Rick Doblin [director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies]  found Linda for me just when I really needed to talk to someone. The start of synchronicity.
I felt well enough to go see the doctor on November 22. It was my first visit with a physician’s assistant named Sally Holland. The first thing I told her was that I smoked marijuana. She asked if I vaporized? I told her I didn’t. Then I said my husband and I got the lifetime achievement award from High Times Magazine last June. Her response was that her brother was the general counsel for High Times. I knew at that point that Sally and I would get along and I could trust her and didn’t have to educate her about cannabis. Lovely...
Sally said that I had bronchitis, which I usually get at least once a year. She asked when was the last time I had a chest x-ray. I said a long time. She sent me for a chest x-ray and gave me antibiotics. The next day Sally called to tell me I had pneumonia.
I saw Sally again on November 30 for a follow-up. I was still sick and was given more antibiotics. Sally informed me that the x-ray showed a growth on my right lung, which would need to be checked out. My first response was “cut it out”  if it was so small. I wanted to be aggressive. I saw Sally again on December 9. She sent me for lab work and said the doctor wanted to see me.
On December 21, I saw Gary Feldman, MD, my primary care physician, who gave me a thorough workup. I told Gary about the heat I had felt in the middle of my chest for almost a year. The tumor and lymph nodes were right on my heart chakra. He sent me for a CT scan on December 23.
The CT scan showed that the tumor on my lung measured 23 x 28 millimeters. [25.4 millimeters = one inch.] There was also a growth on my left kidney.
On January 4th, 2012, I had another CT scan to evaluate the growth they had found on my kidney.
On January 5th I had an echocardiogram, a procedure using ultrasound to show a two-dimensional picture of the heart.
On January 6th I had a CT fine-needle aspiration biopsy of the lung. Tissue was taken for analysis in a lab.
The results of the biopsy were supposed to be available on the ninth. They weren’t.
I saw the kidney doctor on January 11, and he said he thought the growth was a cyst and was not related to the growth on the right lung. This was seemingly good news.
On January 12th I got a call from Dr. Gary Feldman. He said it was cancer on the right lung. It was “poorly differentiated non-small cell adenocarcinoma.” He referred me to an oncologist, Dr. Ari Baron at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC).
I was fortunate to get on MediCare when I turned 65.
I decided immediately to seek support from my network of friends in the medical cannabis community. I announced my diagnosis on Facebook.
I called Clint Werner, who had recently released his book Marijuana Gateway to Health: How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimers Disease. Clint, being a macrobiotic chef, told me to avoid sugar since “sugar feeds cancer. Avoid red meats and processed foods, no dairy and no wheat. Eat lots of fish, especially salmon.”
I needed to change my eating habits. I had already avoided wheat for years —now, more restrictions.
Early that evening Dr. Donald Abrams called. A friend for some 20 years, Abrams is chief of Hematology and Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital. I told him that Ari Baron would be my oncologist. Dr. Abrams recalled that when Dr. Baron  was a resident, he had taught him how to tie a bow tie.
Dr. Abrams recommended that I add supplements: 3,000 milligrams of Vitamin D, two Ultimate Omega fish oil capsules, and two 1,000 milligram  Stamets 7 mushrooms to increase my immune system  He wanted to be kept up to date and offered his help throughout the oncoming struggle.
Dr. Abrams had been working closely with Andrew Weil, MD, the founder and program director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Dr. Weil called me on Sunday. He offered sympathy and support, and also asked to be kept up to date on my condition. I have known him as Andy for 40 years. He was a Trustee of the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library; Mike and I had been on the board.
And so I had my Dream Team of doctors.
On the morning of January 17th I emailed Jeannie Herer —Jack’s widow— to tell her about my situation. Then I went to see Dr. Baron for the first time. He wanted me to undergo more tests to determine the stage of the cancer. He referred me to Dr. Peter Anastassiou of CPMC, who would be my surgeon.
I saw Dr. Anastassiou and found out he was the doctor who had operated on Jack Herer, when he first needed heart surgery. He was also a friend of Dr. Tom O’Connell and had taken over his practice. More synchronicity.
When I got home Jeannie Herer phoned to say that I should do the “Rick Simpson oil” —a highly concentrated cannabis extract that, taken at high doses, has reportedly had an anti-cancer effect. I had read about it but didn’t know where to get it or how to take it or —the biggest question of all— if it would work. Jeannie told me to call Valerie Corral from WAMM.
I talked to Valerie the next day and she brought me the first batch of what she calls “Milagro Oil” to a California NORML board meeting on January 21st.
On January 19th I met Dr. Charles McDonald, the head of the Pulmonary Function Lab at CPMC, who would be my pulmonologist. Michael and I supplied him with several research studies on smoking cannabis and lung function, since he would be doing an inservice training on the subject for the hospital staff. He scheduled me for a pulmonary function test and he would be doing the bronchoscopic ultrasound, which would tell us how far advanced the cancer was. He would focus on the lymph nodes.
I had the pulmonary function test on January 23rd. Dr. Anastassiou would not do surgery until he knew that the function test was satisfactory. It was.
After the January 24th PET scan, the tumor measured 30x31mm. Either the PET scan showed a better picture or the tumor was growing. The PET scan shows inflammation in the body. It lights up the parts where the inflammation is. The tumor, the lymph nodes and the colon lit up. So I had to have a colonoscopy.
McDonald did the endobronchioscopic ultrasound fine-needle aspiration biopsy on January 25th to finish determining the stage of the tumor. He said the lymph nodes were “big.”
The final diagnosis was “Stage 3A poorly differentiated non-small cell metastatic adenocarcinoma of the right lung with bulky lymph node involvement.” At least three of the lymph nodes were cancerous.
January 26th, I had an MRI to make sure that it had not spread to my brain.
I saw Dr. Anastassiou and he mentioned bulky lymph nodes. He said he wanted to take out two lobes of my right lung butthat he could not operate until the lymph nodes had been reduced in size or sterilized. I would need chemotherapy to reduce the lymph nodes.
I looked up more information on the 27th and found out that the survival rate for this adenocarcinoma is 25% in five years; but with bulky lymph nodes the five-year survival rate goes down to two-to-five percent.
I had nothing to lose by doing the oil except maybe the cancer. The oil couldn’t harm me. It would protect normal cells from damage while I was undergoing chemo. It was very scary to think that if this did not work, I might be dead by Christmas.
I needed to set a new course. A course correction. I needed to change my destiny. I did not want to die of lung cancer. I would do everything possible to restore my health: diet, chemo, acupuncture, and Cannabis oil. I knew I had a wonderful support group and a dream team of doctors.
On January 30th, I saw Ari Baron. He explained that they could not do radiation since the lymph nodes were so close to the trachea. Chemo was scheduled every three weeks for four sessions.
On February 1st, I had the last test, which was the colonoscopy. Three polyps were removed and it showed diverticulitis. I had now finished all the tests to prove I had cancer and where it was. Now I could start the oil and no one would be able to say “but you didn’t have cancer to begin with so how do we know it was the oil that worked?”
We are very lucky to live in San Francisco where many doctors know about cannabis therapy and accept it as a part of the process of treating people with cancer, AIDS and other illnesses. But —except for Donald Abrams— they had not heard about cannabis oil and its potential for healing cancer. They accepted my use of the oil but were dubious that it would get rid of the cancer. I gave them the protocols from Israel. I would show them that it did work.
The “milagro oil” that WAMM provided me with was made by distilling an extract of cannabis until it contained 63% THC. Because the psychoactive effect can be so strong, Valerie recommends that patients start with a 10:1 mixture of hempseed oil (which is nutritious but not psychoactive)and milagro oil, then go to a 5:1 mix, and finally to pure oil as THC levels in the body build up. It took me 34 days before I worked up to taking the oil undiluted.
My regimen was going to be one gram of oil a day for 60 days.  I could not stand the taste of it, so I put it in gel caps.
Another knowledgable friend recommended that I use a CBD tincture if I felt anxious from the oil. I followed that advice and it did help.
With each of the ratios, I started with five drops of milagro oil in the morning and five in the evening. I then increased the pm dose to 10 drops. I then increased the am dose to 10 drops until I finished each ratio. I finished the 10:1 oil on February 17th. I finished the 5:1 oil on March 5th. I started the pure with oil that evening and woke up on the 6th with massive dry mouth. On March 25th, I started using a half of gram twice a day until I did the last oil on May 16th. Seventy-two days of using the pure oil. I did not get high at all.
WAMM’s Full Extract Cannabis Oil was made with from both Sativa and Indica plants (mostly Indica). It is made by taking cannabis —buds, leaves and small stems— and distilling it down in an enclosed container using Everclear as the solvent until it becomes a concentrated oil.February 2nd was the date of the first chemo. Michael stayed with me. I was given Alimta, Carboplatin, Avastin and a shot of Neulasta. I would sit in the chair for three or four hours with the drugs dripping into my veins.
It went well except that I was a little nauseous for a couple of days and constipated. The food had started tasting strange. I showed the nurses the Omicron vapor pen. They liked the no smell, no smoke and discreet delivery system. It could be used in hospitals.
During the second chemo session on February 24th, Diane Fornbacher stayed with me. She had come out from the East Coast to interview me about taking the oil and surviving lung cancer. The adverse effect this time was just constipation plus the strange taste of food.
I started acupuncture on February 28th at Quan Yin. SPARC, a San Francisco dispensary, provides low-cost acupuncture for patients through Quan Yin. It is drop-in on Tuesdays.
The third chemo session was on March 15th. My friend Freddie from the South Bay spent the time with me. The constipation was better but the food taste was getting hard to deal with. I did not feel well and it was hard to eat.
The fourth and last chemo was on April 5th. My friend Andie, who is a nurse, spent the time with me. This time I was nauseous for days and could not keep food down. My mouth started burning when I drank water. I finally used the vaporizer to help with the nausea. It worked.
At every chemo I tried to educate the other patients and the nurses about the oil and cannabis in general. I gave them a copy of Clint’s book for the library.
Not knowing if I was going to live or not, I started collecting Social Security. I made a will, a durable power of attorney and other medical directives.
My appetite was fine until the beginning of April. But the diet I was following on the advice of Donald Abrams was unappealing: no dairy, no sugar, no wheat, no meat, chicken only once a month and only organic. I ate a lot of fish (salmon, mainly).  I ate  fruit for breakfast, a salad for lunch and salmon and vegetables for dinner. It sounds okay, but when you eat the same thing every day for five months, it gets very unappetizing.
An Adverse Effect
Something happened to my mouth after the last chemo on April 5. I stopped producing enough saliva to help the food go down, plus everything tasted horrible. On the way to the Patients Out of Time conference in Tucson, even drinking water burned my mouth. The doctors at the conference told me to take Biotene. It did not help.
After I got back from Tucson, I needed to eat, so I basically threw out the diet and ate anything that I could get down my throat, which was not much. It was very important that I got all the nutrition I could so I would be ready for surgery.
It was not until the beginning of July when I went to the acupuncturist that I was able to eat again. I had been surviving on anything I could get down to my stomach (milk shakes, soups). I survived the hospital on ginger ale. I was 172 pounds when I started and now weigh 137.
I had known Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi for more than 20 years. I had seen her in early April at a political event at City Hall. I took her hands in mine and told her I had lung cancer. “Please stop the feds from taking my medicine away,” I said. I could tell that she was dismayed by my news and urged me to meet with members of her staff.
On April 16th  I met with members of Pelosi’s office and urged that she take a stand against the federal intervention that was threatening my health, my recovery and my life. It may have helped that she could put a name and face on someone who would be helped by using cannabis. A week later she issued a press release calling for an end to the raids. It was the strongest statement she had ever made in support of medical cannabis. The Speaker of the House also got 73% of her fellow Democrats to vote “yes” on the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment to the appropriations bill that would defund DEA raids on state medical marijuana providers. One day it will pass.
On April 17th I had a CT scan. At 6 pm Ari Baron’s nurse called to say the tumor had shrunk by 50% and the lymph nodes were significantly reduced. No new disease. The doctor, she said, was “ecstatic.”
Peter Anastassiou said it was a great response to the chemo and I reminded him that I believed it was mainly from the cannabis oil. He said the key thing is the lymph nodes, which had totally regressed. He wanted to do a biopsy. If the lymph nodes were negative, he said, then we can remove the tumor. He was thinking that he might be able to remove a small section instead of removing two lobes of the right lung. I wanted to wait until I finished the oil,  plus I was going to the conference in Tucson.
The pathology report from the April 17th CT scan reported “significant interval decrease in size of primary middle-lobe lung cancer with marked regression of mediastinal and right hilar lymphadenopathy suggesting response to therapy.”
The CT scan of April 17th showed a few scattered diverticula were present in the colon but no evidence to suggest divertculitis. It had disappeared. Chemo does not touch diverticulitis… it had to be the oil that healed it.
The trip to Tucson for the Patients Out of Time conference was a disaster. My mouth burned every time I drank water. I had extremely sore inner lips and mouth. I could hardly eat. I was nauseous, starving and had cramps in my intestines. I became very anxious and had several panic attacks.
I came home very depressed and just wanted to die, if I could not even eat. Linda came over when I got back and convinced me to “Not make any decisions right now, you’re in an altered state from not being able to eat.” Her advice saved my life and I was willing to be aggressive again.
On May 8th Ari said he didn’t understand why I was still having mouth problems and did not know if it was from the chemo. We scheduled a PET scan on May 10th, which would tell me if I could have surgery or not. He said the chemo drugs were long gone from my system. Anything that happened between then and surgery on May 18th could be attributed to the oil.
On May 10th I signed on to participate in a clinical trial involving stem cells that might help shrink or kill tumors. The tumorous tissue removed from my lungs would be given to the researchers.
The report on the May 10th PET scan said “Disappearance of previously described subcarinal nodal conglomerate and the right middle lobe mass has nearly completely resolved.” Dr. Anastassiou called and said “Spectacular... Active cells light up and nothing is lighting up... No tumor was visible on the PET scan.”
The lymph nodes had completely shrunk and there was “virtually complete resolution of the tumor,” which was pretty remarkable. In other words the cancer was gone.Peter could not say there was no active disease yet because of the high recurrence rate of lung cancer and a resection was warranted.
In the pre-surgery report Dr. Anastassiou wrote: “homeopathic therapies including hemp oil had putative benefit of directing apoptosis by stimulation of the cannabinoid receptors on the tumor cells.” We had learned a new word in Tucson -- apoptosis --  which means reprogramming the cancer cells to kill themselves. It’s a wonderful word for a miracle.
I finished the oil on May 16th and had the surgery on May 18th. It took three hours. Dr. Anastassiou removed six lymph nodes and the (2.5cm) remains of the tumor from the right middle lobe. The residual tumor was a thin rim surrounding a necrotic core. What was left of the tumor turned out to be dead tissue.  He used VAT (video-assisted thoracoscopy), a surgical procedure that allows for a quicker recovery time since it is minimally invasive. But two ribs got broken during the process.
Even though the surgery went well, I was sicker than a dog. Thank goodness that I don’t remember much of it. I was allergic to dilaudid. I threw up for days even after they switched me to morphine. I was released on May 23rd even though I was still nauseous. That was the wrong thing to do. The pills they gave me I could not keep down. I was back in the emergency room on Friday for four bags of fluid.
They readmitted me and the next thing I remember was them asking for permission to install a stent in my heart. They thought I was having a heart attack. I wasn’t. It is called stress cardiomyopathy or Broken Heart Syndrome. They thought it was probably from all the vomiting and loss of fluid. It is reversible but it takes time. I was finally discharged on May 31st. Fourteen days in the hospital. And they sent me home with a bladder infection. So much for hospitals…
Dr. Anastassiou had visited me every day in the hospital. I finally asked him if he had gotten it all. He said yes, that I was now what they call NED (No evidence of disease). They use that terminology for lung cancer. Other cancers they say you are in remission. He had never seen lung cancer totally eradicated by chemo, much less in four months. I assume cannabis oil was the factor that made the difference.
It has been a long road back. The hardest part of the whole process was the restricted diet. For weeks I experienced sweats and the chills that alternated all day long. The whole month of June was spent getting my system back to functioning normally. Finally, after acupuncture treatment on July 2nd, I wanted to eat. At that point I decided to eat anything I could. This gave me enough energy to be able to walk. I started with four blocks in 10 minutes. By mid-July I was up to 12 blocks in 27 minutes. When I told my story of illness and healing at the Women’s Visionary Conference on July 28 I was still weak and lacking stamina, but getting better day by day.
I cannot say that I am cured (at least so the doctors don’t get all their feathers ruffled) until I am disease-free for five years. So I say that I have been “healed by the milagro oil.” I do not need more chemo since there is nothing left for the chemo to work on.
Michael says that this is a magic plant. It counters cancer and if it was the flowers of a petunia plant that killed cancer it would be all over the front pages of newspapers round the world. But this is cannabis, which the government maintains there is no medical use for (no matter what the science says). I believe I have proved them wrong.
My cancer was healed by a combination of milagro oil, chemotherapy, healthy diet, acupuncture, brilliant, empathetic doctors, and loving support from many friends. I am truly blessed.
I want to thank my husband, Michael for being there through all the ups and downs of this journey. He has been my support, my scribe, my driver, my cook and of course the love of my life.
I truly believe that if it wasn’t for Valerie and the oil I would not be alive today.
Every day I read about people dying of cancer and I know I was able to heal my body of cancer. Why is this health-giving plant not available to everyone? People should not have to go through the suffering that cancer brings. We need to get this information out to the world.
Cannabis is a healing plant and can even heal cancer if we let it.
This article first appeared in the Winter/Spring 2013 O’Shaughnessy’s. Aldrich reports that her recent check-ups attest to a continuing recovery.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Can Pot Treat Cancer Without The Devastating Effects of Chemotherapy?

Research shows THC and other compounds found only in marijuana don't just soothe symptoms; they can shrink tumors and slow the spread of cancer.
Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from Acid Dreams author Martin A. Lee's new book Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana -- Medical, Recreational, and Scientific (Simon and Schuster, 2012):
Peer-reviewed scientific studies in several countries show THC and other compounds found only in marijuana are effective not only for cancer symptom management (pain, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, and so on), but they confer a direct antitumoral effect as well.
Animal experiments conducted by Manuel Guzmán at Madrid’s Complutense University in the late 1990s revealed that a synthetic cannabinoid injected directly into a malignant brain tumor could eradicate it. Reported in Nature Medicine, this remarkable finding prompted additional studies in Spain and elsewhere that confirmed the anticancer properties of marijuana-derived compounds. Guzmán’s team administered pure THC via a catheter into the tumors of nine hospitalized patients with glioblastoma (an aggressive form of brain cancer) who had failed to respond to standard therapies. This was the first clinical trial assessing the antitumoral action of cannabinoids on human beings, and the results, published in the British Journal of Cancer, were very promising. THC treatment was associated with significantly reduced tumor cell proliferation in all test subjects.

Guzmán and his colleagues found that THC and its synthetic emulators selectively killed tumor cells while leaving healthy cells unscathed. No Big Pharma chemotherapy drugs could induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells without trashing the whole body. Up to 90 percent of advanced cancer patients suffer cognitive dysfunction from “chemo brain,” a common side effect of corporate cancer meds that indiscriminately destroy brain matter, whereas cannabinoids are free-radical scavengers that protect brain tissue and stimulate brain cell growth.

There is mounting evidence that cannabinoids may “represent a new class of anticancer drugs that retard cancer growth, inhibit angiogenesis [the formation of new blood vessels] and the metastatic spreading of cancer cells,” according to the scientific journal Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry. Studies from scientists around the world have documented the anticancer properties of cannabinoid compounds for various malignancies, including (but not limited to):
• Prostate cancer. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that the administration of the synthetic cannabinoid WIN-55,212–2, a CB-1and CB-2 agonist, inhibited prostate cancer cell growth and also induced apoptosis.
•Colon cancer. British researchers demonstrated that THC triggers cell death in tumors of the colon, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
• Pancreatic cancer. Spanish and French scientists determined that cannabinoids selectively increased apoptosis in pancreatic cell lines and reduced the growth of tumor cells in animals, while ignoring normal cells.
• Breast cancer. Scientists at the Pacific Medical Centers in San Francisco found that THC and other plant cannabinoids inhibited human breast cancer cell proliferation and metastasis and shrank breast cancer tumors. 1.3 million women worldwide are diagnosed yearly with breast cancer and a half million succumb to the disease.
• Cervical cancer. German researchers at the University of Rostock reported that THC and a synthetic cannabinoid suppressed the invasion of human cervical carcinoma into surrounding tissues by stimulating the body’s production of TIMP-1, a substance that helps healthy cells resist cancer.
• Leukemia. Investigators at St. George’s University and Bartholomew’s Hospital in London found that THC acts synergistically with conventional antileukemia therapies to enhance the effectiveness of anti-cancer agents in vitro (in a test tube or petri dish). Scientists had previously shown that THC and cannabidiol were both potent inducers of apoptosis in leukemic cell lines.
• Stomach cancer. According to Korean researchers at the Catholic Uni- versity in Seoul, WIN-55,212–2, the synthetic cannabinoid, reduced the proliferation of stomach cancer cells.
• Skin carcinoma. Spanish researchers noted that the administration of synthetic cannabinoids “induced a considerable growth inhibition of malignant tumors” on the skin of mice.
• Cancer of the bile duct. The administration of THC inhibits bile-duct cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion and induces biliary cancer cell apoptosis, according to experiments conducted at Rangsit University in Patum Thani, Thailand.
• Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s and Kaposi’s sarcoma. Researchers at the University of South Florida ascertained that THC thwarts the activation and replication of the gamma herpes virus. This virus increases a person’s chances of developing cancers such as Hodgkin’s, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Kaposi’s sarcoma.
• Liver cancer. Italian scientists at the University of Palermo found that a synthetic cannabinoid caused programmed cell death in liver cancer.
• Lung cancer. Harvard University scientists reported that THC cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and “significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread.” Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the world. More Americans die of lung cancer each year than any other type of cancer.
Simon & Schuster, Copyright 2012 -- All rights reserved. This excerpt has been published with permission from the author.
Martin A. Lee's newest book is Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana (Scribner, August 2012). He is the cofounder of the media watch group FAIR, director of Project CBD, and a contributor to

Who Spends The Most Dollars Lobbying Washington, DC?

Oil? Financials? Aerospace? When someone asks who the biggest sources of lobby dollars for DC's politicians-for-purchase are, these are the three usual suspects that come to mind. Some may, therefore, be surprised to learn according to the database kept by OpenSecrets between Pharmaceutical and health product industry, hospital and nursing homes, health professionals and health services, HMOs, or more broadly Pharma/Healthcare/HMO, the total lobby dollars spent between 1998 and 2012 was a staggering $5.3 billion, or nearly three times greater than the second most generous industry: insurance, and well above Oil and Gas at $1.4 billion, and Securities and Investment at $1.0 billion. Is it becoming clearer why the US government has few qualms about unsustainable taxpayer funded healthcare spending, especially when there are so many current benefits accruing to the politicians who see so many billions in benefits from passing lobby-friendly laws now (by which we mean generous taxpayer funding, the bulk of which benefits the healthcare industry's bottom line)?
As for the costs: who cares - just dump them on future generations. It's not like anyone expects the $16.7 trillion in US debt to be ever repaid.

Why is this important? Because as we showed nearly a year ago, the IRR on lobbying is by and far the highest of any investment return under the sun.
From: Presenting The Greatest ROI Opportunity Ever
The dream of virtually anyone who has ever traded even one share of stock has always been to generate above market returns, also known as alpha, preferably in a long-term horizon. Why? Because those who manage to return 30%, 20% even 10% above the S&P over the long run, become, all else equal (expert networks and collocated flow-frontrunning HFT boxes aside), legendary investors in the eyes of the general public, which brings the ancillary benefits of fame and fortune (usually in the form of 2 and 20). This is the ultimate goal of everyone who works on Wall Street. Yet, ironically, what most don't realize, is that these returns, or Returns On Investment (ROI), are absolutely meaningless when put side by side next to something few think about when considering investment returns.
Namely lobbying.
Because it is the ROIs for various forms of lobbying the put the compounded long-term returns of the market to absolute shame. As the following infographic demonstrates, ROIs on various lobbying efforts range from a whopping 5,900% (oil subsidies) to a gargantuan 77,500% (pharmaceuticals).
How are these mingboggling returns possible? Simple - because they appeal to the weakest link: the most corrupt, bribable, and infinitely greedy unit of modern society known as 'the politician'.
Yet who benefits from these tremendous arbitrage opportunities? Not you and I, that is for certain.
No - it is the faceless corporations - the IBM Stellar Sphere, the Microsoft Galaxy, Planet Starbucks - which are truly in the control nexus of modern society, and which, precisely courtesy of these lobbying "efforts", in which modest investments generate fantastic returns allowing the status quo to further entrench itself, take advantage of this biggest weakness of modern "developed" society to make the rich much richer (a/k/a that increasingly thinner sliver of society known as investors), who are the sole beneficiaries of this "Amazing ROI" - the stock market is merely one grand (and lately broken, and very much manipulated) distraction, to give everyone the impression the playing field is level.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

50 Signs That The U.S. Health Care System Is A Gigantic Money Making Scam That Is About To Collapse

50 Signs That The U.S. Health Care System Is A Gigantic Money Making Scam That Is About To Collapse

50 Signs That The U.S. Health Care System Is A Gigantic Money Making Scam That Is About To Collapse - Photo by RagesossThe U.S. health care system is a giant money making scam that is designed to drain as much money as possible out of all of us before we die.  In the United States today, the health care industry is completely dominated by government bureaucrats, health insurance companies and pharmaceutical corporations.  The pharmaceutical corporations spend billions of dollars to convince all of us to become dependent on their legal drugs, the health insurance companies make billions of dollars by providing as little health care as possible, and they both spend millions of dollars to make sure that our politicians in Washington D.C. keep the gravy train rolling.  Meanwhile, large numbers of doctors are going broke and patients are not getting the care that they need.  At this point, our health care system is a complete and total disaster.  Health care costs continue to go up rapidly, the level of care that we are receiving continues to go down, and every move that our politicians make just seems to make all of our health care problems even worse.  In America today, a single trip to the emergency room can easily cost you $100,000, and if you happen to get cancer you could end up with medical bills in excess of a million dollars.  Even if you do have health insurance, there are usually limits on your coverage, and the truth is that just a single major illness is often enough to push most American families into bankruptcy.  At the same time, hospital administrators, pharmaceutical corporations and health insurance company executives are absolutely swimming in huge mountains of cash.  Unfortunately, this gigantic money making scam has become so large that it threatens to collapse both the U.S. health care system and the entire U.S. economy.
The following are 50 signs that the U.S. health care system is a massive money making scam that is about to collapse...
#1 Medical bills have become so ridiculously large that virtually nobody can afford them.  Just check out the following short excerpt from a recent Time Magazine article.  One man in California that had been diagnosed with cancer ran up nearly a million dollars in hospital bills before he died...
By the time Steven D. died at his home in Northern California the following November, he had lived for an additional 11 months. And Alice had collected bills totaling $902,452. The family’s first bill — for $348,000 — which arrived when Steven got home from the Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., was full of all the usual chargemaster profit grabs: $18 each for 88 diabetes-test strips that Amazon sells in boxes of 50 for $27.85; $24 each for 19 niacin pills that are sold in drugstores for about a nickel apiece. There were also four boxes of sterile gauze pads for $77 each. None of that was considered part of what was provided in return for Seton’s facility charge for the intensive-care unit for two days at $13,225 a day, 12 days in the critical unit at $7,315 a day and one day in a standard room (all of which totaled $120,116 over 15 days). There was also $20,886 for CT scans and $24,251 for lab work.
#2 This year the American people will spend approximately 2.8 trillion dollars on health care, and it is being projected that Americans will spend 4.5 trillion dollars on health care in 2019.
#3 The United States spends more on health care than Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia combined.
#4 If the U.S. health care system was a country, it would be the 6th largest economy on the entire planet.
#5 Back in 1960, an average of $147 was spent per person on health care in the United States. By 2009, that number had skyrocketed to $8,086.
#6 Why does it cost so much to stay in a hospital today?  It just does not make sense.  Just check out these numbers...
In 1942, Christ Hospital, NJ charged $7 per day for a maternity room. Today it’s $1,360.
#7 Approximately 60 percent of all personal bankruptcies in the United States are related to medical bills.
#8 One study discovered that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.
#9 The U.S. health care industry has spent more than 5 billion dollars on lobbying our politicians in Washington D.C. since 1998.
#10 According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. is  currently experiencing a shortage of at least 13,000 doctors.  Unfortunately, that shortage is expected to grow to 130,000 doctors over the next 10 years.
#11 The state of Florida is already dealing with a very serious shortage of doctors...
Brace yourself for longer lines at the doctor's office.
Whether you're employed and insured, elderly and on Medicare, or poor and covered by Medicaid, the Florida Medical Association says there's a growing shortage of doctors — especially specialists — available to provide you with medical care.
And if the Florida Legislature goes along with Gov. Rick Scott's recommendation to offer Medicaid coverage to an additional 1 million Floridians — part of the Affordable Care Act that takes effect next January — the FMA says that shortage will only get worse.
#12 At this point, approximately 40 percent of all doctors in the United States are 55 years of age or older.
#13 In America today, many hospital executives make absolutely ridiculous amounts of money...
In December, when the New York Times ran a story about how a deficit deal might threaten hospital payments, Steven Safyer, chief executive of Montefiore Medical Center, a large nonprofit hospital system in the Bronx, complained, “There is no such thing as a cut to a provider that isn’t a cut to a beneficiary … This is not crying wolf.”
Actually, Safyer seems to be crying wolf to the tune of about $196.8 million, according to the hospital’s latest publicly available tax return. That was his hospital’s operating profit, according to its 2010 return. With $2.586 billion in revenue — of which 99.4% came from patient bills and 0.6% from fundraising events and other charitable contributions — Safyer’s business is more than six times as large as that of the Bronx’s most famous enterprise, the New York Yankees. Surely, without cutting services to beneficiaries, Safyer could cut what have to be some of the Bronx’s better non-Yankee salaries: his own, which was $4,065,000, or those of his chief financial officer ($3,243,000), his executive vice president ($2,220,000) or the head of his dental department ($1,798,000).
#14 Health insurance administration expenses account for 8 percent of all health care costs in the United States each year.  In Finland, health insurance administration expenses account for just 2 percent of all health care costs each year.
#15 If you can believe it, the U.S. ambulance industry makes more money each year than the movie industry does.
#16 All over America, people are reporting huge health insurance premium increases thanks to Obamacare.  The following example is from a recent article by Robert Wenzel...
A California small businessman tells me that he switched healthcare insurance carriers in 2012.  The monthly premium for him and his wife was about $400, but when he received his first bill in January of this year it was for $1,200.  He hasn't been to a doctor in years, his wife has only gone for minor care.
Apparently there is some clause in the Affordable Healthcare Act that results in health insurance firms using a new method to calculate premiums. Those who have health insurance plans that have been in effect since at least 2010 are grandfathered under the old calculation method, but insurance carriers are using a new formula for new plans.
#17 Blue Shield of California has announced that it wants to raise health insurance premiums by up to 20 percent this year in an effort to keep up with rising health costs.
#18 Aetna's CEO says that health insurance premiums for many Americans will double when the major provisions of Obamacare go into effect in 2014.
#19 Close to 10 percent of all U.S. employers plan to drop health coverage completely when the major provisions of Obamacare go into effect in 2014.
#20 According to a survey conducted by the Doctor Patient Medical Association, 83 percent of all doctors in the United States have considered leaving the profession because of Obamacare.
#21 Approximately 16,000 new IRS agents will be hired to help oversee the implementation of Obamacare, and the Obama administration has given the IRS 500 million extra dollars "outside the normal appropriations process" to help the IRS with their new duties.
#22 During 2013, Americans will spend more than 280 billion dollars on prescription drugs.
#23 Prescription drugs cost about 50% more in the United States than they do in other countries.
#24 In the United States today, prescription painkillers kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.
#25 Nearly half of all Americans now use prescription drugs on a regular basis according to the CDC.  Not only that, the CDC also says that approximately one-third of all Americans use two or more pharmaceutical drugs on a regular basis, and more than ten percent of all Americans use five or more pharmaceutical drugs on a regular basis.
#26 The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world.
#27 In 2010, the average teen in the U.S. was taking 1.2 central nervous system drugs.  Those are the kinds of drugs which treat conditions such as ADHD and depression.
#28 Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants as children in Europe are.
#29 There were more than two dozen pharmaceutical companies that made over a billion dollars in profits during 2008.
#30 According to the CDC, approximately three quarters of a million people a year are rushed to emergency rooms in the United States because of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.
#31 According to a report by Health Care for America Now, America's five biggest for-profit health insurance companies ended 2009 with a combined profit of $12.2 billion.
#32 The top executives at the five largest for-profit health insurance companies in the United States combined to bring in nearly $200 million in total compensation for 2009.
#33 The chairman of Aetna, the third largest health insurance company in the United States, brought in a staggering $68.7 million during 2010. Ron Williams exercised stock options that were worth approximately $50.3 million and he raked in an additional $18.4 million in wages and other forms of compensation.  The funny thing is that he left the company and didn’t even work the entire year.
#34 It turns out that the financial assistance that Barack Obama promised would be provided for those with "pre-existing conditions" under Obamacare is already being shut down because of a lack of funding...
Tens of thousands of Americans who cannot get health insurance because of preexisting medical problems will be blocked from a program designed to help them because funding is running low.
Obama administration officials said Friday that the state-based “high-risk pools” set up under the 2010 health-care law will be closed to new applicants as soon as Saturday and no later than March 2, depending on the state.
#35 In America today, you are 64 times more likely to be killed by a doctor than you are by a gun.
#36 People living in the United States are three times more likely to have diabetes than people living in the United Kingdom.
#37 Today, people living in Puerto Rico have a greater life expectancy than people living in the United States do.
#38 According to OECD statistics, Americans are twice as obese as Canadians are.
#39 Greece has twice as many hospital beds per person as the United States does.
#40 The state of California now ranks dead last out of all 50 states in the number of emergency rooms per million people.
#41 According to a doctor interviewed by Fox News, "a gunshot wound to the head, chest or abdomen" will cost $13,000 at his hospital the moment the victim comes in the door, and then there will be significant additional charges depending on how bad the wound is.
#42 It has been estimated that hospitals overcharge Americans by about 10 billion dollars every single year.
#43 One trained medical billing advocate says that over 90 percent of the medical bills that she has audited contain "gross overcharges".
#44 It is not uncommon for insurance companies to get hospitals to knock their bills down by up to 95 percent, but if you are uninsured or you don’t know how the system works then you are out of luck.
#45 According to a study conducted by Deloitte Consulting, a whopping 875,000 Americans were "medical tourists" in 2010.
#46 Today, there are more than 56 million Americans on Medicaid, and it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
#47 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.
#48 Today, there are more than 50 million Americans on Medicare, and that number is projected to grow to 73.2 million in 2025.
#49 When Medicare was first established by Congress, it was estimated that it would cost the federal government $12 billion a year by the time 1990 rolled around.  Instead, it cost the federal government $110 billion in 1990, and it will cost the federal government close to $600 billion this year.
#50 Even if you do have health insurance, that is no guarantee that medical bills will not bankrupt you.  Just check out what a recent Time Magazine article says happened to one unfortunate couple from Ohio that actually did have health insurance...
When Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old from Lancaster, Ohio, was told last March that he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife Stephanie knew she had to get him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Stephanie’s father had been treated there 10 years earlier, and she and her family credited the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson with extending his life by at least eight years.
Because Stephanie and her husband had recently started their own small technology business, they were unable to buy comprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean.
Stephanie was then told by a billing clerk that the estimated cost of Sean’s visit — just to be examined for six days so a treatment plan could be devised — would be $48,900, due in advance.
By the way, that hospital down in Houston made a profit of 531 million dollars in one recent year.
So what can be done about all of this?
Well, the truth is that the status quo is a complete and total disaster, and every "solution" being promoted by politicians from both major political parties would only make things worse.
In the end, the U.S. health care system needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, but we all know that is not going to happen.
Instead, our politicians and the health care industry will just find additional ways to extract money from all of us, and the level of care that we all get will continue to decline.
If you don't believe this, just check out what Paul Krugman of the New York Times had to say recently...
We’re going to need more revenue…Surely it will require some sort of middle class taxes as well.. We won’t be able to pay for the kind of government the society will want without some increase in taxes… on the middle class, maybe a value added tax…And we’re also going to have to make decisions about health care, doc pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits . So the snarky version…which I shouldn’t even say because it will get me in trouble is death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.
Others are urging us to become more like Europe.
But do we really want what they have in the UK?...
Sick children are being discharged from NHS hospitals to die at home or in hospices on controversial ‘death pathways’.
Until now, end of life regime the Liverpool Care Pathway was thought to have involved only elderly and terminally-ill adults.
But the Mail can reveal the practice of withdrawing food and fluid by tube is being used on young patients as well as severely disabled newborn babies.
One doctor has admitted starving and dehydrating ten babies to death in the neonatal unit of one hospital alone.
Writing in a leading medical journal, the physician revealed the process can take an average of ten days during which a  baby becomes ‘smaller and shrunken’.
In the end, my philosophy is just to avoid the U.S. health care system as much as possible.  Most doctors are just trained to do two things - prescribe drugs and cut you open.  In an emergency situation where you are about to die, those may be your best options, but otherwise I would just as soon avoid the gigantic money making scam that the U.S. health care industry has become.
But just don't take my word for it.  The following is some very sound advice from Dr. Robert S. Dotson...
Avoid contact with the existing health care system as far as possible. Yes, emergencies arise that require the help of physicians, but by and large one can learn to care for one’s own minor issues. Though it is flawed, the internet has been an information leveler for the masses and permits each person to be his or her own physician to a large degree. Take advantage of it! Educate yourself about your own body and learn to fuel and maintain it as you would an expensive auto or a pet poodle. One does not need a medical degree to:
1. avoid excessive use of tobacco or alcohol or, for that matter, caffeine;
2. avoid poisons like fluoride, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, and addictive drugs (legal or illicit);
3. avoid unnecessary and potentially lethal imaging studies (TSA’s radiation pornbooths, excessive mammography, repetitive CT scans – exposure to all significantly increases cancer risk);
4. avoid excessive cell phone use and exposure to other forms of EMR pollution where possible (the NSA is recording everything you say and text anyway);
5. avoid daily fast food use and abuse (remember: pink slime and silicone) ;
6. avoid untested GM foods (do you really want to become “Roundup Ready?”):
7. avoid most vaccinations and pharmaceutical agents promoted by the establishment;
8. avoid risky behaviors (and, we do not need a bunch of Nanny State bureaucrats to define and police these);
9. exercise moderately;
10. get plenty of sleep;
11. drink plenty of good quality water (buy a decent water filter to remove fluoride, chloride, and heavy metals);
12. wear protective gear at work and play where appropriate (helmets, eye-shields, knee and elbow pads, etc.):
13. seek out locally-grown, whole, organic foods and support your local food producers;
14. take appropriate nutritional supplements (multi-vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3);
15. switch off the TV and the mainstream media it represents;
16. educate yourself while you can;
And, lastly...
Doing these simple, common-sense things will add healthy years to a person’s life and help one avoid most medical encounters during his or her allotted time on earth.
So what do you think?
Do you believe that the U.S. health care system is a gigantic money making scam that is about to collapse?
Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below...
Money Making Scam