From Dr. Mercola:
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. According to the latest data1 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 135,000 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2012, and more than 51,500 died from it that same year.
Men and women over the age of 50 at average risk of colorectal cancer are typically recommended to get tested either by flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years, or by colonoscopy every 10 years.2
But are these screening tests safe?
David Lewis, Ph.D., a retired microbiologist with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is the whistleblower who exposed the still-ongoing fraud at the EPA with respect to biosolids. We discussed that topic in a previous interview.
Here, we’ll discuss another massive public health issue that he exposes in his book, “Science for Sale: How the US Government Uses Powerful Corporations and Leading Universities to Support Government Policies, Silence Top Scientists, Jeopardize Our Health, and Protect Corporate Profits.”
In this interview, Lewis reveals shocking information about the tests routinely used to check for colon cancer, along with recommendations on how to avoid the contamination risks associated with them.
Non-Disposable Equipment Carries Contamination Risks
The primary tools used to test for colon cancer are flexible sigmoidoscopes and colonoscopes. Neither of these expensive pieces of equipment are disposable.
This means they must be thoroughly cleaned inside and out and sterilized before each use, and therein lies the problem, as the disinfection process used does not properly sterilize these tools.
Lewis worked at the EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) for 31 years. His career was divided between environmental issues — where he became involved in the land application of sewage sludge or biosolids — and infection control issues.
“The topic we’re discussing today came about on the heels of an outbreak of HIV in a dental practice in Florida in the late ’80s or early ’90s. Half a dozen patients contracted HIV that was matched to the dentist’s HIV infection through DNA comparisons.
I became involved with that and discovered that the AIDS virus would become trapped in lubricants in dental drills and prophy angles used for cleaning and polishing teeth.
The HIV would be spit back out of those devices in the mouths of subsequent patients. HIV was still infectious even though [the dental devices] had been through normal CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended clean up procedures,” he explains.
“Nobody really believed it until we published a study in Lancet and later in Nature Medicine demonstrating that you can actually see visible amounts of blood coming out of these dental devices when they’re cleaned according to the industry standards.”
As a result of that investigation, the FDA immediately changed its sterilization guidelines for dental equipment, and the CDC suggested Dr. Lewis investigate the contamination risk of flexible endoscopes, which was