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November 12, 2012

Haredi Newspapers, Websites Refuse To Run Cancer Screening Ads

Rabbi Yaakov Litzman 3Israel's haredi (Deputy) Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman refuses to promote colon and rectal cancer screening tests and refuses to be screened himself, telling an anti-cancer organization that he would recite Psalms instead.

Rabbi Yaakov Litzman 3
(Deputy) Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman

An anti-cancer organization in Israel tried to raise awareness of colon and rectal cancer in the haredi community by promoting simple screening tests.

It asked (Deputy) Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman to undergo a screening.

Litzman refused, telling the organization that he would recite Psalms instead.

Haredi newspapers and websites refused to take ads promoting the cancer screenings because "colon," "rectum" and "cancer" are all "bad" words, and the newspapers and websites refused to print them.

The anti-cancer association then designed a series of wall posters that used plays on biblical verses to humorously promote cancer screening and posted them in the haredi neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem.

Even though some haredim stopped to read them and were not offended, other haredim quickly tore them down.

More details in Hebrew on Ynet.

One of the humorous pashkvils:

Kol Koreh Banning Colonoscopy

Comments

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I know of a man, a very religious man who was told to go for colonoscopy as part of his checkup. He believed the screening was offensive. He refused. One year later as he lay dying with a picture of Shneerson by his bedside he screamed for Hashem. Why did you do this to me? At that moment, I said to him, and sorry if this sounds harsh, "You had to opportunity to head this off a year ago", "Your twisted belief got in your way", with that, I turned over the picture of Shneerson. He deprived his wife of his company, he deprived his children of a father and grandchildren of a grandfather. All because it was unseemly to have a physician examine his rectum.

Why is it that ultra-orthodoxy rejects science. Why is it that they are looking to be frummer than thou, when it is detrimental to their health and lives. If they insist on being this way, maybe they should just stay in their little enclaves, not go to hospital or nursing homes so that they can be less of burden on a medical system that is overtaxed with people who make mistakes in their own health.

Sounds like a candidate for the Darwin Awards.

The health minister refuses to undergo recommended health screenings.

To follow this past the absurd (it's already at absurd), then the education minister can be a high-school dropout, the defense minister doesn't have to know which end of a rifle to use, the foreign affairs minister has never left the country, the science minister flunked middle school science (oh wait, that's already been done in the U.S. House of Representatives science committee), and the minister of internal affairs thinks it means he has to have an extra-marital affair.

This attitude is not limited to haredim.
Vince Lombardi died of colon cancer years after refusing to have a colonoscopy when he started to have intestinal problems.
Of course, in those days colon cancer screening was not as known and encouraged as it is today...at least in the civilized world.

One more proof that Darwin was right.

Alter Kocker-They dont like someone invading their body by that i mean examination but they sure know how to invade others body like with mbp and the soul of a person by teaching them nonsense and destroying their self worth or confidence in scienece.

They dont like someone invading their body by that i mean examination but they sure know how to invade others body like with mbp and the soul of a person by teaching them nonsense and destroying their self worth or confidence in scienece.

Posted by: jancsipista | November 12, 2012 at 09:13 AM


Notwithstanding that I think Litzman and his followers are being ridiculous here, your comparison is absolutely absurd. How can you compare an internal examination of a rectum to teaching something that (in your opinion is) nonsense? Do you ever think before you blurt out stuff?

It asked (Deputy) Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman to undergo a screening. Litzman refused, telling the organization that he would recite Psalms instead.

That's his personal right - to refuse screening - however a country whose political and administrative systems permit placement of an individual with this mindset in a position of responsibility for its health system is in serious trouble. He could just as well be a mullah for the Taliban with that attitude. Granted he hasn't prevented the non-Haredi population from being appropriately screened. Do the Haredim have their children vaccinated against the usual diseases I wonder? Anyone know for certain? How about in this country?

What about the B-word (as in breast cancer)? I vaguely recall that they have a euphemism for that.

> Litzman refused, telling the organization that he would recite Psalms instead.

So it's official - you can dress like a religious Jew, talk like a religious Jew, act like a religious Jew and yet not have the most basic knowledge of Judaism.

On the other hand, this is potentially good news for the rest of the population. It frees up the specialists to spend time with people who actually care.

There is a growing sub-group of physicians that are refusing to take patients who are acting against their own health. Many will not accept a smoker who is not trying to quit. It follows that if you are to reject science and reason, then your physician has the right to reject you.

Therefore, the Haredi Health Minister, Litzman, the same man that offered to fly over Israel and read Torah to ward off the flu, should not have any cancer screening performed. The Haredim as a whole should reject any modern medicine. Keep wrapping their wounds with cumin, and of course everyone who develops Alzheimer's disease should be immediately ordained a rabbi and elevated to rank of the gedolim. After all we would be honoured to be the people identified by a leader that makes non-sensical pronouncements while taking a shit in his pants.

Alter ~ I can tell you that the Lubavitcher Rebbe ALWAYS said to follow your doctor's advice, and often suggested seeking a second medical opinion in difficult situations. Unfortunately, this patient marched to his own drummer & paid a horrible price. Whatever your concept of Lubavitch may be, we are definitely a community that does not hesitate to use all forms of modern medicine including preventive medicine and regular health testing. May we all be blessed with long healthy years.

Litzman and the Moetzes Gedolei Yisroel should only be administered medical treatments that are prescribed in the Gemara.

Seems this guy knows more about assholes than the doctors.


"I know of a man, a very religious man who was told to go for colonoscopy as part of his checkup. He believed the screening was offensive. [...] At that moment, I said to him, and sorry if this sounds harsh, 'You had to opportunity to head this off a year ago', 'Your twisted belief got in your way', with that, I turned over the picture of Shneerson."


And at that moment, you unnecessarily caused additional suffering to a dying man because you thought you knew everything there was to know about a subject. Way to go tough guy!

- - - - -


Based on my recent reading and having discussed that reading with my endocrinologist during a visit this year, surprisingly -- at least to me -- the science didn't support the efficacy of colonoscopic exams until quite recently. Second, colonoscopic exams in which the subject (patient) grows polyps -- detection and removal of polyps that may grow to become cancerous -- are a proven lifesaver (if you grow polyps).

A limited tool set can be quite limiting. If a home builder limits his tool set to, say, a hammer and a saw -- the types of homes he builds are probably going to trend toward more rustic or simple constructions.

The same principle can be applied to a healthcare provider or facility -- if colonoscopies are the only option for screening for colorectal cancer, then some patients will be unnecessarily discouraged from getting the necessary testing due to:


bowel-prep
invasiveness
complications
high cost


Just because Katie Couric had a colonoscopy on television, it doesn't mean that this is the best and only screening test for colorectal cancer. It's only my opinion, but as a non-clinician, pushing expensive colonoscopies as a front line screening measure seems to go against what providers -- notably physicians tell you they practice -- evidence-based medicine.

The typical course of treatment in healthcare, as a rule is -- least invasive (and less costly!) -- to more invasive (and more costly!) treatments.

While the colonoscopy is a good test -- it is not for everyone -- it can't be for everyone. There are not enough skilled practitioners in the world to screen all eligible people.

Fortunately, there are several viable and cheaper options that can screen everyone and -- if properly promoted -- should enjoy a higher rate of compliance.

Haredi newspapers and websites refused to take ads promoting the cancer screenings because "colon," "rectum" and "cancer" are all "bad" words, and the newspapers and websites refused to print them.

Why don't they just change them to use their stupid euphemisms?

> There is a growing sub-group of physicians that are refusing to take patients who are acting against their own health

And why shouldn't we?

As for testing for colon cancer, yes there are other tests but none are as sensitive as the colonoscopy. It's a labour intensive test with an annoying prep, that's true, but if you want the best odds you don't have a problem it's the best one to have.


it doesn't mean that this is the best and only screening test for colorectal cancer. It's only my opinion, but as a non-clinician, pushing expensive colonoscopies as a front line screening measure seems to go against what providers -- notably physicians tell you they practice ...
Fortunately, there are several viable and cheaper options that can screen everyone and -- if properly promoted -- should enjoy a higher rate of compliance.

Not sure what you are talking about, there are two approved tests when colon cancer is suspected, barium enema X-ray) and colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is much more accurate than the Barium Enema test.

I had a Haredi close relative who died of colon cancer because of late diagnosis.

Litzman- This is the same man who campaigned overtime on behalf of the Gerer organization to free Mondrowitz. Since we have been talking about theories for illnesses and disasters as punishments then wouldn't it be fitting to say that butt cancer is fit punishment for butt pirates and their enablers?

These hareidi ignoramouses are so adament about modesty that they ban the words "rectal" and "colon" and yet their worthless Talmud speaks of the permissability of sodomizing boys.

can tell you that the Lubavitcher Rebbe ALWAYS said to follow your doctor's advice, and often suggested seeking a second medical opinion in difficult situations.

This is true - which given the fact that the Rebbe's words seem to carry more weight than does the Talmud, RamBam, Shulchan Aruch ........combined, why do his followers ignore the prehaps most sensible thing he said to do.....ever?

Vince Lombardi died of colon cancer years after refusing to have a colonoscopy

Seriously? A 30 year old example to make your point?

Therefore, the Haredi Health Minister, Litzman, the same man that offered to fly over Israel and read Torah to ward off the flu

Is this the same guy? And he gets appointed Health Minister. Good Lord.

These people have taken the dream of Herzl and Weizman and Ben Gurion - which they did nothing but excoriate and lobby against at the time - and turned it into an international embarrassment. And we've all allowed them to do it.

No one's hands are clean in this. We should all be deeply ashamed.

The medical establishment had the best of intentions and plans, but he easily rectum. Call him cheeky if you will, but he's downright cracked.

"Not sure what you are talking about, there are two approved tests when colon cancer is suspected,[...]"

Posted by: Bassy the Haredi Slayer | November 12, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I'm talking about screening for colorectal cancer (viz. cancers of the colon (large intestine) and rectum).

Screening != suspected. The next time you are at a U.S. airport, at a TSA officer to explain the meaning of the word screening.

I submit, that screening for colorectal via an endoscopic procedure is a waste of scant healthcare resources and entirely unnecessary.

Of course, there are many GI doctors who will blithely recommend the revenue stream -- sorry, I mean -- perform the procedure on their patients.

can tell you that the Lubavitcher Rebbe ALWAYS said to follow your doctor's advice, and often suggested seeking a second medical opinion in difficult situations.

This is false.

The Rebbe usually said to follow the best available doctor's advice.

But he also sometimes told people to ignore their doctors, to check their mezzuzahs, not to have surgery, etc.

I watched my dad die of colon cancer. Get a colonoscopy.

"It asked (Deputy) Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman to undergo a screening.

Litzman refused, telling the organization that he would recite Psalms instead."

Of course he wouldn't - he's the perfect asshole.

"As for testing for colon cancer, [...] none are as sensitive as the colonoscopy. [...] but if you want the best odds you don't have a problem it's the best one to have."

Posted by: Garnel Ironheart | November 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM
-----

And this opinion is base on what, exactly?

A major study was published this year in the New England Journal of Medicine that confirmed that the detection and removal of polyps can:

prevent cancer
save lives
can cut the death rate of the disease in half

Yay! Send Katie Couric to Stockholm for her medal.
Oh, oh. He comes Buzz Killington to ruin everything -- as usual.

the study was not a randomized controlled study
colonoscopy was not considered as a screening test for the public at large
no comparisons of its findings were made against stool tests or sigmoidoscopies
the study only included people with with polyps (some of those polyps had already been detected by other screening tests

There are also problems with the colonoscopy procedure itself that makes it less effect in detecting polyps and cancer -- that is the goal right? Not enriching doctors and healthcare facilities. Some problems include:

the procedure is less effective in the right side of the colon (upper portion, ascending colon, and the cecum). Why? Because many polyps and cancers in this region are:
flatpaledifficult to I.D.difficult to snip and remove completely
bowel cleansing may be less complete in the right side of the colon -- which will of course impede detection efforts
less experienced practitioners (typically non-GI's) will manifest less accurate test results when performing the procedure too quickly
less accurate results when patients don't prep adequately -- but money is money -- and the test must go on, right?


It's not surprising people are enamored with the colonoscopy -- Katie Couric has been selling the procedure for years. It's surprising how people are wont to cling to the procedure -- like a religion.

http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/
guidelines.htm


http://www.cancer.org/healthy/findcancerearly/
cancerscreeningguidelines/american-cancer-society-
guidelines-for-the-early-detection-of-cancer

These hareidi ignoramouses are so adament about modesty that they ban the words "rectal" and "colon" and yet their worthless Talmud speaks of the permissability of sodomizing boys.

It says no such thing. If you want to criticize the Talmud, try reading it first and then come back with something intelligent to say. This isn't Stormfront, moron. Parroting old lies off some antisemitic website won't cut it here.

I've been reading all the haredi and anti-haredi comments and to me it seems like it's just....polyptics as usual...

Posted by: Torvald | November 12, 2012 at 02:38 PM

You're right, there's an irreparable fissure in the Jewish community. By the way, you're sentence was in need of a semi-colon.

Oops...your sentence

I forgot to turn off spellcheck

The frumma also refuse pre-natal tests. It seems to me, although I don't have statistics, that the frumma have a much higher incidence of Down's Syndrome and other avoidable genetic issues.

Would be just a tad ironic if these people were done in by the Darwin Effect...

++David | November 12, 2012 at 02:49 PM++

That is true.

Diagnosing some of these genetic diseases in utero requires prenatal testing, but then the frumma will never have an abortion, no matter how terrible the diagnosis of the baby is.
Preventing other genetic diseases requires pre-marital testing and then not marrying someone who is also a carrier, or not having children (so you need to adopt a child instead), but we know how screwy the shidduch process is, and yes, I know there is an organization that screens for Tay-Sachs before marriage, and the orthodox have a clumsy system for dealing with the information by not letting themselves know their own status, blah blah blah.

Having worked in Labor and Delivery in a hospital in South Jersey that served the Lakewood crowd, there is indeed a high rate of congenital anomalies among frumma, due to inbreeding, ignoring prenatal screening, and having babies in relatively old age (both men and women).
For example, there are at least 2 dozen cases of Crouzon Syndrome among the frumma in Lakewood, which is shockingly high, but the frumma are oblivious to this.

Doctor joke, for those of us who make fun of gastroenterologists:

Question: What is the definition of a colonoscope?
Answer: It's a tube with an asshole on either end.


++Nigritude Ultramarine | November 12, 2012 at 01:31 PM++

Please review the recommendations I referenced from the CDC and ACS.
While I would agree with you that some unscrupulous docs will scope just about anyone for any reason, because there's gold to be found up people's rectums, please avoid becoming too cynical.

"rectal" and "colonostomy and breasts (especially big ones) are bad words - just be honest and add in honesty, integrity, responsibility to name a few. a man and woman have responsibilty to maintain their health for the sake of the children. i made a point of not smoking anymore when the kids come along. ps my wife was raised religuos - im a shabas goy with benefits.

seriously - to deny science is a matter of abuse.

" 1 colonoscopy may be enough for a lifetime"

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/11/06/1-colonoscopy-may-be-enough-for-lifetime/


separately, as sarek said, for the (deputy)health minister to respond as he did is evidence of why the current israeli system of govt. is such a failure. how could bibi give this anti-science fool such an important position?

The article is satire.

This whole post and responses are much ado about stupidity.

Having worked in Labor and Delivery in a hospital in South Jersey that served the Lakewood crowd, there is indeed a high rate of congenital anomalies among frumma, due to inbreeding, ignoring prenatal screening, and having babies in relatively old age (both men and women).

I've wondered about that, and about the role played by inbreeding.

Ideological differences aside, their future really does not appear to be promising.

Jeff, I was there one day when a baby was born at that hospital with Crouzon Syndrome.

When the pediatrician told the parents, the father went nuts, denying there was anything wrong with the baby, then he shouted over and over, "How can this be?"

The pediatrician pointed to the mother (who obviously had the same condition), and said to the father "your wife also has Crouzon Syndrome", hasn't anyone every told either of you?

Again, the man went nuts, screaming "My wife has no syndrome!"

The pediatrician left the room.

WoolSilkCotton,

"Diagnosing some of these genetic diseases in utero requires prenatal testing, but then the frumma will never have an abortion, no matter how terrible the diagnosis of the baby is."

False.There are cases when "frumma" will do abortion.

I doubt the frumma velt has less colonoscopy then the general public.I know many who had including myself.

Posted by: WoolSilkCotton, rock star and sports superstar | November 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM

Good God.

Deremes, please tell me what congenital anomalies discovered during pregnancy would have a reasonable likelihood of the frum couple deciding to abort, and what rabbis would allow it.

I hope you understand that these conditions pose no physical threat to the mother's life.

And I agree with you that frum men probably have colonscopies at the same rate as normal men. If you have confidence in your doctor, you are much more likely to listen to his or her recommendations.

A hassidishe neighbors sister gave birth about 6 months ago to a retardet child my nighbor told the child was never bought home it was given to a home where they care for them,they just didnt want to bother with the child

WSC, whoa, "I know there is an organization that screens for Tay-Sachs before marriage, and the orthodox have a clumsy system for dealing with the information by not letting themselves know their own status, blah blah blah." What's the blah blah blah?

Fortunately, there are several viable and cheaper options that can screen everyone and -- if properly promoted -- should enjoy a higher rate of compliance.

Posted by: Nigritude Ultramarine | November 12, 2012 at 10:25 AM

tehillim is not one of them

jancs @6:33 "child was never bought home it was given to a home where they care for them,they just didnt want to bother with the child"

I've wondered about the veracity of this. Is this a custom in or among any haredi communities?

No its not a family almost next door to me hassidish has a retardet child he is 12 years old and they love him and have seen many other hassidishe families take care of their reatardet child this one family is the exeption.

DH, here's the blah blah blah:

In the normal world, nonfrum Jewish people considering marriage are each tested for Tay Sachs. Each person is then told the test results, and you are counseled that if you are a carrier, you need to marry someone who is not a carrier, otherwise there is a 25% chance of having a baby with full-blown Tay Sachs disease.

In the screwy frum world, remaining ignorant about yourself is key. And you don't want to be labeled as damaged goods in the shidduch world, of course.
And so you get tested and are intentionally not told the result. Future potential shidduchim for you need to go to that same testing organization, and that organization compares both people's results to see if both are carriers, in which case a marriage is not advisable.
With this clumsy system, both sides remain intentionally ignorant about their carrier status, so that they can disingenuously claim that they don't know their own carrier status if asked by a potential mate.
I consider this system as incredibly stupid because it is based upon intentional ignorance about your own health information, all in the name of shidduch bugaboo bullshit.

http://www.jewishgenetics.org/?q=content/dor-yeshorim

http://www.genome.gov/10001220

I believe that the Chabad couple that was killed a couple of years ago in the terrorist attack in Mumbai actually had 2 or 3 babies with full-blown Tay Sachs.

When the pediatrician told the parents, the father went nuts, denying there was anything wrong with the baby, then he shouted over and over, "How can this be?"

Posted by: WoolSilkCotton, rock star and sports superstar | November 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM

So sad.

WSC, Thanks.

The reason I asked jancsi if that was true about secreting a "sick" child away was because I had heard about that same Chabad couple who had a child in some sort of facility, left behind in Israel. I found that astonishing. So in that case, or a case similar, would they have been told they were carriers or would it remain a marriage blah blah? Certainly they know about Tay Sachs. Is this missing sibling stuff endemic to Chabad?

According to masechet Brachot 62a one is supposed to defecate sitting north-south. The spate of colon and rectal cancer is because this precept is being violated. Remember: NORTH-SOUTH! And forget these silly, invasive, objectionable and yucky examinations.

"A hassidishe neighbors sister gave birth about 6 months ago to a retardet child my nighbor told the child was never bought home it was given to a home where they care for them,they just didnt want to bother with the child"

This does happen, I worked for such a home, and there were siblings there, never got taken home or anything.

The poor guy probably can not even fart in peace.

>>please tell me what congenital anomalies discovered during pregnancy would have a reasonable likelihood of the frum couple deciding to abort, and what rabbis would allow it.I hope you understand that these conditions pose no physical threat to the mother's life.<<

personally know a very frum woman who had prenatal testing and dr.'s told her to expect to give birth to a child with severe deformity who would physically suffer enormously. Her family rabbi said if this causes her such mental anguish that she is going out of her mind (losing her mind and having a breakdown etc.)she can abort to preserve her sanity.

The woman being a frumma and not wanting a hetter did NOT abort and sought a brocha instead... and prayed. Dr.'s at delivery were expecting to deliver high trauma. A healthy baby was born.

how do you become health minister if you pretend a colon doesnt exist? That noone in the hospital has colon cancer?

Why is a rectum and a colon dirtier in his mind than performing metziza bpeh?

Attention all Boro Park ladies -- soon there will be a kol koreh that can't use Dr. Colin for delivery anymore... but make sure the mohel does metziza bpeh.

++The woman being a frumma and not wanting a hetter did NOT abort and sought a brocha instead... and prayed. Dr.'s at delivery were expecting to deliver high trauma. A healthy baby was born.

Posted by: my thoughts | November 14, 2012 at 12:25 AM++


Absolute nonsense. Typical frum bullshit story. The frumma love stories about how their rabbis outsmarted doctors.

Oh yeah, of course you know her personally, and if you really did, everything she told you was the truth.

WoolSilkCotton:
"Deremes, please tell me what congenital anomalies discovered during pregnancy would have a reasonable likelihood of the frum couple deciding to abort, and what rabbis would allow it.

I hope you understand that these conditions pose no physical threat to the mother's life."

In a case like trisomy 13 etc frum women will have an abortion with a heter from a rabbi.

Deremes, I find that amazing, and thank you for telling me this.

Finally, there is some sensible decision making going on.

WoolSilkCotton,Just to prove you that as much as you know about frum life in general you don't know many details.

Btw,i'm almost certain that Lubavitch does not do any testing before a schiduch.They are probably the only one who does not participate in what you call a screwy system which is btw an excellent system.Because you don't gain anything about knowing if you are a carrier and its not necessary letting know your shiduch prospect because NO ONE does a schiduch before testing.

" you don't gain anything about knowing if you are a carrier and its not necessary letting know your shiduch prospect because NO ONE does a schiduch before testing."

Is it just me, or does that make no sense?

DH, I agree, that is a Torah-True explanation from Gotcha 11:39.

As I mentioned earlier, the frum testing system Dor Yeshorim exists because of the medieval shtetl shidduch system, in which young people are blacklisted once they are perceived as 'damaged goods', such as if they are known to be carriers of a genetic disease.

So, by remaining intentionally ignorant of one's own status, and leaving it to the organization to confidentially cross check your test result with the test result of potential mate, you can avoid being screwed by the neighborhood yenta matchmakers.

Normal people in the 21st century who live in civilized nations want to know the results of any tests done on them, and then they can ask potential mates about their test result, and if both are carriers, it would result in a 25% chance of having a baby with full-blown Tay Sachs. If only one of them is a carrier, than there is no problem.
That is how normal, sensible, reasonable, educated humans deal with the matter of carrying a potentially harmful genetic disease.

In the uber-orthodox world, you are not dealing with normal, sensible, reasonable, educated humans. Everything is run as if you're still in Poland in the year 1730.

Hence, Dor Yeshorim.

And there are some idiots who won't get tested at all, figuring they will rely instead on praying, blessings received at a dead rebbe's grave, getting their mezuzahs checked, etc.

WoolSilkCotton-It seems like you are clueless how shidduchim works in the frum community and that's why you don't know why Dor Yeshorim doesn't reveal the status of ones testing.

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