The Politics of Cancer Revisited

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9780914896463: The Politics of Cancer Revisited
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THE POLITICS OF CANCER Revisited, by internationally renowned authority on cancer causes and prevention, Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., backed by meticulous documentation, charges that the cancer establishment remains myopically fixated on damage control -- diagnosis and treatment, and basic genetic research with, not always benign, indifference to cancer prevention research and failure of outreach to Congress, regulatory agencies, and the public with scientific information on unwitting exposures to a wide range of avoidable causes of cancer. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) are also accused of pervasive conflicts of interest, particularly with the cancer drug industry.

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From the Publisher:

In 1978 the Sierra Club Books landmark "The Politics of Cancer" documented the relation between increasing cancer rates and avoidable exposures to environmental and occupational carcinogens, and the culpability of the petrochemical industry. "THE POLITICS OF CANCER Revisited" analyzes subsequent public policy and scientific developments over the past two decades and charges the cancer establishment -- the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society -- with major responsibility for losing the winnable war against cancer because of its, not always benign, indifference to prevention, coupled with misleading claims for major advances in treatment and pervasive conflicts of interest.

Part I of THE POLITICS OF CANCER Revisited is the complete text of the 1978 "Politics of Cancer," which traces the shocking history of how the war against cancer was lost -- not irretrievably, but definitely lost -- during the Nixon and Carter Administrations by a number of lethally wrongheaded policy decisions of the American cancer establishment.

Part II picks up the story with the coming of the Reagan administration and brings it forward to the present -- brilliantly untangling a web of high-level obfuscation, duplicity, conflict of interest, greed, and outright criminality.

As an expose, THE POLITICS OF CANCER Revisited is a stunner. Dr. Epstein is not just one of the world's leading cancer experts. He is a fighter. His persistence in carrying the fight to the cancer establishment in the face of their strong-arm tactics defending their many grievous mistakes, makes for a stirring narrative. And his fight is no longer a lonely one. Scores of highly-credentialed experts in public health and cancer prevention have now rallied to the cause of forcing a radical reform of the National Cancer Institute and bringing about a real turning in the tide of the still-winnable war against cancer. All this makes for very exciting -- and very hopeful -- reading, especially in the field of cancer, where fear and despair too often are all that the ordinary individual and the individual family end up with after the political and professional posturing and hype have had their full innings.

But THE POLITICS OF CANCER Revisited is more than an expose. As incredible as such a wildly hopeful notion sounds, it is a fact that Dr. Samuel Epstein has a workable plan for defeating the scourge of cancer, in America and worldwide. Granted, implementation of this plan would cost a lot of money to bring about the removal of sufficient poisons from our food, our drinking water, and our industrial workplaces. And a number of vested interests at high levels would have to be effectively challenged and defeated. But this much can -- and must -- be demanded of our enlightened democracy, whose citizens are being killed off by the disease of cancer at the rate of one in four.

The important things to bear in mind about Dr. Epstein's plan are that it is realistic and it is authoritative. And, although it has been put together by scientists, it can be readily understood and carried forward by ordinary citizens -- at the individual and family level as well as at the higher levels of industry and government. This is the plan of individual prevention and effective political action spelled out in "THE POLITICS OF CANCER Revisited."

From the Back Cover:

We are not winning the war against cancer. We are losing the war. The number of Americans getting cancer each year has escalated over recent decades, while our ability to treat and cure most common cancers has remained virtually unchanged.

Dr. Epstein states: "The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society have misled and confused the public and Congress by repeated false claims that we are winning the war against cancer -- claims made to create public and Congressional support for massive increases in budgetary appropriations."

THE POLITICS OF CANCER Revisited will make headlines as Dr. Epstein again comes head-to-head with the cancer establishment, disputing their claims with thorough documentation, clarifying misleading statistics, exposing budgetary shell games, and defining the political and economic reasons, rather than lack of scientific information, for the losing cancer war.

For the first time, the American public will find out the truth behind the much-acclaimed "War Against Cancer" in a thoroughly documented expose of the policies and priorities of the cancer establishment -- the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS). "THE POLITICS OF CANCER Revisited" challenges misleading claims that we have "turned the tide against cancer" and shows how the establishment is largely responsible for losing the winnable war against cancer. With equal accuracy and vigor, the book provides vital information -- long ignored or trivialized by the cancer establishment -- on a wide range of avoidable causes of cancer and on how readers and their families can protect themselves against cancer.

Backed by meticulously detailed documentation, THE POLITICS OF CANCER Revisited, which follows the author's landmark book of 20 years ago, is a scorching indictment of the cancer establishment sure to stun readers with its revelations. They will learn:

(1) That in spite of over $20 billion expenditures since the "War against Cancer" was launched by President Nixon in 1971, there has been little if any significant improvement in treatment and survival rates for most common cancers, in spite of contrary misleading hype by the cancer establishment -- the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and American Cancer Society (ACS).

(2) That the cancer establishment remains myopically fixated on damage control -- diagnosis and treatment -- and basic genetic research, with, not always benign, indifference to cancer prevention. Meanwhile, the incidence of cancer, including nonsmoking cancers, has escalated to epidemic proportions with lifetime cancer risks now approaching 50%.

(3) That the NCI has a long track record of budgetary shell games in efforts to mislead Congress and the public with its claim that it allocates substantial resources to cancer prevention. Over the last year, the NCI has made a series of widely divergent claims, ranging from $480 million to $1 billion, for its prevention budget while realistic estimates are well under $100 million.

(4) That the NCI allocates less than 1% of its budget to research on occupational cancer -- the most avoidable of all cancers -- which accounts for well over 10% of all adult cancer deaths, besides being a major cause of childhood cancer.

(5) That cancer establishment policies, particularly those of the ACS, are strongly influenced by pervasive conflicts of interest with the cancer drug and other industries. As admitted by former NCI director Samuel Broder, the NCI has become "what amounts to a governmental pharmaceutical company."

(6) That the MD Anderson Comprehensive Cancer Center was sued in August, 1998 for making unsubstantiated claims that it cures "well over 50% of people with cancer."

(7) That the NCI, with enthusiastic support from the ACS -- the tail that wags the NCI dog -- has effectively blocked funding for research and clinical trials on promising non-toxic alternative cancer drugs for decades, in favor of highly toxic and largely ineffective patented drugs developed by the multibillion dollar global cancer drug industry. Additionally, the cancer establishment has systematically harassed the proponents of non-toxic alternative cancer drugs.

(8) That, as reported in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the ACS is "more interested in accumulating wealth than saving lives." Furthermore, it is the only known "charity" that makes contributions to political parties.

(9) That the NCI and ACS have embarked on unethical trials with two hormonal drugs, tamoxifen and Evista, in ill-conceived attempts to prevent breast cancer in healthy women while suppressing evidence that these drugs are known to cause liver and ovarian cancer, respectively, and in spite of the short-term lethal complications of tamoxifen. The establishment also proposes further chemoprevention trials this fall on tamoxifen, and also Evista, in spite of two published long-term European studies on the ineffectiveness of tamoxifen. This represents medical malpractice verging on the criminal.

(10) That the ACS and NCI have failed to provide Congress and regulatory agencies with available scientific information on a wide range of unwitting exposures to avoidable carcinogens in air, water, the workplace, and consumer products -- food, cosmetics and toiletries, and household products. As a result, corrective legislative and regulatory action have not been taken.

(11) That the cancer establishment has also failed to provide the public, particularly African American and underprivileged ethnic groups with their disproportionately higher cancer incidence rates, with information on avoidable carcinogenic exposures, thus depriving them of their right-to-know and effectively preventing them from taking action to protect themselves -- a flagrant denial of environmental justice.

It should be recognized that Dr. Epstein's charges against the cancer establishment have been supported by some 65 leading national public health and preventive medicine experts, including past directors of federal agencies.

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9780914896470: The Politics of Cancer Revisited

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ISBN 10:  0914896474 ISBN 13:  9780914896470
Publisher: East Ridge Pr, 1998

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Samuel S. Epstein
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