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Who Survives Cancer?

Howard P. Greenwald

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ISBN 10: 0520077253 / ISBN 13: 9780520077256
Published by University of California Press, 1992
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Who Survives Cancer?

Publisher: University of California Press

Publication Date: 1992

Book Condition: Good

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

FACT OR FICTION?

*A white male earning over $35,000 a year has a better chance of surviving most types of cancer than an unemployed African-American male.

*Psychological factors predispose people to contracting cancer and improved emotional health promotes recovery.

*Early detection is useless in curing cancer.

*Experimental, not conventional, treatments offer the most benefits and longer survival rates to cancer patients.

*A scientific breakthrough of practical and immediate significance in cancer treatment is imminent.

*Cancer prevention is ineffective in many areas and campaigns will probably never achieve a reduction of cancer mortality approaching 50 percent.

*Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) increase survival chances for most cancer patients.
Howard Greenwald takes an incisive new look at how class, race, sex, psychological state, type of health care and available treatments affect one's chance of surviving cancer. Drawing on an original ten-year survival study of cancer patients, he synthesizes medical, epidemiological, and psychosocial research in a uniquely interdisciplinary and eye-opening approach to the question of who survives cancer and why.

Scientists, health care professionals, philanthropists, government agencies, and ordinary people all agree that significant resources must be allocated to fight this dreaded disease. But what is the most effective way to do it? Greenwald argues that our priorities have been misplaced and calls for a fundamental rethinking of the way the American medical establishment deals with the disease. He asserts that the emphasis on prevention and experimental therapy has only limited value, whereas the availability of conventional medical care is very important in influencing cancer survival. Class and race become strikingly significant in predicting who has access to health care and can therefore obtain medical treatment in a timely, effective manner. Greenwald counters the popular notion that personality and psychological factors strongly affect survival, and he underscores the importance of early detection. His research shows that Health Maintenance Organizations, while sometimes prone to delays, offer low-income patients a better chance of ultimate survival. Greenwald pleads for immediate attention to the inadequacies and inequalities in our health care delivery system that deter patients from seeking regular medical care.

Instead of focusing on research and the hope for a breakthrough cure, Greenwald urges renewed emphasis on ensuring available health care to all Americans. In its challenge to the thrust of much biomedical research and its critique of contemporary American health care, as well as in its fresh and often counterintuitive look at cancer survival, Who Survives Cancer? is invaluable for policymakers, health care professionals, and anyone who has survived or been touched by cancer.

From the Inside Flap:

"Who Survives Cancer? is by far the most comprehensive analysis of studies of cancer survival. Howard Greenwald evaluates heredity, diet, emotional state, treatment protocols, early diagnosis and access to care. Of all of these, early access to diagnosis and care were the major factors in "transforming cancer from a sure killer to a manageable risk." This book is a must-read for the American health care debate."—Dr. Jane Fulton, University of Ottawa

"Into the cauldron of controversy about how to finance health care in these United States, Greenwald injects a new variable: the impact of payment on the survival of cancer patients. He makes a compelling case for the life-prolonging benefits of standard procedures for the early detection and treatment of cancer. If cancer concerns you, read this book. Its conclusions could save your life."—Charles Haskell, M.D., author of Cancer Treatment

"Reading Who Survives Cancer? will help people understand why progress against cancer is slow. In particular, it highlights the important non-biomedical factors in cancer survival and patiently explains why some popular notions are not supported by science."—Lester Breslow, M.D., M.P.H., University of California, Los Angeles

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