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Delaying the Fight Against Cancer

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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:29 PM
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Delaying the Fight Against Cancer
The Health Industry's Secret History of Delaying the Fight Against Cancer

What is the relationship between the mass production of synthetic chemicals, workplace chemical exposure, environmental pollution and rising cancer rates in the 20th and 21st centuries? In her new book, The Secret History of the War on Cancer, Devra Davis, director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, argues not only are there links between these developments, but the industries responsible for producing these chemicals and wastes have long been well aware of these connections and have sought, with much success, to downplay or dismiss them. As a result, industry has altered the very terms of the public and medical discussion of cancer, resulting in an overwhelming emphasis on cure rather than prevention. This approach has been far better for the industrial status quo rather than for the public health; the increase in cancer is not an artifact of improved diagnoses or the aging of the population.

Davis' book is a call for a fundamental shift in how we think about cancer in the early 21st century. The narrative proceeds as a series of almost freestanding essays. Topics range from the Nazi fight against cancer -- Hitler's scientists were among the first to connect smoking and carcinoma of the lung -- to the transformation of WWI mustard gas bombs into chemotherapy; the relationship between exposure to laboratory chemicals and cancer in medical researchers; the still-shocking history of the American tobacco industry; cancer in industrial workers and the ineffectiveness of safety regulations; genetic damage caused by Ritalin that can then lead to cancer; tumors caused by Aspartame; the very mixed track record of the mammogram; and the link between cancer and environmental hormones, asbestos, hair spray and cell phones (yes, they do seem to cause brain tumors in heavy users). In every case, scientific research into health effects is fundamentally intertwined with corporate interests.

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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 08:09 AM
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