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The Politics of Cancer Revisited

(With an Introduction by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. and a Foreword by Congressman David Obey)

In this book, world-cancer-expert Dr. Samuel Epstein indicts the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society for responsibility in losing the cancer war.

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 expos, 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:

  • 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).

  • 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%.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Biographical Information

SAMUEL S. EPSTEIN, M.D., Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the School of Public Health, University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, is an internationally recognized authority on the toxic and carcinogenic effects of environmental pollutants in air, water, and the workplace, and of ingredients and contaminants in consumer products _ food, cosmetics, and household products. He is author of 260 scientific articles and ten books, including the prize-winning The Politics of Cancer (1978), and The Politics of Cancer Revisited (1998), and co-author of The Legislation of Product Safety: Consumer Health and Product Hazards (1976), Hazardous Wastes in America (1982), The Safe Shopper's Bible (1995), and The Breast Cancer Prevention Program (1998), besides numerous editorials in leading national newspapers.

Dr. Epstein's activities in the interface between science and public policy include: consultant to the U.S. Senate Committee on Public Works; frequent invited Congressional testimony; and membership on key federal agency advisory committees, including the Health Effects Advisory Committee of EPA and the Department of Labor Advisory Committee on the Regulation of Occupational Carcinogens. He was the key expert involved in the banning of hazardous products and pesticides, including DDT, Aldrin, and Chlordane, and is the leading international expert on the public health hazards of biosynthetic bovine growth hormone (rBGH) used for increasing milk production, and of sex hormones used for fattening cattle in feedlots.

Dr. Epstein is past chairman of the Air Pollution Control Association Committee on Biological Effects of Air Pollutants; President of the Society of Occupational and Environmental Health; Founder and Secretary of the Environmental Mutagen Society; President of the Rachel Carson Council, Inc.; and advisor to a wide range of organized labor, public interest, and citizen activist groups. He is currently Chairman of the nationwide Cancer Prevention Coalition.

Dr. Epstein has extensive media experience, involving numerous invited appearances on the major national TV networks, including Sixty Minutes, Face the Nation, Meet the Press, McNeil/Lehrer, Donahue, Good Morning America, and the Today Show. He has also had frequent appearances on Canadian, European, Australian, and Japanese TV.

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