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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/16/11

"The Politics of Cancer"

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"The Politics of Cancer" - by Stephen Lendman

University of Illinois School of Public Health and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition Professor Emeritus Samuel S. Epstein chose the above title for his award-winning 1978 book, updated 20 years later in his important work titled, "The Politics of Cancer Revisited." More about both books below.

Epstein is an internationally recognized cancer expert and its avoidable causes, especially exposure to industrial carcinogens in air, water, food, consumer products, pesticides, prescription drugs, and workplace environments.

His decades of activities, public advocacy, awards, and distinctions are too numerous to mention. He also authored or co-authored a dozen books, as well as hundreds of peer reviewed articles on public health related issues, ones seldom getting enough mainstream attention if any.

"The Politics of Cancer" explained how exposure to environmental and occupational carcinogens causes cancer. Yet they're avoidable because safe substitutes exist. Nonetheless, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and American Cancer Society (ACS) - groups Epstein calls "the cancer establishment" - ignore preventable causes, searching for non-existant magic bullet cures. In fact, they allocate minimal budget amounts to prevention while deceiving people to believe they stress it.

As a result, 40 years after Nixon signed the 1971 National Cancer Act, following through on his same year State of the Union promise "to find a cure," cancer rates have soared. In the 1950s, it affected one in four Americans. Today, it's half or more. Three-fourths of families have at least one afflicted member. In 2010, 1.4 million Americans were diagnosed with it. Every minute in the US, it kills someone, claiming about 550,000 annual victims, most of them needlessly.

Cancer occurs when body cells divide and spread uncontrollably. If untreated, it metastasizes and kills. Why then is the war on it being lost? According to Epstein, it's because:

"(t)he cancer establishment is fixated on damage control - diagnosis, treatment and basic genetic research - and is indifferent, if not sometimes hostile, to cancer prevention - getting carcinogens out of the environment."

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