Thursday, February 03, 2005

 
ANNOUNCING
CANCER-GATE: HOW TO WIN THE LOSING CANCER WAR

Available March, 2005, from Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.
www.baywood.com; orders 800-638-7819; 631-691-1270.

Award-winning author, Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., whose 1978 book The Politics of Cancer shook the political establishment by showing how the federal government had been corrupted by industrial polluters, has written a book that is sure to be of equal consequence. Cancer-Gate: How to Win The Losing Cancer War is a groundbreaking new book. It warns that, contrary to three decades of promises, we are losing the winnable war against cancer, and that the hand-in-glove generals of the federal National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the private “nonprofit” American Cancer Society (ACS) have betrayed us. These institutions, Epstein alleges, have spent tens of billions of taxpayer and charity dollars primarily targeting silver-bullet cures, strategies that have largely failed, while virtually ignoring strategies for preventing cancer in the first place. As a result, cancer rates have escalated to epidemic proportions, now striking nearly one in every two men, and more than one in every three women. This translates into approximately 50 percent more cancer in men, and 20 percent more cancer in women over the course of just one generation.

According to Epstein, these failed strategies are largely due to institutional malaise and outdated mindsets fixated on treatment, to the virtual exclusion of prevention, other than quitting smoking. But, Epstein says, there is much more. In particular, the book shows how the NCI and ACS are corroded with major institutional and personal conflicts of interest with cancer drug companies (“Big Pharma”). As candidly admitted by a recent NCI director, the NCI has become a “government pharmaceutical company.” For the ACS, these conflicts extend to environmental polluters in the chemical industry, and connivance in white collar crime. Not surprisingly, The Chronicle of Philanthropy has charged that “the ACS is more interested in accumulating wealth than saving lives.” These close ties to industry have transformed the NCI and ACS into cheerleaders for special interests rather than stewards of the public interest.

Astoundingly, and for the first time, Epstein chronicles how the NCI and ACS are sitting on mountains of information about avoidable environmental causes of cancer rather than making this available to the public in any systematic and understandable way. This silence has even extended to frank suppression of such information, denial of the public’s right to know, and violation of human rights. Following a detailed indictment of these public betrayals, Epstein explains how we can “take back” the war against cancer with a wide range of strategies. These include “right-to-know” laws, ensuring public dissemination of critical information on environmental carcinogens and avoidable causes of cancer, and legislative reforms and oversight to ensure that the NCI protects the public rather than special interests.



The Losing War

How to Win the War
By calling for an end to the “cancer plutocracy” and a return to public health democracy, Epstein outlines a wide range of reforms that could save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives. These include:



This searing exposé of the NCI and ACS, and the proposed reforms of public policy have been endorsed by over a hundred leading independent experts in cancer prevention and public health, as well as by activist citizen groups.



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