January 21, 2008

from Asiaing Website


Despite repeated assertions by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that America is winning the war against cancer, the incidence of cancer has escalated to epidemic proportions, striking most American families.


Cancer now impacts about 1.3 million Americans annually and kills 550,000; 44 percent of men and 39 percent of women develop cancer in their lifetimes.

While smoking-related cancers have decreased in men, there have been major increases in non-smoking cancers in adults as well as childhood cancers. Cancer incidence, besides mortality, is disproportionately high among Black Americans.


A leading member of the Congressional Black Caucus has expressed concerns as to the grave implications of this racial imbalance.




Since passage of the 1971 National Cancer Act, the overall incidence of cancer in the U.S. has escalated to epidemic proportions, now striking about 1.3 million and killing about 550,000 annually; nearly one in two men and more than one in three women now develop cancer in their lifetimes.


While smoking is unquestionably the single largest cause of cancer, besides a risk factor for some other cancers, the incidence of lung and other smoking-related cancers in men has declined sharply. In striking contrast, there has been a major increase in the incidence of predominantly nonsmoking cancers in men and women, which is disproportionately higher among Black Americans, and also in the incidence of childhood cancers.

Nevertheless, the “cancer establishment,” the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and American Cancer Society (ACS), have repeatedly made misleading assurances of major progress in the war against cancer for over two decades.


These culminated in their 1998 Report Card, claiming a recent,

“reversal of an almost 20-year trend of increasing cancer cases.”

However, this “reversal” was minimal and artifactual.


Furthermore, in October 2002, NCI admitted to significant errors in underestimating its published incidence data, apart from delays in reporting these data.

The escalating incidence of cancer does not reflect lack of resources. Since 1970, NCI’s budget has increased approximately 30-fold, reaching $4.6 billion for 2003, while annual ACS revenues are approximately $800 million.


Paradoxically, NCI’s escalating budget over the last three decades is paralleled by the escalating incidence of cancer.

Apart from basic research, the cancer establishment's mindset remains fixated on “secondary” prevention or damage control - screening, diagnosis, and chemoprevention (the use of drugs or nutrients to reduce risks from prior avoidable carcinogenic exposures) - and treatment. This is coupled with indifference to primary prevention, preventing a wide range of avoidable causes of cancer, other than faulty lifestyle - smoking, inactivity, and fatty diet.


This exclusionary claim remains based on a scientifically discredited 1981 report by British epidemiologists, Drs. Richard Doll and Richard Peto; Doll’s strong pro-industry record over recent decades is still largely unrecognized. They guesstimated that lifestyle factors are responsible for up to 90% of all cancers, with the balance arbitrarily assigned to environmental and occupational causes.


For the ACS, this indifference to primary prevention extends to hostility, compounded by conflicts of interest with the giant cancer drug and other industries.


Not surprisingly, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the nation's leading charity watchdog, has charged that the ACS is,

“more interested in accumulating wealth than in saving lives.”

These considerations are more critical in view of the increasing domination of NCI policies by the ACS.

In 1992, NCI claimed that its funding for prevention research was $350 million, 17% of its approximately $2 billion budget; this claim manipulatively included funding for “secondary” prevention.


However, independent estimates, unchallenged by NCI, were under $50 million, 2.5% of its budget.


In NCI’s 2001 $3.7 billion budget, $444 million, 12%, was allocated to “Cancer Prevention and Control,” with no reference to primary prevention. ACS “Environmental Research” funding in 1998 was $330,000, less than 0.1% of its $678 million revenues, apart from $873 million assets.

The U.S. cancer establishment conducts minimal research on avoidable exposures to a wide range of industrial carcinogens contaminating the totality of the environment - air, water, soil, the workplace, and consumer products - carcinogenic prescription drugs and “low dose” diagnostic medical radiation. As critically, the cancer establishment has failed to warn the public, media, Congress and regulatory agencies of such avoidable exposures to industrial and other carcinogens, incriminated in rodent tests and in epidemiological studies.

This failure to warn the public of cancer risks from avoidable exposures to industrial carcinogens and ionizing radiation is in striking contrast to the cancer establishment’s prodigious stream of press releases, briefings, and media reports claiming the latest advances in screening and treatment, and basic research.

This silence also violates the 1988 Amendments to the National Cancer Program, calling for,

“an expanded and intensified research program for the prevention of cancer caused by occupational or environmental exposure to carcinogens..."

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