Monday, July 6, 2009

Book Review 8

The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis

With the 7th annual, 8th annual, 10th annual (depending on the city) weekend walk to end breast cancer, the topic of this book is currently quite counter to the popular culture. However, Dr. Devra Davis is one of a growing number of writers and health experts to point out that there needs to be a refocus in our effort in regards to cancer research. The breast cancer campaigns have due concern since the Generation X women are twice as likely to develop breast cancer as their mothers were. Interestingly, Dr. Davis states that the aging population does not explain this increased rate nor the increase in childhood cancers.

This book is a thoroughly detailed account of the History of contemporary thoughts on scientific direction and public policy surrounding cancer. Dr. Davis shows what happened to derail programs intended to reduce cancer and how so much effort is spent on treating cancer ($100 billion a year is spent in direct cancer treatment costs) and finding a cure, instead of preventing it in the first place. For example, more than 80,000 chemicals are in use and complete toxicity tests are available on fewer than 1000.

Our society has been led to believe by cancer researchers that science will find a cure and money is wisely spent toward this effort. Unfortunately, the public is not made aware that cancers are highly preventable diseases. This is certainly an important and sensitive issue to all of us.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for recommending this book. I am over half way through and find the information to be extremely informative. I was worried that I would not be able to get through the book but Davis is just so good at presenting large quantities of facts in an interesting way. I am also very grateful to find a book on this subject that is not tainted by conspiracy theories but is thoroughly researched and painstakingly cited.