What is the relationship between the mass production of synthetic chemicals, workplace chemical exposure, environmental pollution and rising cancer rates in the 20th and 21st centuries? In her new book, The Secret History of the War on Cancer, Devra Davis, director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, argues not only are there links between these developments, but the industries responsible for producing these chemicals and wastes have long been well aware of these connections and have sought, with much success, to downplay or dismiss them. As a result, industry has altered the very terms of the public and medical discussion of cancer, resulting in an overwhelming emphasis on cure rather than prevention. This approach has been far better for the industrial status quo rather than for the public health; the increase in cancer is not an artifact of improved diagnoses or the aging of the population.
3 days ago