[Marxism] Cancer and the environment

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 4 13:09:45 MST 2005


(Here's the polar opposite of spiked-online, an article by Peter Montague 
of Rachel's Health and Democracy that makes the essential connection 
between the environment and cancer. The article cites Wilhelm Hueper, who 
figures heavily in "The Politics of Cancer," a book by Robert N. Proctor 
that I am reading now. I used to work at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in the 
mid 1980s. I never got used to seeing sick children there. About 500,000 
people die of cancer in the USA each year. More than half are directly 
attributable to environmental factors. The fact that a gaggle of 
ex-Marxists can basically make a living trying to deny such connections is 
simply disgusting.)

Counterpunch November 4, 2005
The Environmental Causes of Cancer
Why We Can't Prevent Cancer

By PETER MONTAGUE

In 1999, cancer surpassed heart disease as the number one killer of people 
younger than 85 in the U.S.[1] Now a detailed report on the causes of 
cancer tells us why: cancer has been steadily increasing in the U.S. for 50 
years as people have been exposed to more and more cancer-causing agents, 
including chemicals and radiation.

Richard Clapp, Genevieve Howe, and Molly Jacobs Lefevre have just published 
"Environmental and Occupational Causes of Cancer; A Review of Recent 
Scientific Literature" and it is a real eye-opener.

But before we dive into this report looking for nuggets, let's set the 
background.

About half of all cancer cases are fatal, and death by cancer is often 
prolonged, painful, and very expensive. Those who manage to survive cancer 
live out their lives molded by the after-effects of harsh treatments 
popularly known as "slash and burn" -- surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or 
some combination of the three.

As more people are kept alive each year with their breasts or testicles 
removed, the "cancer establishment" chalks up another "victory" -- and no 
doubt the victims are glad to be alive -- but we should acknowledge that 
there's something very wrong with calling this "victory." Slash and burn 
seems more like a dreadful defeat.

full: http://www.counterpunch.org/montague11042005.html

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