The Cancer Industry:
The Classic Expose on the Cancer Establishment
New Updated [1996] Edition

© 1996 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.
Published by Equinox Press
(All rights reserved. Please see Copyright notice.)

1. Introduction

The year 1996 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of President Nixon's "war on cancer." During this time, the federal government has spent over $25 billion on cancer research, while the American Cancer Society (ACS) and various other private organizations have spent a nearly equal sum. When this war was launched in 1971, leading scientists promised Congress a cure for at least one major form of cancer in time for the Bicentennial. That didn't happen, and almost everyone agrees that the results have been meagre. Something is terribly wrong with the war on cancer, and this book attempts to tell why.

I started the research for this book soon after I was hired at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as science writer (later assistant director of public affairs) in 1974. I began writing after I was fired in 1977 for opposing their coverup of positive data on the drug laetrile, an incident described in this book. I had, in the words of the New York Times, had acted in a manner that conflicted with "most basic job responsibilities" (November 24, 1977). In other words, I refused to collaborate in falsifying evidence.

The book (then called The Cancer Syndrome) was published in 1980 and went through six printings and various editions, was featured on '60 Minutes,' and serialized in newspapers and magazines, here and abroad. Then, between 1987 and 1990 I updated and expanded it into the present volume. There have been many requests for a new edition. In studying the text, I find that it would be difficult to simply update it, without taking into account fundamental changes in today¹s situation. And that would be a new book. Rather than trying to unweave the web, I have made only minor changes, but have decided to provide the reader with this extended preface to explain how things have fundamentally changed.

First, however, you should understand the following facts:

  • Despite a few bright spots, the statistics on cancer incidence and mortality continue to be gloomy. The number of Americans developing cancer rises each year and now approaches 1.4 million; this does not even count the 800,000 cases per year of superficial skin cancer. Over 550,000 Americans will die of cancer in 1996. Even the ACS acknowledges that "there has been a steady rise in the cancer mortality rate in the US in the last half century" (1995 Facts and Figures). In 1930, the age-adjusted death rate was 143 per 100,000 of the general population; by 1990 it had climbed to 174. In fact, 40 percent of all Americans will develop life-threatening cancer. [In late 1996, there was a slight downturn in cancer deaths, probably due to decreased smoking. --Ed.]

  • Progress in the war on cancer has been agonizingly slow. Much of the progress we hear about was actually achieved before 1971. Out of the hundreds of thousands of compounds screened, only a handful have been found to be really effective at shrinking human tumors. And more often than not such shrinkages have not been proven to correlate with increased survival of patients (see my 1995 book Questioning Chemotherapy).

  • The FDA has still not approved any non-toxic agents as treatments for cancer. NCI has still not conducted a single fair and competent study of any alternative cancer therapy. In fact, it recently cancelled a small clinical trial of Burzynski¹s antineoplastons. A completed trial of hydrazine sulfate was marred by serious irregularities.

  • The persecution of alternative doctors continues. On May 6, 1992, Jonathan Wright, M.D. was raided by FDA agents accompanied by armed King County, Washington sheriffs. Glenn Warner, M.D., an oncologist who uses a mixture of both conventional and alternative treatments had his medical license taken way. And Stanislaw R. Burzynski, M.D., Ph.D.--whose story is told in chapter 14 of this book--has been indicted on 75 counts of fraud for providing his medicines, antineoplastons, to cancer patients. He faces over 250 years in prison for following the dictates of his conscience and his medical oath.

    Given all this, you might conclude that things are even worse than is indicated in this book. Yet that is not the case. In fact, on the whole, the situation for alternative medicine is more promising than it has been for many years. How can that be? Because when we look at things in perspective, the forces of repression are losing ground, while interest in alternative medicine is growing. Since around 1992, there has been a shift in the public¹s perception of this area.

    The key is that the federal government has changed its stance. Because of this, media interest has been unleashed and die-hard opponents are increasingly isolated as out of step with current realities. Amazingly, even the ACS has (for the moment, at least) stopped distributing its notorious "unproven methods" sheets and is rethinking its whole negative approach. The NCI remains highly derogatory, but that too could change in the next few years.

    How did this happen? And what does it portend for the future? That is what I want to write about in this new preface.

    The Cancer Industry Introduction:
    1. Intro | 2. OTA Study | 3. Office of Alternative Medicine | 4. Underlying Problems | 5. Role of FDA

    Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. is director of the The Moss Reports for cancer patients. Dr. Moss is the author of eleven books and three documentaries on cancer-related topics. He is or has been an advisor on alternative cancer treatments to the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American Urological Association, Columbia University, the University of Texas, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the German Society of Oncology. He wrote the first article on alternative medicine for the Encyclopedia Britannica yearbook. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in the East, and Who's Who in Entertainment (as a film documentarian). This Web site does not advocate any particular treatment for cancer. We urge you to always seek competent medical advice for all health problems, especially cancer. Before consulting our site please read our full Disclaimer statement.

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