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The Cancer Industry.

The Cancer Industry

If the pursuit of a cancer cure is to be likened to the waging of war, why don't the "generals" nd "strategists" follow tactics prescribed by military science? Battles are won by following a course that permits variations in strategy, changing whenever obtacles present themselves.

At present, the establishment that makes the rules (even if not by law) for dealing with cancer have their precepts practically frozen and unyielding. Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are the cardinal principles by which the medical profession and government funding dominate cancer therapy. Ralph Moss, author of The Cancer Industry, has devoted several decades of his life to exposing the fallacies of such orthodoxy. "Often conventional treatments ... are more devastating to the patient than the disease itself," he charges.

"But there are alternative nontoxic therapies," he explains, "(that) are centered around vitamins and diet, peptides, immunological factors, and psychological techniques which slow great promise in preventing, detecting, and treating cancer."

The book should qualify for a prize if a worthy organization would ever consider a work that is controversial (offending a large part of the medical, pharmaceutical, and fundraising establishments).

Ralph Moss, formerly of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, has spent almost two decades investigating the field of cancer research. He implicates research institutions, hospitals, medical associations, government agencies, foundations, and large corporations in every effort to thwart research and testing of alternatives nontoxic therapies.

These are all "respectable" institutions. No one can accuse them of conspiring to thwart the achievement of a cancer cure. However, according to Moss, in pursuing their particular goal of amassing power, profit, or prestige - all are, in effect, united against any innovation that could upset the status quo.

Ralph Moss' The Cancer Industry is a classic in the sense that it has amassed vast arsenals of facts that include a historical perspective of a growing tragedy aided and abetted by many who have been entrusted with faith, hope, and money - only to betray that trust.

The origin of the book, according to Moss, can be traced to his separation from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center when he "`failed to carry out the most basic job responsibilities' - in other words, to collaborate in falsifying evidence." Ralph Moss was involved in the investigation of claims for the efficacy of Laetrile (a nontoxic compound for which Ernst krebs, Jr., and his associates claimed success in limited trails). Moss and his close colleagues had found positive data and were recommending further testing. Consequently, Laetrile suffered the same fate as several other alternative therapies, oblivious or condemnation.

Although some progress has been made in understanding the nature of the disease, the author is chagrined by economic selfishness and political control of the cancer field. "With billions of dollars in research and treatment money availble," he writes, "there is fierce competition both among research groups and between those broad categories known as orthodox and unorthodox research.

"One need only look at the board of managers of Memorial-Sloan Kettering to see how well-positioned industrialists and investors can influence the direction of research. While many studies have identified industrial carcinogens, pollutants, and additives as sources of cancer, there is virtually no research into those areas at Sloan-Kettering. Not by coincidence, I feel, some of the largest polluters are represented on the board. These include not only many directors of oil and chemical companies but three leaders of tobacco companies." In the look's appendix, names are listed.

"While there have been some real advances made at the National Cancer Institute," Moss comments upon the Washington, D.C., based government branch of the National Institutes of Health, "in approaching the dietary link with cancer, at Sloan-Kettering the approach is overwhelmingly drug-oriented. And pharmaceutical companies predominate on the board, led by the chief executive officer of the nations's largest producer of anticancer drugs."

Moss singles out the Americal Cancer Institute for its two-faced attitude toward the cancer problem. It fights against smoking in public places - and then maintains a blacklist of scientists who are developing and dealing with cancer treatment that do not embrace surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.

The Food and Drug Administration is empowered to protect us against adulteration of the food and drug supply - and then uses police force to impound clinical medical records and research material in the possession of nonestablishment scientists.

The book expresses skepticism toward the National Cancer Institute's sudden interest in recognizing diet and nutrition as possible bulwarks against cancer, yet continues to be deeply involved in destroying clinics that have had to leave the United States to avoid continued harassment and prosecution that reach into foreign countries, beyond the agency's jurisdiction.

Krebiozen, an extract made from the blood of horses that were affected with "lumpy jaw disease," was heralded by alternative therapy advocates as a genuine breakthrough because it seemed in reducing and eliminating many tumors when injected into humans. The "anti-toxin" attracted Dr. Andrew Ivy, one of the greatest cancer scientists of the 1950's decade. He subsequently devoted his entire career to research with Krebiozen, but was eventually driven to poverty and disgrace by the establishment. Ralph Moss thinks Krebiozen was among the first substances to employ methods that enhance the immune system in the battle against cancer. Chemotherapy does not operate on a similar principle. Krebiozen was nontoxic, having no side effects.

In the treatment of breast cancer, Moss reminds us, radical surgery was unquestionably the only "proper" procedure. Women lost their breasts whether they had cancer or not. "Elective surgery" was the battle cry in the 1960s and 1970s - "take it all out!" surgeons exclaimed in unison. "If you dont's have cancer now, those cysts in the breast may become cancerous. You' re better off cutting the breasts away!' Not unitl anti-establishment critics and the women's movement rallied to stop the widespread butchery was lumpectomy grudgingly admitted into orthodox practice. (Lumpectomy is modified surgery that exercises a limited area where malignant cells are suspected of clustering.)

How big a business is the cancer industry? Moss reports that only five years ago the National Cancer Institute figured the total cost at over 75 billion dollars. In 1990 it is probably well over $500 billion and rising.

Among the tremedous outlay of money for cancer treatment are the costly radiation machines and X-ray equipment. "Physicians buy partnership shares in these facilities," the author notes, "and then send their patients to be scanned there. In many cases a doctor can earn 25 to 100 percent or more a year on an investment of $5,000 to $100,000. These investments are generally only open to doctors. The more patients he sends, the more money his center earns."

"Greed has also affected the mammography field," Moss writes. Physicians have interests in these clinics, and officials at Memorial Sloan-Kettering speak of expanding their operations by franchising in the McDonald's manner.

Although the medical professions specializing in surgery fought the intrusion of lumpectomy in breast cancer, eventually they profited by the change. So did other physicians. It costs about 37 percent more to treat a patient post-lumpectomy because additional radiation and doctor's examinations are often ordered. More drugs are used also to make certain that invasive maligant cells should be destroyed. The treatments never seem to end, unless the patient's strength or will to live expires first.

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the beneficiaries of the unwinnable war against cancer. Cancer drugs are part of the physician's armory. Tamoxifen, an antihormone drug prescribed for postbreast surgery, costs approximately $75 a week to use, enthusiastically recommended by the attending physician for a five-year period: a $20,000 drug bill that is only part of the postperative treatment! Moss quotes U.E. Reinhardt, a Princeton University professor who specializes in medical-cost evaluations: "We are only at the dawn of a push to turn great numbers of American physicians into hidden capitalists."

The book is critical of testing procedures, reporting that after many years of trying, there is still no chemical test that can detect establishment must therefore rely on less certain methods of detection, whose value is is doubt.

Pap smears, for example, have been critized by many scientists because they have actually made little contribution to detection. In fact, more than ten year ago, the American Cancer Society dropped its recommendation that women have an annual Pap test. It seems to have also equivocated on the issue by suggesting that the test be taken annually until three consecutive tests are negative, and then less frequently. In Canada, by contrast, where the government bears practically all the costs, annual tests are not recommended, at least for low-risk women.

Moss marshals an array of facts and comments by financially disinterested medical experts who question the value of frequent mammograms and other x-rays. With all the expensive prescreening, he complains, breast cancer is on the rise.

Among the horrors stories in The Cancer Industry is the case history of Senator Hubert Humphrey, who was operated on by a team of surgeons at Memorial Sloan-Kettering on October 6, 1976. His surgeon appeared before the press and television cameras to announce that the senator was cured by the operation, but as a preventive measure, to "wipe out any microscopic colonies of cancer cells that may be hidden in the body, treatment would begin with experimental drugs." Moss describes the aftermath:

"Within about a year, Senator Humphrey was dead. In that short time he had withered from a vigorous middle-aged man to an old, balding and feedble cancer victim. Humphrey himself blammed chemotherapy ... calling it `bottled death' and refusing in the end to return to Memorial Hospital for drug treatment."

Moss and quotes Daniel Greenberg, a well-known investigative reporter, who refuted optimistic claims by cancer authorities in government and fund-raising societies that there have been dramatic breakthroughs in leukemia. He found that official statistics do not support the optimistic claims emanating from public relations offices. The median survival times in government statistics on leukemia victims is still measured in months, not years.

The problem with public relations press releases is that some regional hospitals list people with undiagnosed lumps and bumps as cancer cases. Although many of these cases go into the records as cancer, they turn out to be noncancerous but are officially pronounced "cures." Most clinicians, Moss says, would like to have a high cure rate and the temptation is always present for a doctor or a cancer center to arrange its statistics in such a way as to exaggerate the progress actually being made. Clinical researchers don't like to treat dying patients. They can be sent elsewhere to die.

Ralph Moss is relentless crusader against the evils of exploiting human suffering for power or profit. His book erupts amid infuriating tales of horror with the question: If current methods of treating cancer are so inadequate, how and why are they considered proven cures? The answers as Dr. Moss will consistently explain by examples, implicates people who perpetuate the fraud by scandalizing those who try to change the system, either having them thrown in jail, or in the case of medical doctors who want to reduce suffering, declaring them incompetents and isolating them from respectable medical practice.

The author has a little more tolerance for surgery when it is clearly advisable. It is the insistent attempt to broaden the postoperative treatments that Moss condemns as wasteful and dangerous. "Surgery works best on cancers that are detected before they metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body," he explains. Once the cancer has spread, surgery is generally useless as a curative procedure, although it may relieve symptoms caused by a large mass pressing against a nerve or organ."

Radiatation therapy and chemotherapy have little to recommened them in the treatment of cancer, the author sets out to prove by indepth analyses by critics of these methods. Chemotherapy poisons cells, and radiation destroys them by burning. The positive results are dismally low, with a success rate of less than 50%, according to unbiased statistics.

What hope exists if orthodox medicine has failed miserably, if billions of dollars extracted from the U.S. Treasury and the pockets of hapless millions has brought almost no relief from an increasingly horrible medical holocaust? Ralph Moss predicts that the breakthroughs will come from innovative clinicians or small research laboratories that have the advantage of independence, so vital to a creative scientist.

There are many such laboratories around the world. For the most part, they deal with therapies that are nontoxic and safe, if not Society has branded them "unproven" and dangerus. The society has compiled a list that officially categories the clinics, their doctors and scientists as stigmatized in the category of "quacks." Moss has reproduced the list of these "snake-oil salesman," as they are often termed by the establishment. Most are men and women of distinguished scientific background who could no longer tolerate the malpractice of organized medicine, and investigators who have discovered alternative treatments by the use of herbal mixtures, vitamin-supplement megadoses, vegetarian diets, and other forms of immunological enhancement.

The list will probably serve as a distinguished "Who's Who" of men and women who defied the establishment and struck out onto uncharted paths to seek the answer to a fightful complex diseases.

Why hasn't the public rallied with greater fervor and righteous indignation in defense of Krebiozen, the drug that pioneered fortifying and stimulating the immune system? Why haven't more advocates come to the side of Ernst Krebs in his battle to have Laetrile tested on a scale broad enough to convince even the most skeptical of its efficacy? Why did Harry Hoxery have to battle for his very existence while thousands of cancer victims were finding relief and even cures by using the Hoxsey Method, a regimen consisting of herbal mistures? (Hoxsey's relentless battle against the American Medical Association eventually succeeded in deposing its president, who was exposed as having too medical credentials himself but persisted in hounding Hoxsey, hoping that a deal could be made to share the profits of the Hoxsey Method).

Ralph Moss' explanations may seem simplistic, yet no one can refute it: None of the many alternative treatments has been given an opportunity to prove itself. The kind of credible testing required to achieve acceptance by the Food and Drug Administration has usually been denied. Funds are not available as they are so abundantly for a therapy involving a patentable drug. Whenever some testing was done, as in the case of Laetrile, the methods and conclusions were severely criticized by its advocates or blatantly mishandled with the avowed purpose of ensuring failure.

"An increasing number of scientists now believe that cancer is environmentally induced and therefore can be controlled," Moss declares in his conclusion to the books. "Cancer prevention not only spares the victim the agony of suffering ... but is ultimately cheaper."

He especially targets industries that include petrochemical, food, drug, rubber, automotive, mining and other companies whose riches would be reduced somewhat by pollution control.

The Cancer Industry is a major contribution to a serious dilemma. It is challenging and enlightening. Ralph Moss is a crusading spirit who has the ability to write with justifiable fury and supreme restraint.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Vegetus Publications
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 22, 1990
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