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Who Survives Cancer?

Despite the frenzied search for a cancer cure, just as important, says the author, is to understand who survives the disease and why.

Reaching back into antiquity, the author quotes historian Thucydides, who knew that social and economic conditions can determine the health and illness of a people. During the darkest days of the wars between Athens and Sparta, the winner side seemed to be determined by the epidemic that struck Athenians who had retreated behind their crowded city wall.

Contemporary Athenians attributed the calamity to "violation of sacred places by the newcomers." But Thucydides implicated other sources: war, siege, and the crowding together of people in all available space giving rise to an uncontrollable plague.

Greenwald analyzes the phenomenon of survival from cancer (which he considers the plague of our times) in worldly terms, that the ability of the individual to meet the affliction depends upon personal resources and outside help in terms of money, education, and medical availability.

He identifies our nation's inability to win the war against cancer with the public's reluctance to deal with known cancer-causing substances. Tobacco, in particular, has been implicated in nose, throat and lung cancer. Not until recently have stringent measures been introduced that prohibit smoking in public areas (rules are floating around but have yet to be institutionalized).

The public is also reluctant to accept realities and need of a proper lifestyle. Too many factors that have been recognized as possible contributors to cancer development are either ignored or put aside until absolutely no doubt remains of their dangers. Particular foods (meat, fish, chicken and seafood) that are known cancer-causing substances continue to constitute a large part of the diet.

Greenwald also places much emphasis on the need to promote emotional health as a bulwark against the deadly disease. Coincidentally, cases of depression are soaring. Statistics indicate our current decade to have reached a record high. Some evidence links deep depression to a pre-cancerous state, he notes.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Vegetus Publications
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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