In the United States today, one in two men and one in three women develop cancer. It's no exaggeration to say that we're in the midst of an epidemic. As of 2003, about 1.3 million people developed cancer each year, and 550,000 of them died of it.
In recent decades the number of Americans developing cancer has risen, while the ability to treat and cure most common cancers has remained pretty much the same.
National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest, by Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., (Bloomington, Ind.: Xlibris, 2011, 189 pp., paper, $19.99) is a blistering polemic against those two venerable institutions. The ACS and NCI do good work, but they have a seamy side that Epstein exposes in the book.
At last – the idea that most cancer is caused by environmental factors is becoming mainstream.
A report by the President’s Cancer Panel, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now was published in April 2010 This latest annual report, for 2008–2009, was written by Suzanne H. Reuben for the cancer panel and published by the National Cancer Institute.
There will always be people who want to dam the Grand Canyon, divert the mighty Mississippi or use nuclear bombs to deepen a harbor or level a mountain. And there are people who see no end to the construction of transcontinental superhighways, like I-69. In opposition, there will be those who think these projects are bad ideas. How we decide these issues will depend, to a great extent, on the process that is used. Author Matt Dellinger’s Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway lays out the process by which I-69 became the last great American highway, or how it didn’t.
Dellinger’s history of the I-69 project sprawls from Canada to Mexico, from the late 1980s to the present. He takes an objective look at both sides of the issue with detailed characterization of many of the main players. It took him eight years and thousands of miles of travel from Michigan to Texas and interviews with average citizens, politicians, lobbyists, promoters and opponents of I-69 to compile this story of a dream highway and the nightmare behind that dream.
Politics leaves its boot-print on almost every aspect of our lives. From our schools to health care, jobs and the environment, it seems we can never win when up against the powers that be. Casting our votes for the evil of two lessers, as dutifully citizens do every election cycle, surely leaves us with a lesser by the end of the day. So you would think "hope" should be brushed to the waste side as naïve optimism, clamored to by only the most stubborn of idealists.