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Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1964
Publisher: Basic Books

More is known about cancer than any other disease, though no one knows precisely what it is; no disease is more talked about by laymen and more debated by doctors. Thanks to Pat McGrady- the science editor of the American Cancer Society, which incidentally disassociates itself from the author's arguments- we have here a public-geared cancer report, a fresh (in both scenes), frank and far-ranging account of the most recent research advances, based on almost two decades of independent investigation. It is also a provocative, semi-pamphleteering appraisal of medical policies, laboratory rivalries, civic muddling and/or concern. The analysis includes the varying effects of surgical, radiotherapeutic and themotherapeutic measures, the influence of heredity, genes, viruses, hormones and psychological factors (the latter amusingly demolished), the lack of necessary facilities at the average levels of treatment, the question of immunity and controls, the carcinogenic properties of cigarettes, drugs, pesticides, the air we breathe, even the food we eat; finally, a sour look at both fuddy-duddy hospital procedures and the modernist specialization ones, neither fully exploratory nor educative. A little glib at times, somewhat overstuffed with professional argon; nevertheless, it should prove a popular text, probably cycling similar studies or rebuttals.