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The Obama Cancer Plan Should Prioritize Prevention, Says Cancer Prevention Coalition
Date:1/23/2009

tistics. These show increases of 45% for thyroid cancer, 18% for malignant melanoma, 18% for kidney cancer, 10% for childhood cancers, and 4% for testes cancer.

Disturbingly, the NCI has still failed to develop, let alone publicize, any listing or registry of avoidable exposures to a wide range of carcinogens. These include: some pharmaceuticals; high dose diagnostic radiation; occupational; environmental; and ingredients in consumer products -- food, household products, and cosmetics and personal care products. The NCI has also failed to respond, other than misleadingly or dismissively, to prior Congressional requests for such information.

In March 1998, in a series of questions to then NCI Director Dr. Richard Klausner, Congressman David Obey requested information on NCI's policies and priorities. He asked "Should the NCI develop a registry of avoidable carcinogens and make this information widely available to the public?" The answer was, and remains, no. Klausner's responses made it clear that NCI persisted in indifference to cancer prevention, coupled with imbalanced emphasis on damage control--screening, diagnosis, treatment, and clinical trials.

Moreover, NCI's claims for the success of "innovative treatment" have been sharply criticized by distinguished oncologists. In 2004, Nobelist Leland Hartwell, President of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Control Center, warned that "Congress and the public are not paying NCI $4.7 billion a year," most of which is spent on "promoting ineffective drugs" for terminal disease.

It should be further emphasized that the costs of new biotech cancer drugs have increased more than 100-fold over the last decade. Furthermore, the U.S. spends five times more than the U.K. on chemotherapy per
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SOURCE Cancer Prevention Coalition
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