11. WHY WE'RE LOSING THE WAR ON CANCER

Most Americans believe that we're made serious progress against cancer during the last decade. The belief is understandable -- in 1971, the federal government launched a much ballyhooed "war on cancer" that has drained off literally billions of dollars in tax money … much of it for a smooth public relations campaign that periodically issues soothing pronouncements about new "cures."

The reality is that we are losing the war on cancer.

In 1971, one patient died from cancer every 93 seconds; in 1980, one dies every 78 seconds.

Ten years ago, the number of new cancer cases was 650,000; ten years later, the number has jumped to 785,000.

Despite the National Cancer Institute claims of undreamed of progress and cure rates, every year the cancer death toll climbs by one percent.

Medical researcher Martin Kernberg reveals, in a well-documented article, how the cancer death toll is steadily rising and why the federal "war" has been an ignominious failure. He shows how the government deliberately misuses statistics to mislead the public about the death rate; how massive federal funding has corrupted scientific institutions and distorted the direction of scientific inquiry; how federal researchers have neglected promising new lines of research while doggedly pursuing paths that have long proved fruitless but are traditional and hence safe; and how the major news media have cooperated in this whole charade.

In short, Kernberg demonstrates how the federal research effort has wasted billions of dollars and millions of lives.

The public, confused by medical dialect and conflicting statistics, does not realize what is happening. Yet, the mass media, secure in the belief that cancer-cure stories mean more readers, rarely challenge the official perspective or invest the resources to learn the intricacies of the disease and its treatment.

The media's failure to provide significant coverage of this problem which affects more and more Americans every year qualifies this story for nomination as one of the ''best censored" stories of 1980.

SOURCE:

Inquiry, November 24, 1980, "Why We're Losing the War on Cancer," by Martin Kernberg.