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August 15, 1977

The Cancer Connection: And What We Can Do About It

JAMA. 1977;238(7):629-630. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280070069033

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Agran, a 32-year-old lawyer, found inspiration for The Cancer Connection from three thoughts: (1) The United States population is experiencing a raging cancer epidemic for which the author uses the rather contrived term "a cancer pox." (2) Despite the expenditure of huge sums for research, a cure for malignant neoplasia is unlikely in the foreseeable future. (3) Since the epidemic is "man-made," it can be checked by preventive measures.

The book seeks to excite reader interest by a series of grisly case reports about cancer victims, and the reports in turn engender indictments of industries because they have exposed workers directly and populations indirectly to carcinogenic pollutants. The federal government and tobacco manufacturers are linked for blame; they have connived to cause lung cancer. The food industry is guilty of using unnecessary carcinogenic additives. Physicians and dentists have caused cancer by misuse and overuse of x-ray examinations. (Agran neglects to