The Preventable Cancer Epidemic




The Preventable Cancer Epidemic

Cancer has become such an epidemic that 41% of Canadian
males and nearly 38% of Canadian females will develop some
form of the disease, and 27% of males and 23% of females
will die from it.

While the medical profession and cancer research
institutions attribute most of the cancer increase to
genetic and lifestyle factors, the authors of a new CCPA
study assert that carcinogens in our air, water, food, and
workplaces are significant causes of cancer.

Economist Robert Chernomas and researcher Lissa Donner draw
from reputable studies and findings to conclude that many
cancers could be prevented if the cancer-causing chemicals
were removed from our environment.

They note that in 2001, Canadian industries admitted
releasing 18,455,237 kilograms of known carcinogens into
our air, soil, and water. "Such industries have been
called 'merchants of death' for putting profits ahead of
human health"--but they have been aided and abetted by a
lax regulatory and enforcement system that allows such
deadly pollution to continue.

The authors are critical of the main objective of the fight
against cancer, which is to find treatments or cures rather
than promoting preventive measures. "Industries have argued
that for every carcinogen there is a safe level of exposure.
But our guiding principle should be that the safest exposure
is no exposure."

Chernomas and Donner argue that the war on cancer can be
won, but that the social, economic and political changes
that are needed will require collective action by the
environmental, occupational health and nutrition movements.
Acting together, they can "stem the tide of cancer that is
sweeping across Canada."