The Secret History of the War on Cancer


‘Even Davis can’t hide her own disbelief at times: “Astonishing alliances between naive or far too clever academics and folks with major economic interests in selling potentially cancerous materials have kept us from figuring out whether or not many modern products affect our chances of developing cancer.” She then diligently documents, for example, how some of the world’s most prominent cancer researchers, such as the late Sir Richard Doll, the epidemiologist who was instrumental in linking smoking to health problems, secretly worked for chemical firms without disclosing these ties when publishing studies.

Davis, a modern scientist committed to moral clarity, knows her stuff and then some. After decades of front-line battles against air polluters, she now heads the world’s first Centre on Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. She too has smelled and felt cancer firsthand, having lost two parents and many friends, including the comic Andrea Martin*, to the disease. She shines, in short, with a burning indignation about the abuse of power in medicine.’

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