Who Survives Cancer?

Howard P. Greenwald, Author University of California Press $35 (280p) ISBN 978-0-520-07725-6
Addressed more to health-care professionals and policymakers than to the lay public, this book by Greenwald ( Social Problems in Cancer Control ), a professor in the University of California's School of Public Administration, makes it clear that we are not winning the war against cancer. In a well-documented text, he looks at how class, race, sex, psychological state and available treatments can affect one's chances of survival. Much of the book focuses on the Seattle Longitudinal Assessment of Cancer Survival, whose researchers have collected data of patients with diagnoses of four cancers--lung, pancreatic, prostate and cervical. Greenwald claims that preventive and experimental therapy have limited value, and that conventional medical care is crucial in influencing cancer survival. He underscores the need for early detection, but is quick to note some of its limitations, especially in certain kinds of cancer (e.g., pancreatic). Instead of concentrating on research and the hope of a breakthrough, he believes the goal should be extending access to basic care for all Americans. People can increase their chances of surviving, he believes, by getting practical--learning more about therapeutic options and obtaining second opinions. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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