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About this book
There is little prospect of an immediate cure for cancer. The seeds of destruction seem to be sown within all of us, and there is no consensus about how these seeds develop into tumors or about what can be done to halt that development. Indeed, it is often difficult to find a consensus about any aspect of cancer research. The sharply conflicting views of investigators in different subdisciplines has been most aptly summarized by Charles Heidelberger of the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, who argues that "the mechanism of cancer is a mirror into which each man looks and sees himself. " This is true despite the fact that large infusions of money and manpower now come to the aid of cancer research. In late 1974, Betty Ford and Margaretta (Happy) Rockefeller underwent surgery for breast cancer. The extensive publicity surrounding these mastectomies provoked a great deal of interest in the subject of cancer, particularly breast cancer. Newspaper and television stories associated with the operations gave their audiences some insight into the nature of cancer and cancer research, but they provided only a glimpse of the sweeping changes that the directions of cancer research have under gone in the last few years. In large part, these changes simply reflect the natural progression of research, but there is little question that that progression was sharply accelerated by the National Cancer Act of 1971, which initiated what politicians then termed a "crusade against cancer.
breast cancer cancer cancer research surgery