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Book Review: The Truth in Small Doses

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The Truth in Small Doses: Why We're Losing the War on Cancer--and How to Win It
Clifton Leaf
Simon & Schuster, 2013 ($27)

The U.S. Congress declared a “war on cancer” with the 1971 National Cancer Act and poured money into fighting the disease. Yet ever since, new cancer cases have risen three times faster than the U.S. population. According to Leaf, a journalist and cancer survivor, the act failed because of the flawed research culture it spawned. In this history of the fight against cancer, he describes how scientists often cannot secure funding for risky research in a culture that rewards competition over collaboration. The final section is a call to shift funding from narrow projects to broadly skilled researchers and urges patients to become better advocates for progressive change. Without such steps, Leaf says, the war on cancer has no chance of being won.

This article was originally published with the title "The Truth in Small Doses."

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