By Daniel G. Aaron
Cancer is fearsome, unstoppable even. So the story goes. Yes, you can secure some extra time with loved ones, and — if you are lucky — maybe your cancer is susceptible to drugs or surgery. But for most people, cancer sounds like a death sentence. The proper response is to throw drugs and radiation at it.
Cancer seems so unstoppable that many have started rifling through their cosmetic products and foods to eliminate all possible carcinogens. Despite the fact we have regulatory regimes to ensure our food, makeup, the air, and drinking water are free of carcinogens, people don’t trust them. There is an intuitive sense that products are not well regulated, leaving individuals to moderate their own cancer risk. In fact, the majority of Americans do not hold strong trust in our health agencies like FDA and CDC.
In my forthcoming article, I argue that our cancer regulatory regimes inadequately protect the public. I believe deregulation is one form of the “privatization of cancer.”