“In this big-hearted book, Kristina Marusic profiles the everyday champions of the most important battlefront in the ‘war on cancer’: the too-often overlooked movement to prevent environmental illness instead of just to survive it.”
- Dan Fagin, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation
Available now in bookstores everywhere
Advance praise for "A New War On Cancer"
Booklist Starred Review
In this series of engaging profiles linked by an overarching investigation into the negative impacts of chemical pollution, readers will find themselves learning from researchers, health advocates, lawyers, and community activists about the many insidious ways cancer has been invited into our daily lives. Grounded in decades of published studies and research, the men and women whom environmental health and justice journalist Marusic writes about look beyond the obvious into how low-dose exposures to tens of thousands of unregulated chemicals can combine to disrupt natural hormone processes and result in a variety of cancers. These chemicals reach us through the food we eat and its packaging, the personal care products we put on our bodies, the environments in which our children learn and play, and our building materials. This is critical, painstaking work that requires years of diligent focus, and yet this information is often lost in the search for treatments and cures. What if, Marusic posits, we tried to prevent cancer from ever occurring? Why accept that places like Cancer Alley in Louisiana should even exist? This a surprising and significant look at cancer research, an eye-opening book readers will feel compelled to talk about with everyone they know.
"An urgent expose on the need for truly comprehensive cancer prevention.”
-Doris Browne, former Program Director, National Cancer Institute and 118th President, National Medical Association
"Kristina Marusic alerts us to a hidden but deadly crisis: the threat that everyday chemicals pose to our health and that of future generations. Readers can’t help but be drawn into this alarming story, vividly told through the lives of those affected."
- Shanna Swan, author of Count Down and Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
“For decades, the ‘war on cancer’ has neglected environmental justice and the need to rid the nation of harmful chemicals. Marusic’s dramatic account puts a human face on the struggle to right this wrong. An excellent book!”- Robert D. Bullard, Director, Bullard Center for Environmental & Climate Justice, Texas Southern University
“Extraordinary journalist Kristina Marusic not only makes the case for a new war on cancer, she tells deeply human stories that inspire us to think beyond the defeatist myths of consumerism and confront polluters in our own communities. Best of all, her book helps those of us already diagnosed with cancer see ourselves as determined warriors.”
- Sandra Steingraber, author, Living Downstream: A Biologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment
For more than fifty years, we have been waging, but not winning, the war on cancer. We’re better than ever at treating the disease, yet cancer still claims the lives of one in five men and one in six women in the US. The astonishing news is that up to two-thirds of all cancer cases are linked to preventable environmental causes. If we can stop cancer before it begins, why don’t we?
That was the question that motivated Kristina Marusic’s revelatory inquiry into cancer prevention. In searching for answers, she met remarkable doctors, scientists, and advocates who are upending our understanding of cancer and how to fight it. They recognize that we will never reduce cancer rates without ridding our lives of the chemicals that increasingly trigger this deadly disease.
Most never imagined this role for themselves. One scientist grew up without seeing examples of Indian-American women in the field, yet went on to make shocking discoveries about racial disparities in cancer risk. Another leader knew her calling was children’s health, but realized only later in her career that kids can be harmed by invisible pollutants at their daycares. Others uncovered surprising links between cancer and the everyday items that fill our homes and offices.
For these individuals, the fight has become personal. And it certainly is personal for Berry, a young woman whose battle with breast cancer is woven throughout these pages. Might Berry have dodged cancer had she not grown up in Oil City, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of refineries? There is no way to know for sure. But she is certain that, even with the best treatment available, her life was changed irrevocably by her diagnosis. Marusic shows that, collectively, we have the power to prevent many cases like Berry’s. The war on cancer is winnable—if we revolutionize the way we fight.
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