Quest for Cancer Control

August 16, 1974

Report Outline
Limited Gains in Reducing Deaths
Federal Support for Cancer Fight
Main Thrusts of the Present Attack
Special Focus

Limited Gains in Reducing Deaths

The war on cancer goes on and on, yet total victory remains far out of sight. It is now 37 years since the federal government, by establishing the National Cancer Institute, committed itself to combat against this most-feared of all killer diseases. Three years ago Congress called for an all-out crusade against cancer, authorizing an intensified effort to carry over the following three years. Now, in 1974, Congress has extended that special program for another three years and has authorized the Cancer Institute to broaden its activities still further and to spend more money than it ever has in the past.

The gains from this 37-year effort have been considerable. Not only have scientists acquired much new knowledge about the behavior of various forms of cancer, but some of this new knowledge is already applicable directly to the treatment or prevention of the disease. Many persons are now living who otherwise would have succumbed to cancer long ago.

But problems not foreseen by early researchers have emerged. The more that's learned, the more complex the nature of cancer is realized to be. And while the attack on cancer advances on one front in that the survival rate for certain forms of cancer is markedly improving, the anti-cancer forces are retreating on another front in that the incidence of cancer is rising and has been rising for some time. Meanwhile, the scientific community—and the legislators whose decisions have great impact on the quality and direction of scientific inquiry—are divided over the best strategy to use in this apparently unending war.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Jan. 22, 2016  Fighting Cancer
Jan. 16, 2009  Preventing Cancer
Sep. 11, 1998  Cancer Treatments
Jun. 27, 1997  Breast Cancer
Aug. 25, 1995  Advances in Cancer Research
Jan. 29, 1982  New Cancer Treatments
Aug. 05, 1977  Strategies for Controlling Cancer
Aug. 16, 1974  Quest for Cancer Control
Mar. 24, 1967  Cancer Research Progress
May 12, 1951  Control of Cancer
Biology and Life Sciences