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Vitamin C and cancer : medicine or politics?

Author: Evelleen Richards
Publisher: Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire : Macmillan, 1991.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats

A study of the development and rejection of vitamin C as a treatment for cancer, this text also explores the evaluation process of such a contentious treatment. Based on social, economic and  Read more...


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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Evelleen Richards
ISBN: 0333444191 9780333444191
OCLC Number: 24174528
Description: xii, 269 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Part 1 Interested parties and the background to the controversy: charting the terrain - introducing vitamin C, the battle field, the treatment of cancer, national differences in medical organization and practice, cancer clinical trials; the vitamin C "believers" - Linus Pauling, Ewan Cameron, the Linus Pauling Institute, the Robinson affair, megavitamin therapy and orthomolecular medicine, the holistic health movement and the "freedom fighters" for freedom of choice in cancer treatments, the health food industry; the vitamin C "non-believers" - Dr Charles Moertel, the Cancer Establishment, the National Cancer Institute, the food and drug administration, the American Cancer Society, orthodox nutritionists, "quackbusters", and the fight against "nutritional quackery", "The New England Journal of Medicine" and the profession of medicine. Part 2 Reconstructing the controversy: the Cameron-Pauling hypothesis and the vale of Leven trials - the Cameron-Pauling hypothesis: vitamin C and PHI, the pilot vale of Leven trials, the PNAS affair, Cameron's pilot trial findings and his presentation strategy, refining the vale of Leven trials, publicity, a time of optimism, the conclusion of the Sloan-Kettering trial; the first Mayo clinic trial - Pauling's "head-on collision with the scientific method"? - the first Mayo clinic trial, the second Mayo clinic trial is announced, Pauling, Moertel, and the Laetrile controversy, of mice and men, Cameron's continuing research; the second Mayo clinic trial - "a conspiracy to suppress the truth"? - the 2nd Mayo clinic trial, the Pauling-Cameron criticisms, ploys and tactics, the publication game, closing the controversy. Part 3 The politics of therapeutic evaluation: the social shaping of the vitamin C and cancer controversy - the social negotiation of the efficacy of vitamin C as a cancer treatment, more negotiations - the social character of the publication process, fact-making and the media, with a law suit on the side, the importance of rhetoric, the rhetorical deployment and malleability of ethical claims, the centrality of method discourse - its rhetorical and political functions; comparative analysis of the controversy - vitamin C, 5-fluorouracil, and interferon - 5-fluorouracil - "The breakthrough that never was" as conventional cancer treatment, the adjudicating community - the profession of medicine, interferon-from "pseudoscience" to professionally accredited cancer treatment. Part 4 Making and creating choices: options and pressures for change, implications of this study for the evaluation and social implementation of therapies.
Responsibility: Evelleen Richards.


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