Historical Events

Dr. William Howard Hay: Is it possible the cause of cancer is our departure from native foods?

Cancer a Disease of Either Election or Ignorance.

In the July 1927 issue of Cancer is an article by Dr. William Howard Hay of Buffalo, N.Y., “Cancer a Disease of Either Election or Ignorance.” The trend is the same as that of Hooker's article, favoring the nineteenth-century approach to the cancer problem and with a strengthened attack upon the twentieth-century version:

“Think back over the years of cancer research, of the millions spent, the time consumed, the pains expended ... and where are we today? Is it not time to take stock of our basic conception, to see if there is not something radically wrong with this to account for the years of utter and complete failure to date? ... Cancer has been consistently on the increase ... since the advent of the Society for the Control of Cancer; with the millions of endowed effort, this increase has been accelerated ...

“A study of the distribution of cancer, among the races of the entire earth, shows a cancer ratio in about the proportion to which civilized living predominates; so evidently something inherent in the habits of civilization is responsible for the difference of cancer incidence as compared with the uncivilized races and tribes. Climate has nothing to do with this difference, as witness the fact that tribes living naturally will show a complete absence of cancer till mixture with more civilized man corrupts the naturalness of habit; and just as these habits conform to those civilizations, even so does cancer begin to show its head ...

“Is it possible the cause of cancer is our departure from natural foods? It would surely look so to any man from Mars; but we have so long lived on processed foods ... that we are in a state of unbalanced nutrition from birth ... we have come to regard these foods as the hallmark of civilization, when it is a fact that these very foods set the stage for every sort of ill, including cancer ...”

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