Historical Events

Dr. Stanton Hooker thinks cancer is a disease of civilization caused by wrong eating.

Eclecticism in Cancer Therapy

In October 1926, the frequently dissident New York journal Cancer published an article from London by Dr. Stanton Hooker, “Eclecticism in Cancer Therapy.” This, in effect, was favorable to the nineteenth-century, or medical-missionary, approach and deplored concentration upon producing cancer in beasts artificially and then watching them sicken and die — all with the hope, of course, of finding out how to stop the trouble the experimenters themselves had started, they talking optimistically meanwhile. Said Dr. Hooker:

“There is, as a matter of fact, a growing group of independent thinkers — both lay and professional — who are anything but impressed with the story of the discovery and isolation of the ‘cancer germ’ ... Mr. Ellis Barker has also written reiterating his views in common with those of Sir Arbuthnot Lane, my own, and many others, that cancer is a disease of civilization, caused by wrong eating, drinking, and other factors ...”

Hooker quotes Sir Arbuthnot Lane: “‘Possibly some cancer research institution may find a cure for cancer, but the chance of their doing so is infinitely small.’” Implying that we already know that cancer is prevented or retarded by certain diets, promoted by others, Hooker says, “The medical slogan of the near future will be: ‘Prevention is better than cure ...’” Hooker paraphrases Dr. Hastings Gilford: “His general statement is that civilization is the cause of cancer.”

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