Executive Summary Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second most frequent cause of cancer death among American men. The number of reported cases of prostate cancer has increased in the past twenty years, but this may be largely due to increases in detection of the disease. Whether the actual number of prostate cancer cases changed during this time period is uncertain.
To the Editor: When Dr. Samuel Epstein (letter, March 15) refers to "the cancer epidemic," he apparently believes that if he and his activist cohorts repeat a falsehood often enough, the American public will come to believe it. The facts, however, prove that the opposite is true: according to statistics published by the National Cancer Institute, and endorsed by the American Cancer Society, cancer incidence and mortality rates have been declining over the past five years.
New York, NY March 19, 1998. A large-scale study conducted by a group of Finnish and American researchers has been cited as possible evidence that older men should begin taking vitamin E daily to prevent prostate cancer. The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) cautions against this because of the known risk of bleeding complications due to daily use of vitamin E. The ATBC Cancer Prevention Study researchers reported that they found a 32-percent reduction in prostate cancer incidence, and a 41-percent reduction in prostate cancer deaths, among their study population randomly assigned to take a daily dose of alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E).
New York, NY March, 1998. A self-styled consumer group is distorting scientific research to scare the public about a perfectly safe product milk from cows treated with genetically engineered bovine somatotropin, or rBST the American Council on Science and Health announced today. ACSH, a consortium of more than 250 scientists, was responding to unfounded charges by Dr. Samuel Epstein of the Cancer Prevention Coalition that milk from such cows will lead to elevated levels of a hormone called IGF-1 which in turn will cause increased risk of prostate cancer.
This report was originally written by Alan C. Fisher, Dr.P.H., and Wendy Worth, Ph.D. It was revised by Debra A. Mayer, M.P.H., a Research Associate in Epidemiology at the American Council on Science and Health. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -