El mundo del cáncer

PITTSBURGH – En 1971, el presidente Richard M. Nixon emprendió una “guerra” contra el cáncer, pero casi cuatro décadas más tarde, la batalla sigue centrada en los esfuerzos altamente rentables dirigidos a desarrollar medicamentos y tecnologías para tratar la enfermedad mientras que prácticamente se ignoran los factores ambientales que la causan.

Es cierto que las muertes por cáncer han disminuido principalmente por los esfuerzos, muy demorados y que aún tienen poco apoyo, para reducir el hábito de fumar. Los éxitos en la detección y el tratamiento del cáncer del seno, del colon y cervical también han ayudado.

Pero los negros y otras minorías en Estados Unidos –y en otras partes del mundo- no comparten los éxitos, y los factores ambientales aparentemente explican las disparidades. Por ejemplo, mientras que uno de cada ocho estadounidenses es negro, uno de cada tres trabaja en la recolección de basura o como obrero. Además, tienen la mitad del nivel de vitamina D, que protege contra el cáncer, que los blancos y es más probable que vivan en barrios contaminados.

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