Environmental Cancer Risk

The President’s Cancer Panel sounds the alarm on environmental cancer risks.

A page from the 2008-2009 annual report of the President's Cancer Panel.

A page from the 2008-2009 annual report of the President's Cancer Panel.

The big messages we tend to get on cancer: Don’t smoke. Don’t have cancer in the family. Don’t get sunburned.

A controversial new report out last week from the President’s Cancer Panel says we need to pull the curtain back much wider to look at potential carcinogens in our food, our water, our cleaning cabinets, our environment.

Cancer caused by environmental factors has been “grossly underestimated,” said the panel, with a tough eye on the untested sea of chemicals that surround us.

The American Cancer Society has pushed back.

This Hour, On Point: why we get cancer, and the threats in our environment.


Margaret Kripke, immunologist, professor, and chair emerita at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.  She’s a member of the President’s Cancer Panel. That panel’s new report, out last week, is “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now.”

Graham Colditz, epidemiologist and associate director of prevention and control at the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine. He blogs at “Cancer News in Context.”

Sandra Steingraber, ecologist, author, and cancer survivor. She has been hailed as the “new Rachel Carson” by the Sierra Club. She is author of “Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment,” and the subject of a new documentary based on her book.


Watch the trailer for the documentary Living Downstream:

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Nov 24, 2015
This photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 shows fuel tanks  hit during the attack of Russian warplanes in Syria. Russian warplanes on Monday attacked oil extraction, transport and refinement facilities in areas controlled by Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

ISIS, Inc. The terrorist organization is raking in billions –from oil, grain, antiquities, and taxes. We look at how to break the ISIS bank. Plus, Turkey downs a Russian plane. We’ll have the latest.

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An archival image of a McKinley - Hobart Presidential Campaign Poster from 1896. (Public Domain / WikiCommons)

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(Clockwise From Top Left) Filmmaker Lindsay Catherine Harris, Ko Smith, Kailya Warren and Bryant Koger in still images from Harris' "Evoking the Mulatto" multimedia project. (Courtesy the Filmmaker)

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In this file photo released May 14, 2015 by a militant website, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, a member of the Islamic State group's vice police known as "Hisba," right, reads a verdict handed down by an Islamic court sentencing many they accused of adultery to lashing, in Raqqa City, Syria. (AP)

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen says the US needs to step up in the fight against ISIS. But there’s a caution flag, too. We’ll dive in.

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