Some Reviews and Comments Comments on the Book,
Preventing Breast Cancer: The Story of a Major, Proven,
Preventable Cause of This Disease,
by John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D., 1995.
for the 1995, First Edition: 339 pages, August 1995.
Committee for Nuclear Responsibility Inc.,
Post Office Box 421993
San Francisco, CA 94142-1993
- "Gofman considers radiation a prime cause ... of breast cancer, and he documents his claim both here and in his new book ... It's a story that must be told. We hope it moves you to action." --- Susan Millar Perry, Editor-in-Chief of Longevity Magazine, February 1995.
- "Dr. John Gofman, an emeritus professor at the University of California at Berkeley and an expert on the effects of radiation ... has estimated that at least two-thirds of current breast cancer cases are the result of radiation exposure received up to 60 years ago. While other experts dispute the extent of radiation-induced cancers, few deny the hazards [of accumulated breast-irradiation]." --- Jane E. Brody, health columnist for the New York Times, in the "Personal Health" column, May 17, 1995.
- "Gofman claims that up to 75% of all breast cancers seen today may have been caused by ionizing radiation from medical x-rays. If Gofman is right, the message is heartbreaking ... Gofman's critics say he has vastly overstated the incidence of x-ray-induced breast cancer ... Even if Dr. Gofman's numbers are off, he has highlighted the havoc well-meaning technology can wreak when pushed too far." --- Joan O'C Hamilton with Neil Gross, "X-Rays under Fire," in Business Week, May 22, 1995.
- "I have just finished reading a remarkable new book by John W. Gofman, entitled Preventing Breast Cancer. Gofman calculates that 75% of all cases of breast cancer found today were caused by the large amount of medical x-ray used from about 1910 on ... I didn't believe it, so I decided to check it out ... I believe that Gofman has made the best estimate, to date, of the effect of radiation as a cause of breast cancer." --- Dr. H. Ira Pilgrim, retired cancer biologist, in "Ira's Corner," (a newspaper health column), June 9, 1995.
- "This book is very readable and understandable ... and obviously important for understanding female breast-cancer incidence. Gofman's evidence for a very substantial number of breast cancers having been caused by medical practices is beyond a reasonable doubt. " --- Prof. Allen B. Benson, Ph.D., author of the book, Radioactive Fallout: Hanford's Radioactive Iodine-131 Releases (1989).
- "In his new book, Dr. Gofman presents compelling evidence that 75 percent of today's breast cancer cases were triggered by medical x-rays ... Dr. Gofman sees women as the greatest hope for preventing breast cancer in future generations: Women who are educated on the risks of radiation and who protect their daughters and granddaughters from unnecessary exposure." Nancy Evans, ex-president of Breast Cancer Action (San Francisco) and member of the steering committee of the National Action Program on Breast Cancer (a joint governmental-NGO effort).
- "I fully agree with Dr. Gofman's position that we must reduce the amount of ionizing radiation delivered in connection with diagnostic procedures other than mammography." Arthur Ulene, M.D., former medical correspondent for the National Broadcasting Corporation.
- "This book has it all ... Do yourself and your loved-ones a favor: read Preventing Breast Cancer --- and get active." Michael Colby, Executive Director of Food and Water, Inc. (Vermont).
- "Reducing radiation to women's breasts would definitely reduce the number of future breast cancers; of this there can be no doubt. John Gofman's new book examines this problem head on." --- Rachel's Environment and Health Weekly #443, May 25, 1995.
- "Dr. John Gofman, probably the greatest scientist to emerge from the radiation era, has written a new book that should make the medical profession stand up and take notice ... [He] argues that 75% of all breast cancers are caused by ionizing radiation, predominantly medical x-rays. Gofman also notes that radiation is one of the few absolutely proven causes of breast cancer ... You need this book." --- Nuclear Information and Resource Service, May 22, 1995.
- Preventing Breast Cancer "will convince most [readers] that x-rays have played a decidedly important role in the high breast-cancer rate in the United States ... I urgently request those who employ x-rays to study Gofman's monograph." --- Prof. James C. Warf, author of the book, All Things Nuclear (1990).
- "Gofman is doing a service by pointing out the reality of the risk. Whether or not it [radiation exposure] is the most important risk factor for breast cancer remains to be substantiated." --- William E. Morton, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland.
- "I think Gofman is making a very important contribution. There's growing evidence to show that past uses of radiation may explain some part of the increase in breast cancer." Devra Lee Davis, Ph.D., MPH, senior advisor to the Asst. Secretary for Health, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, in Your Health, Vol.34, No.12, June 13,1995.
- "This book uniquely exemplifies science in the public interest." --- Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Illinois, Chicago; author of the book, The Politics of Cancer (1979), and others.
- Susan Love, M.D., Director of the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center and author of America's most popular "breast book," as videotaped May 19, 1995, at a major lecture in San Francisco:
Commenting on Dr. Gofman's book, in which he concludes 75 percent of current breast-cancer cases were induced by earlier exposure to medical x-rays: "I'm not sure it's quite that high, but I'm sure that a lot of the breast-cancer we're seeing now can be explained by that. Back when we were kids, they were using radiation for all kinds of things, and people really were not aware of the risk. We used radiation for everything ... all of those people have a higher risk of breast-cancer later on. So there is no question that it does explain some of the increase. I'm not sure I'd go as far as saying 75 %."
- Women's Community Cancer Project, Cambridge, Massachusetts:
"In the midst of a bleak epidemic, Dr. Gofman's message is hopeful: If medical radiation is one significant cause of cancer, then real prevention becomes possible. Reducing radiation to women's breasts would reduce the future number of breast cancers. The Women's Community Cancer Project has long focused on the impact of environmental carcinogens, such as radiation and pesticides. We believe that low-level carcinogenic insults accumulate and, together, form a significant cancer risk. As such, we applaud Dr. Gofman's research efforts and endorse his proposed steps to act now to reduce X-ray frequency and dose, as presented at the end of the book. "
- - Gayle Greene, Ph.D., and Vicki Ratner, M.D., commenting on the book:
"Fascinating. The book gives eye-opening documentation of some horrendous practices, and is an important contribution to our understanding of breast cancer and its prevention."
- Review of Preventing Breast Cancer by Gofman in the Library Journal (USA), August 1995:
"[Dr. Gofman's] research is groundbreaking, and his earlier books on the subject are considered landmarks. Here, he estimates that 75 percent of breast cancer in women is the direct result of earlier overexposure to radiation by well-meaning but foolish doctors ... Reading this book may be a rough slog for generalists but will be well worth the effort for those, especially women, who are concerned about their children and their children's children. Highly recommended."
- Mortimer Mendelsohn, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Director of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima --- the organization in charge of the Atomic-Bomb Survivor Study. From the program "The X-Ray Effect." (about Dr. Gofman's book), produced by London's 20/20 TV and broadcast August 3, 1995, over Britain's Carlton television network:
"John Gofman is a superb analyst and has always been at the cutting edge of medical science, particularly when it comes to protecting people."
- Edward P. Radford, M.D., epidemiologist and Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (which wrote the BEIR-3 Report). From the program "The X-Ray Effect." (about Dr. Gofman's book), produced by London's 20/20 TV and broadcast August 3, 1995, over Britain's Carlton television network (Channel 3):
"Dr. Gofman is owed a debt of gratitude by the scientific community because he was one of the first people to raise the issue of cancer risks from radiation exposure."
- Andrew A. Skolnick, reporter for "Medical News & Perspectives," in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., Vol. 274, No. 5, pp.367-368, August 2, 1995:
"A respected authority on the biological effects of ionizing radiation has just published a book claiming that the vast majority of breast cancers in the United States were caused by the high doses of medical x-rays that women often received in the decades before the carcinogenic effects of radiation were recognized."
- Clark W. Heath, Jr., M.D., American Cancer Society (V.P. for epidemiology and surveillance research), claims that Dr. Gofman is "a very good radiation physicist who has had a remarkable career" but who is wrong about his 75 % estimate. In the same article (Journal of the American Medical Assn., August 2, 1995, p.368), Heath also says:
"Gofman's idea that breast tissue is sensitive to ionizing radiation, especially at younger ages, is quite correct. And he rightly points out that fluoroscopy has often been abused. Although not new, this general message --- I'm sure radiologists will agree --- needs repeating."
- Dr. Colin Muirhead and Dr. Chris Sharp of Britain's National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) assert that Dr. Gofman's 75% estimate is wrong. In the same article (Radiological Protection Bulletin, No. 168, August 1995, p.13) they also say:
"Dr. Gofman's book is ingenuously written, persuasive, and easily readable by the non-expert."
- Alice M. Stewart, M.D., epidemiologist at Birmingham University Hospital, and principal investigator of the Oxford Study; it was the first study (1956) to show excess childhood cancer and leukemia from exposure to medical x-rays in the womb. From the program "The X-Ray Effect" (about Dr. Gofman's book), produced by London's 20/20 TV and broadcast August 3, 1995, over Britain's Carlton television network:
"The real reason that he [Gofman] is being objected to at the moment is that nobody likes to have to challenge the methods of x-raying that are going on. It's a sort of challenge to medicine's favorite toy."
- Rosalie Bertell, Ph.D., GNSH, International Institute of Concern for Public Health in Toronto, commenting on the book:
"Gofman's handling of the high relative risk for young women was superb."