Medicine: Combatting the Crab

"The Crab loves people. Once he's grabbed you with his pincers, he won't let go until you croak."

Spoken by a cynical patient in Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward, the statement conveys the fatalism that many people feel about the congeries of diseases called cancer. One out of every four Americans can expect to develop the disease during his lifetime. Despite this toll, there is evidence that the crab's grip is at last being loosened.

As physicians and researchers gathered in Los Angeles last week for the seventh National Cancer Conference sponsored by the American Cancer...

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