From Silent Spring Institute 3/8/2012:
Fifty years ago....Rachel Carson Was Right

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962, Chapter 14: One in Four
… as we pour our millions into research and invest all our hopes in vast programs to find cures for established cases of cancer, we are neglecting the golden opportunity to prevent, even while we seek to cure….

The task is by no means a hopeless one. In one important respect the outlook is more encouraging than the situation regarding infectious disease at the turn of the century. The world was then full of disease germs, as today it is full of carcinogens. But man did not put the germs into the environment and his role in spreading them was involuntary. In contrast, man has put the vast majority of carcinogens into the environment, and he can, if he wishes, eliminate many of them…

It would be unrealistic to suppose that all chemical carcinogens can or will be eliminated from the modern world. But a very large proportion are by no means necessities of life. By their elimination the total load of carcinogens would be enormously lightened, and the threat that one in every four will develop cancer would at least be greatly mitigated.

The most determined efforts should be made to eliminate those carcinogens that now contaminate our food, our water supplies, and our atmosphere, because they provide the most dangerous type of contact – minute exposures, repeated over and over through the years…. For those in whom cancer is already a hidden or a visible presence, efforts to find cures must of course continue. But for those not yet touched by the disease and certainly for the generations as yet unborn, prevention is the imperative need.