January 1, 1913
Nobel laureate Albert Schweitzer: This absence of cancer seemed to me due to the difference in nutrition of the natives as compared with the Europeans ...
Cancer: Its Nature, Cause and Cure
An even more striking proof that a prophecy may be familiar to those who have forgotten the name of the prophet, is found in the already mentioned, important Cancer: Its Nature, Cause and Cure, published in English during 1957 at Paris by Dr. Alexander Berglas of the Pasteur Institute. Throughout the book runs the theme that cancer is a disease from which the nature peoples are relatively or wholly free. A most noteworthy statement of this view is contributed by Nobel laureate Albert Schweitzer in a preface from which I quote by permission of Dr. Berglas.
The sketch of Schweitzer begins, “Missionary surgeon, founder of the hospital at Lambaréné ...” The Schweitzer preface includes:
“On my arrival in Gabon, in 1913, I was astonished to encounter no case of cancer ... I can not, of course, say positively that there was no cancer at all, but, like other frontier doctors, I can only say that if any cases existed they must have been quite rare. This absence of cancer seemed to me due to the difference in nutrition of the natives as compared with the Europeans ...
“In the course of the years, we have seen cases of cancer in growing numbers in our region. My observations incline me to attribute this to the fact that the natives were living more and more after the manner of the whites ...
"I have naturally been interested in any research tracing the occurrence of cancer to some defect in our mode of nutrition ...”