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Cancer and Tumors in Old Time Radio

By the time of the Golden Age of Radio, cancer was still feared but there was growing hope that the disease could be treated, controlled, and eventually cured through the efforts of the American Cancer Society.

19 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 9 hours, 10 min)
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1 MP3 CD
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10 Audio CDs


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"Cancer Crusade Program 1952"



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About this Old Time Radio Show

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Cancer Advertisement 1940sPhantasms, boogiemen, curses, ghosts, and monsters have plagued mankind since the time tribal bands first gathered around a communal campfire to share stories. None of them are as frightening as the disease cancer. "The Big C" was little understood until the advent of modern medicine, although physicians in antiquity sometimes noticed their patients developing a tumor or growth on their skin in the shape of a crab. The shape of the tumor is how the zodiac sign Cancer the Crab got its name. Usually, this growth or tumor would be benign and harmless, but in some instances, it would grow uncontrollably until it caused further disease and death.

The medical definition of cancer is a disease of abnormal cell growth which can spread to other parts of the body. Normally, cells grow and die at a somewhat balanced rate, but a cancerous growth can harm surrounding tissue by blocking blood vessels and passageways, preventing the proper absorption of nutrients, and interfering with the proper functioning of vital organs. In some cases, practitioners are able to surgically remove cancerous growths. Often, the cancer spreads before surgery can be effective. Modern treatment options include radiation and chemicals, but these can be as dangerous as the cancer itself.

Inventors of Pap testFor many years, cancer was considered a death sentence and was simply not talked about in polite society. By the time of the Golden Age of Radio, cancer was still feared but there was growing hope that the disease could be treated, controlled, and eventually cured. The source of this understanding came largely through the efforts of the American Cancer Society. The Society sponsors research and awareness campaigns, but their operations require a good deal of money. Several of the entertainment shows in this collection were sponsored by the Cancer Society as part of their fund appeal, including an episode of The Aldrich Family where the family faces their cancer fears and goes for a screening.

A cancer diagnosis is such a scary thing that there is little wonder that it would figure into the plot of Suspense episodes like "The Taming of the Beast" where an unscrupulous doctor delights in his wife's cancer diagnosis. In the The Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of "Dark Victory", a spoiled heiress is diagnosed with incurable brain cancer but her doctor falls in love with her (the story appeared on Lux a year before the film starring Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart was released, and again with Davis in the lead several months afterward). Cancer fears move from dramatic fiction to history with the story of President Grover Cleveland who was diagnosed and treated for cancer while dealing with a serious economic crisis. President Cleveland's story is related on Mr. President and The Cavalcade of America.

As scary as a cancer diagnosis can be, the hope for a cure can fuel international intrigue, at least in the word of spy fiction. Both The Silent Men and The Man Called X see operatives seeking the secrets which could lead to a cure. Sadly, that cure is not always in time, the episode of CBS Radio Mystery Theatre titled "The Ring of Truth" was broadcast on March 29, 1974, just a month before cancer claimed its star, Agnes Moorehead.

See also: The Doctor FightsMedicine USA, Medical MilestonesMedical File, Doctor John Brinkley (Medical Quack), Quack Doctors in Old Time Radio,  and Vaccines and Plagues.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:
  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    19 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 9 hours, 10 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      19 shows - total playtime 9 hours 10 minutes
      1. Babe Didrikson Zaharias Sports Show 540000 Tampa Florida.mp3
      2. Cancer Crusade Program 520000 Can Baseball Made Even Better.mp3
      3. Cavalcade Of America 490117 Secret Operation.mp3
      4. CBSRMT 740126 Ring Of Truth.mp3
      5. Iwcf 530812 69 Very Private Funeral.mp3
      6. Let Freedom Sing 520000 First Song Forth And Back.mp3
      7. Lux Radio Theater 380404 170 Dark Victory.mp3
      8. Lux Radio Theater 400108 245 Dark Victory Repeat.mp3
      9. Man Called X 501027 03 Journey To Xenephon.mp3
      10. March Of Time 360528 Black Cancer.mp3
      11. Martin And Lewis Show 520418 069 Boris Karloff.mp3
      12. Meet Press 610423 Dr I S Ravdin And Dr Sydney Farber.mp3
      13. Mr President 470703 Grover Cleveland.mp3
      14. Of These We Sing 520000 First Song Oh What Beautiful Morning.mp3
      15. Silent Men 520514 29 Miracle Cure.mp3
      16. Songs That Never Die 601218 Tribute To John Charles Thomas.mp3
      17. Suspense 450329 Taming Of Beast.mp3
      18. Walter Winchell 490327 Bert Parks Wife Has Baby.mp3
      19. X Minus One 560710 Bad Medicine.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    19 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 9 hours, 10 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      19 shows - total playtime 9 hours 10 minutes
      1. Babe Didrikson Zaharias Sports Show 540000 Tampa Florida.mp3
      2. Cancer Crusade Program 520000 Can Baseball Made Even Better.mp3
      3. Cavalcade Of America 490117 Secret Operation.mp3
      4. CBSRMT 740126 Ring Of Truth.mp3
      5. Iwcf 530812 69 Very Private Funeral.mp3
      6. Let Freedom Sing 520000 First Song Forth And Back.mp3
      7. Lux Radio Theater 380404 170 Dark Victory.mp3
      8. Lux Radio Theater 400108 245 Dark Victory Repeat.mp3
      9. Man Called X 501027 03 Journey To Xenephon.mp3
      10. March Of Time 360528 Black Cancer.mp3
      11. Martin And Lewis Show 520418 069 Boris Karloff.mp3
      12. Meet Press 610423 Dr I S Ravdin And Dr Sydney Farber.mp3
      13. Mr President 470703 Grover Cleveland.mp3
      14. Of These We Sing 520000 First Song Oh What Beautiful Morning.mp3
      15. Silent Men 520514 29 Miracle Cure.mp3
      16. Songs That Never Die 601218 Tribute To John Charles Thomas.mp3
      17. Suspense 450329 Taming Of Beast.mp3
      18. Walter Winchell 490327 Bert Parks Wife Has Baby.mp3
      19. X Minus One 560710 Bad Medicine.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    19 recordings on 10 Audio CDs
    total playtime 9 hours, 10 min

    Cancer and Tumors Disc A001

    1. March Of Time 360528 Black Cancer

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    Cancer and Tumors Disc A002

    1. Lux Radio Theater 380404 170 Dark Victory

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    Cancer and Tumors Disc A003

    1. Lux Radio Theater 400108 245 Dark Victory Repeat

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    Cancer and Tumors Disc A004

    1. Suspense 450329 Taming Of Beast
    2. Mr President 470703 Grover Cleveland

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    Cancer and Tumors Disc A005

    1. Cavalcade Of America 490117 Secret Operation
    2. Walter Winchell 490327 Bert Parks Wife Has Baby
    3. Man Called X 501027 03 Journey To Xenephon

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    Cancer and Tumors Disc A006

    1. Cancer Crusade Program 520000 Can Baseball Made Even Better
    2. Let Freedom Sing 520000 First Song Forth And Back
    3. Of These We Sing 520000 First Song Oh What Beautiful Morning
    4. Martin And Lewis Show 520418 069 Boris Karloff

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    Cancer and Tumors Disc A007

    1. Silent Men 520514 29 Miracle Cure
    2. Iwcf 530812 69 Very Private Funeral
    3. Babe Didrikson Zaharias Sports Show 540000 Tampa Florida

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    Cancer and Tumors Disc A008

    1. X Minus One 560710 Bad Medicine
    2. Songs That Never Die 601218 Tribute To John Charles Thomas

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    Cancer and Tumors Disc A009

    1. Meet Press 610423 Dr I S Ravdin And Dr Sydney Farber

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    Cancer and Tumors Disc A010

    1. CBSRMT 740126 Ring Of Truth

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