Article

Clinical Aspects of the Cancer Problem

Abstract

It is not my purpose at this time to discuss the laboratory studies of cancer nor to make any references to the enormous literature on different phases of this vast subject, but rather to draw certain conclusions from the experience of my associates and myself in the treatment of 7,005 cases of cancer.

It is obvious that no one general rule of treatment, whether by surgery, irradiation or both can apply equally to malignant tumors of the different organs and tissues. Two general rules may, however, be stated and should be emphasized: (1) when possible every precancerous lesion should be removed; and (2) an established cancer should be removed radically if it is operable; if inoperable then palliative surgery or radiation or both should be applied.

From the mass of investigations into the cause and treatment of cancer no other safe method of dealing with a cancer has as yet evolved. From all of these studies which have included the incidence of cancer in relation to race, climate, age and the bodily tissues, method of growth, the effects of various physical and chemical agents, we have learned one sure fact, namely, that cancer, whether of the external and visible parts or of the internal, invisible organs, obeys one general law of growth, and the old dictum based entirely upon clinical experience is established more uniformly than ever — namely, that the one and only cure for cancer is its early and complete removal. It is probable that with extending knowledge of. . .


 

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