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JAMA 100 Years Ago
December 14, 2005


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2005;294(22):2920. doi:10.1001/jama.294.22.2920-a

One of the interesting phases of the discussions on cancer at the recent annual meeting1 of the New York State Medical Association was the fact that the majority of the surgeons who took part in the discussion on the etiology and prophylaxis of cancer, insisted on the possibility of the disease being communicated from one person to another. It has long been a perplexing matter to explain why certain houses have seemed to be much more liable to have cancer patients than others, in spite of the fact that the successive families that moved into them bore no relationship to each other. It has been pointed out, too, that cancer seemed to spread along water courses and, having found lodgment in a certain part of the country, to rage there with more virulence than in other parts, though no climatic or dietetic conditions could be suggested to explain this apparent increase of virulence.

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