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To the Editor:
—In outlining the cancer program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the need for cancer morbidity statistics was at once apparent. While mortality figures and hospital records for this disease are available and have been freely studied, little is known regarding cancer morbidity in the community at large. Those who die of cancer can be enumerated, but the numbers who recover from this disease are largely estimated. In an effort to determine the extent of the disease in Massachusetts, various mathematical compilations were made; but these are all theoretical and may not even approximate the truth (Cancer in Massachusetts, Boston M. & S. J. 194:388 [March 4] 1926).To offset this lack of knowledge, it has been suggested that cancer be made a reportable disease. In Massachusetts, at least, this would be a distinct innovation, since at present all reportable diseases are communicable. As this
Curtis FG, Bigelow GH. CANCER MORBIDITY. JAMA. 1927;89(10):809-810. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690100071030