In 1900, in what was apparently the first favorable discussion before the American Surgical Association of surgery for carcinoma of the stomach, W. J. Mayo1 argued that the disease was essentially surgical and that the mere suspicion of its existence was justification enough for the physician to request the surgeon to open the abdomen. Five years later, speaking before the same association, he2 demanded that patients with carcinoma of the stomach be admitted directly to surgical wards, just as patients withcarcinoma of the lip and of the breast were admitted directly to them, because the disease could be cured only by surgery and because more patients were dying from it than were dying after operation for it. He spoke with bitterness, for he had recently seen in a medical ward, under the charge of a distinguished internist, 10 patients with gastric carcinoma on whom surgery was not contemplated.
BOYCE FF. CARCINOMA OF THE STOMACH IN A LARGE GENERAL HOSPITALA COMPARATIVE STUDY OF TWO SERIES OF SURGICAL CASES FROM CHARITY HOSPITAL OF LOUISIANA AT NEW ORLEANS. JAMA. 1941;117(20):1670–1675. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820460008002