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June 29, 1935


Author Affiliations

From the Cancer Commission of Harvard University and the Surgical Service of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.

JAMA. 1935;104(26):2326-2329. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760260014005

The problem of tar cancer in fishermen was brought to my attention by an interesting case observed in the surgical wards of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. A brief summary of this case follows:

R. C., a healthy-appearing laborer, aged 41, admitted in September 1932, had a moderately painful swelling of the right side of the neck which had been present for six months. This was at first taken to represent tuberculous lymphadenitis, and the patient was treated for a month in the outdoor department with the ultraviolet lamp. Since there was no improvement he was sent into the hospital, where a mass of hard adherent tissue was removed, which proved microscopically to be epidermoid carcinoma involving the lymph nodes and invading the submaxillary gland. The primary source of the growth, however, was obscure, since there was no discernible lesion about the mouth. Finally the chance observation of a very

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