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March 12, 1938

Report of the Eighth Australian Cancer Conference Held at Canberra, 13th-16th April, 1937

JAMA. 1938;110(11):838. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790110064031

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This is a report of the efforts of the Australian government and of the individual Australian states to educate the public in the importance of early diagnosis and also to train the physician in the methods of treating neoplasms, especially in the use of radium, in which the commonwealth has staged an interesting experiment. Ten Gm. of radium has been purchased and radon is sent throughout the country to qualified physicians, the use of the element itself being restricted to a few large hospitals. Tables of deaths from malignant disease from 1908 to 1935 are given, showing that the recorded death rate has nearly doubled in this period and, in addition, analyses of the different types of neoplasms showing, for example, that cancer of the tongue is some twenty times more frequent in males than in females. There are also tables showing the extraordinary frequency of cancer of the skin in Australia, a fact which has been used to buttress the idea that sunlight is a causative agent

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