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May 2, 1953


Author Affiliations

Cancer Commission California Medical Association 450 Sutter St., San Francisco 8.

JAMA. 1953;152(1):75. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690010081027

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To the Editor:  —The Cancer Commission of the California Medical Association is anxious to help in the development of all practical methods that might lead to the earlier diagnosis of cancer. In this it has the cooperation of the parent state medical association and its members; however, various wellmeaning representatives of governmental and voluntary agencies periodically recommend detection programs that the commission believes to be unwise or unsound. Further, these proponents frequently imply that a detection procedure is a technical or quasi-lay procedure while diagnosis is admittedly a medical procedure. In order to help clarify this particular end of the problem, the commission recently adopted the following statement of policy on diagnosis and detection.Diagnosis is the cornerstone of modern clinical medicine. It requires accurate observation and rational deduction. In its most complete form it is the process of identifying a disease by consideration of the history, symptoms, physical signs,

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