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July 22, 1950


JAMA. 1950;143(12):1054-1057. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910470014005

The purpose of this paper is to establish the fact that penile carcinoma is a preventable disease. Evidence that prophylaxis can be established has long been demonstrated in the medical literature. It has been shown that smegma is a carcinogenic agent and, when harbored beneath the foreskin, can produce carcinoma of the penis. In addition there is indirect evidence that carcinoma of the cervix may have a similar origin.

INCIDENCE  The incidence of penile carcinoma has been variously estimated at from 2 to 5 per cent of all carcinoma in males in the United States and Great Britain. Ewell1 states that the majority of cases occur when the patient is between 40 and 60 years of age; however, it is not uncommon before 40 years. Wolbarst2 estimates that 225 Americans die annually of penile carcinoma, as do about 150 Britons in England and Wales. Lenowitz and Graham3

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