February 19, 1955


Author Affiliations

Chief Environmental Cancer Section National Cancer Institute Bethesda 14, Md.

JAMA. 1955;157(8):679. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950250053018

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To the Editor:—  The informative paper by Dr. Ian Macdonald entitled "Environmental Factors of Occupational Origin Related to Carcinogenesis," published in the Jan. 1, 1955, issue of The Journal, page 5, contains a statement that may give rise to serious misconceptions as to the degree of controllability of aniline-caused cancer of the bladder that eradication of papillomas and removal of the affected person from further contact with the carcinogen may provide. The claim of almost 100% successful prevention of future development of cancer in an effectively exposed worker is apparently based on the concept that marked variations exist in the susceptibility of different persons to the carcinogenic action of β-naphthylamine and benzidine and that such variations account for the alleged fact that in only 30 to 40% of the exposed workers do precancerous lesions develop.The facts in this matter are as follows. There is adequate industrial evidence that severe

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