May 29, 1948


Author Affiliations


Dr. Churchill is John Hornans Professor of Surgery, Harvard University, and Chief of the General Surgical Services, Massachusetts General Hospital.

JAMA. 1948;137(5):455-461. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.82890390001008

Primary carcinoma of the lung is a common disease that is usually not difficult to detect even in its early stages. The constructive results of surgical extirpation are favorable when compared with other visceral malignant tumors, and, more important, steady improvement is being recorded. In the past decade the medical profession has made real progress toward earlier diagnosis of this disease, and there are many reasons to believe that the time lag between onset and recognition will be still further reduced. During the same period many of the technical obstacles to the successful surgical management of pulmonary cancer have been surmounted. The operative mortality rate at first appeared formidable because advanced and oftentimes hopeless cases were being approached with technics that were inadequate at the best. As technical problems were solved and more favorable stages of the disease recognized, the operative hazards have been reduced correspondingly.

The problem of primary

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