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December 6, 1958


Author Affiliations

1305 Franklin St. Oakland 12, Calif.

JAMA. 1958;168(14):1930. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.03000140092027

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To the Editor:—  We are conducting a pilot study at the mental hygiene clinic of the Veterans Administration using motivational research techniques to determine why intelligent people (including physicians) do not have routine cancer checks. One factor which emerges is that "one out of four" is usually read, "one out of four others, not me!" The Public Education Review Committee of the American Cancer Society recommended in 1956 that primary emphasis be placed an annual health checkup examinations for adults, however well they may feel, and continued but secondary emphasis on danger signals. It has been observed that the society's three-legged stool—research, service, and education—has one decidedly short leg, and that short leg is education. We have evidence that some physicians give little or no support for the short leg. Unless we have routine cancer examinations we will continue to operate on late cancer. Every physician has a potential cancer

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