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October 8, 1973

The Incidence of Cancer in Married Couples

Author Affiliations

Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem

JAMA. 1973;226(2):201. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230020047030

To the Editor.—  Cancer in married couples is uncommon and, therefore, only rarely dealt with in the literature. Some cases of Hodgkin disease in married couples have been described in the past by Mazar and Straus1 and De Vore and Doan.2 Recently, Robertson (217:1553, 1971) reported a case of malignant melanoma in both husband and wife. Marshall (218:1831, 1971) dealt briefly with the possibility of coincidence vs contagion and added the case of another couple in which the husband suffered from teratocarcinoma and the wife from cervical carcinoma.These reports provided us with the impetus to summarize the incidence of the appearance of malignant tumors in both husband and wife, both of whom are patients in the Department of Oncology at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel. During the years 1958 to 1972 (a period of 15 years), approximately 20,000 new cancer patients were referred to our