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November 11, 1974


Author Affiliations

Naples, Fla

JAMA. 1974;230(6):822. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240060012009

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To the Editor.—  The topics in radiology/therapy article (229:328, 1974) discusses the treatment of Hodgkin disease, in which the term "curable" is given as advice to patients."Cure" has a definitive connotation, one in which the patient may interpret as a guarantee that could prove embarrassing to the physician in the event of litigation. In my opinion, it would be more prudent, in dealing with the Hodgkin disease patient, to use the term "survival," since in the medical literature it is well documented that recurrences may become apparent even after 20 years."Cure" is a trap in the field of medicine; the term, however, is quite appropriate when applied to a shed of tobacco leaf.