July 11, 1980

Care of the Patient With Advanced Cancer

Author Affiliations

Comprehensive Cancer Center Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minn

JAMA. 1980;244(2):175. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310020051031

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During 1980 cancer will afflict more than 700,000 Americans, and some 400,000 Americans will die of cancer. As a cause of death, cancer is second only to heart disease. Certainly from the standpoint of emotional impact of disease it is second to none. As such, cancer presents a major challenge to the practicing physician in every area of medicine from surgery, therapeutic radiology, and medical oncology to dermatology, psychiatry, and family practice.

Although the pages of this and other medical journals, the programs of postgraduate courses, and the curricula of our medical schools often present measures for early diagnosis of cancer, as well as advances in treatment with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, it must regrettably be admitted that these measures will be successful in terms of cure for only 4096 of cancer patients. The majority of patients with malignant disease will suffer the effects of advanced cancer and will present