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February 7, 1966

The Question of Irradiation Therapy in Lung Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Oncology, Medical Services, Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, the Department of Public Health, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston.

JAMA. 1966;195(6):471-475. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100060111029

The techniques for medical diagnosis and treat ment have changed in an extraordinary fashion in this 20th century. The application of engineering and scientific principles to medical investigation has altered our awareness of the many-sided manifestations of clinical disorders. No better example of a "changing" illness is to be found than primary lung cancer. Formerly a relatively rare disease in most European and American communities, lung cancer has achieved an "epidemic" status in the past three decades. Unfortunately, newer knowledge of the nature of the disease has not been paralleled by the development of curable treatments. The poor cure-rate by surgery has resulted in the frequent use of radiation treatment both to extend the life expectancy of the victim of the illness, and for palliation of his complaints. As an internist concerned with the medical management of patients with bronchogenic cancer, I have become confused as to the appropriate value

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