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June 9, 1962

Epidemiology of Leukemia

Author Affiliations

226 E. Chestnut St., Louisville, Ky.

JAMA. 1962;180(10):900-901. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050230102023

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To the Editor:—  Your editorial, "The Epidemiology of Leukemia" (JAMA177:859 [Sept. 23] 1961), correctly calls to the attention of the medical public the real increase in the incidence of the disease. However, the tremendous emphasis in the editorial on the role of radiation in the etiology of leukemia tends to remove the problem from the sphere of medicine, for the amount of radiation under the control of the medical profession, in relation to all radiation, is minute. The same, to a certain extent, can be said about the other leukemogenic agents mentioned.But most of the surveys, including that of Stewart and Hewitt, have failed to appreciate that the increase in the disease appeared prior to the increase in radiation throughout the world, and began even before very extensive use of x-rays in medicine, and that the increase has been most striking in the last 20 to 30

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