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October 23, 1926


JAMA. 1926;87(17):1411-1412. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680170065032

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To the Editor:  —In a letter from Geneva, Switzerland, about heredity and cancer (The Journal, September 4, p. 771), your correspondent quotes Professor Guyénot to the effect that "in Japanese women, cancer of the breast is rare." Apropos of this apparently widespread belief there was an interesting remark made by the French surgeon and scientist Pierre Delbet at a meeting of the Association française pour l'étude du cancer, April 19, 1926. In discussing a paper on the frequency of cancer, Delbet called attention to the erroneous statements made frequently by statisticians in regard to the incidence of cancer. "Thus," says Delbet, "Hoffman, from an American life insurance company, affirms that Japanese women are practically free from cancer of the breast.... The day following the communication of this important fact in the Academie de médecine, chance brought to my service a prominent Japanese surgeon. When I spoke to him about cancer

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