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September 2, 1950


Author Affiliations

Chief Cancer Control Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda 14, Md.

JAMA. 1950;144(1):64. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920010066019

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To the Editor:—  The rapid rise in the frequency of lung cancer during the past thirty years has become the subject of a great deal of critical study and speculation. Although many investigators still maintain that this increase is merely apparent and the result of a shift in the age composition of our population in recent decades, better diagnostic facilities and a greater awareness of the medical profession for this particular cancer, others believe they have proved that this development is at least in part real and caused by the advent of new cancerigenic factors in our environment. This concept receives some indirect support from the fact that the majority of new occupational cancers discovered during the past half-century affect the respiratory system and can definitely or tentatively be traced to chemical and physical agents (chromates, asbestos, arsenicals, tar fumes, radioactive gases and dust, nickel carbonyl, isopropyl oil or lubricating

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