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November 15, 1947


Author Affiliations

Chief of Surgical Service B, Lankenau Hospital, and Professor of Clinical Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia

JAMA. 1947;135(11):687-690. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02890110005002

Carcinoma of the stomach kills more people annually than carcinoma of any other organ. Approximately 38,000 die annually in these United States of gastric carcinoma. When one considers that one fifth of all deaths from carcinoma are due to a gastric lesion it makes one stop, look and think. Since one person dies of carcinoma roughly every four minutes, this means that one person dies of gastric carcinoma in the United States every eighteen minutes. This is startling, and physicians should be stimulated to do something to reduce this high mortality.

In 1944 I reviewed and reported on diagnostic delay in gastric carcinoma.1 Another review at this time shows little change in those figures. One can, however, point out the causes of the high mortality, and I believe that these causes can be modified.

All physicians know the low percentage of operability of the cases coming to the surgeon.