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December 11, 1948


Author Affiliations

London, England

JAMA. 1948;138(15):1083-1087. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900150013004

As a cause of death, cancer of the breast is registered in increasing numbers. The rise in incidence is a real one and not due to better methods of diagnosis or to more accurate certification. This increase, nevertheless, is due chiefly to the changes in the age structure of the population, that is to an increase in the number of persons living at ages of 50 to 75 years. As a more speculative reason, it can be said that cancer of the breast is on the increase when the birth rate is falling and when lactation does not take place. Smaller families, failure of lactation and longevity contribute their share in the increase of the disease. In England and Wales, it heads the list of incidence as the site of cancer in women and accounts for over 20 per cent of the total deaths due to cancer in women. This

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