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September 1, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(1):64. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970180066023

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To the Editor:—  The guest editorial "Treatment of Early Mammary Cancer" (Elman, R.: J. A. M. A.161:972 [July 7] 1956) deserves commendation. The author wisely points out that the optimum treatment for early carcinoma of the breast is surgical removal while the disease is still confined to the breast. Since this, unfortunately, is not always possible, "the most that should really be claimed for therapy in cancer is significant and sometimes gratifying prolongation of life." The author has some strictures on simple mastectomy combined with radical postoperative radiotherapy that deserve comment. First, he questions whether there is supportive evidence in favor of the Edinburgh program. If he will glance at my article published in the American Journal of Roentgenology (72:923 [Dec.] 1954), he will see reports on 458 cases treated by such method (elsewhere than in Edinburgh) with five-year survival rates comparable to the excellent figure reported

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