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April 27, 1957

Carcinoma of the Breast: The Study and Treatment of the Patient

JAMA. 1957;163(17):1658. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970520092028

This short, well-written, and readable book attempts to bring order to the confusion existing in the literature and in the minds of many clinicians as to the most satisfactory method of therapy in a given type and stage of cancer of the breast. Excisional biopsy is advocated as preferable to incisional biopsy. Simple mastectomy for biopsy is suggested. Clinical diagnosis, preliminary x-ray therapy, biopsy of movable nodes, and needle biopsy are said to be preferable to "frontal assault on a massive local lesion for confirmation of an obvious diagnosis." Many will disagree with the authors' opinions concerning biopsy. Radical mastectomy is advocated for clinical stage 1 and early stage 2 lesions. For more advanced lesions, the McWhirter method or no surgical interference is proposed. Radiation is advised in all patients with axillary metastases and for painful metastatic lesions in bone but not in the viscera. The book emphasizes the endocrine

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