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October 12, 1984

Radioactive Fallout and Cancer-Reply

JAMA. 1984;252(14):1855. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350140014012

In Reply.—  The reviewers in their critique have quoted my report out of context.Cancer is a major life-threatening event that will be remembered by a person and by members of the family. The treating physician will inform the patient and/or the family of the diagnosis of the disease. A recent study reports that diagnosis in life correlated with death certificate cause and with unpublished data from the Utah Cancer Registry more than 90% of the time.1The last sentence correctly cites a report of leukemia deaths in children.2The methodology was adequately described and has had sufficient review by a number of impartial scientists. The study design has several internal and external controls.About 25 persons of 4,125 in the cohort viewed a television documentary on fallout already well-aired nationally."Cancers of more radiosensitive organs" were those found in excess in Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors exposed to