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May 23, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(21):1696. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530470034011

Dr. Dudley's article in this issue1 is of interest, not only as contradictory to any general statement that cancer is rare in the tropics, but also as bearing on certain other questions of the etiology of the disease. The Filipinos are practically vegetarians and their liability to malignant diseases disposes of the claim, made not infrequently by advocates of an exclusively vegetable diet, that cancer is a result of meat eating, though the somewhat less frequent occurrence of gastric cancer among them suggests, as Dudley intimates, that an unirritating vegetable diet with comparatively temperate habits as regards alcoholics may have an influence in sparing the stomach from the disease. The irritation of clothing, he shows, can not be well invoked as a cause of the frequency of mammary cancer. Cancer appears to be on the increase in civilized communities—has the more or less partial acquirement of civilization by the

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