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February 20, 1909

The Natural History of Cancer.

JAMA. 1909;LII(8):658-659. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02540340056021

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Once in a while—but all too rarely—we find a book whose author has for years pondered his subject, considered it from innumerable aspects, accumulated a vast fund of facts bearing on it, and finally become saturated with it. Such a book is entitled to respectful consideration, and needs no explanation for its addition to the flood of literature which overwhelms us. The book under consideration is one of this sort. It is the work of a man who has evidently given the thought of a lifetime to the problems of cancer. The work is an attempt to marshal the known facts of cancer for the purpose of considering them by the methods of inductive reasoning—Williams calls it a synthetic research. It is really the method of Darwin applied to the subject of cancer. The result is not a solution of the cancer problem, but it is a most instructive and

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