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What constitutes malignity histologically and clinically?
From earliest times tumors were grouped into two classes, the benign and malignant. Long before exact methods of observation permitted closer discrimination, the physician recognized these two groups. From the patient's standpoint, the most important question is whether the tumor is or is not innocent in character. To the surgeon, too, this division of neoplasmata, based as it were upon prognostic considerations is all important. It establishes the time for and the character of any operative interference. It continues the patient under observation for a period of years, or leads to his dismissal after operation. And, therefore, it is proper, though perhaps very unscientific, to view tumors in this light.
What is understood by the malignity of a neoplasm? If we are to consider it synonymous with danger to life, tumors in themselves innocent, would by location become malignant. This is obviously not what
JACOBSON N. A CONTRIBUTION TO THE STUDY OF TUMORS. Being part of the Discussion on Tumors at the recent meeting of the New York State Medical Association. JAMA. 1889;XII(2):41–47. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02400790005001b
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