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February 18, 1911

A Theory of the Cause of Cancer

JAMA. 1911;LVI(7):528. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560070060030

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To the Editor:  —In the quest for the cause of cancer, theory and speculation have run wild, but up to the present time we seem to be as far away from the goal as we were when the pathologist first began to unravel the almost hopeless tangle. Theories have been unnumbered, and among the more recent are those of the sturgeon's egg and the trout. Investigation has been directed to cancer in other kinds of fish. Maps have been prepared showing the relation of the so-called cancer areas to the natural distribution of trout.Cancer does not seem to limit itself to those who dine on hors d'oeuvres and fish. It has occurred to me that possibly the commonest form of living animal cell which is ingested by human beings, and which might be the cause of new growth, is that of the fecundated hen's egg. The latter is practically

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