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On the subject of cancer of the tongue many writers affirm that one of the predisposing causes is traumatism. This being true, the biting of the tongue during an epileptic fit, eclampsia, etc., or in making forcible traction on the tongue, is not without danger; a danger none the less terrible, even though the consequence lies in the future. Much of this injury, that can readily be avoided, occurs during the administration of an anesthetic when it becomes necessary, as is often the case, to pull the tongue forward. The customary practice being to seize that organ with a tongue or artery forceps, locking the handles to prevent slipping, but subjecting the portion of the tongue between the jaws of the forceps to injurious pressure. This, aside from the question of cancer, may be considered as being somewhat barbarous.
To overcome these objections, especially in patients during the administration of
O'NEILL JW. A PROPHYLACTIC MEASURE AGAINST ONE OF THE POSSIBLE CAUSES OF CANCER OF THE TONGUE. JAMA. 1894;XXII(6):192. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02420850020002h
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