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August 22, 1885


JAMA. 1885;V(8):209-210. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02391070001001e

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Prior to the revelations of the microscope, morbid growths, with few exceptions, were looked upon as local manifestations of some blood dyscrasia. They were known to be environed by a zone of infiltration or degeneration, of varying area, and the question of recurrence after an operation was supposed to depend largely upon the extent of the incisions. The desire, however, to preserve symmetry, especially if about the face, and to hasten cicatrisation, frequently induced the surgeon to circumscribe his operative procedures, relying subsequently upon antiseptic applications to sterilize flaps and adjacent tissues. Unfortunately, it was seldom possible thus to reach the extreme boundaries of the disease, hidden as they were to sight, and the materies morbi, with lymphatics and blood-vessels as avenues (?), quickly invaded other tissues and viscera; or the increased supply of nutrient material, in the absence of the central mass, soon precipitated a recurrence at the original

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