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January 30, 1897


JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(5):232-233. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440050040007

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Among other interesting topics connected with the alleged contagion of cancer is the one of "cancer houses " and cancer areas. By the former is meant houses which in a series of years will have several deaths from cancer among their tenants. The term cancer areas refers to large tracts of country where this disease is more than usually prevalent. The Old World offers a better field for observing these phenomena, as might be expected from the less migratory nature of its population.

Mr. Law Webb, known for his investigations into the immunity of colliers from cancer, has brought forward some interesting data on the subject of cancer houses (Birmingham Medical Review, 1892, p. 342). He states that in a certain village of Shropshire, of twenty houses, occupying not over an acre of ground, nine cases of cancer were treated in fifteen years. None of the patients were blood relations, but

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