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April 6, 1912

Error Alleged in Cancer Statistics

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1912;LVIII(14):1031-1032. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260040047027

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To the Editor:  —It seems most unfortunate, at a time when most improvement in our success in the treatment of cancer must depend on the education and cooperation of both the profession and the laity, for an author to express such opinions as some of those in the article on "Elements of Error in Statistics of Breast Amputation for Cancer," by W. S. Thorne of San Francisco (The Journal, Feb. 17, 1912, p. 459) The whole attitude of the article is objectionable in undermining confidence in well-established statistical facts. The points made by the author seem to have little or no support in his article.1. "A certain percentage of tumors (clinically) diagnosed as malignant disappear spontaneously." The cases cited in proof of this would merely show that errors in the clinical diagnosis of breast tumors are often made, which needs no argument.The second point is pure assumption that

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