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January 18, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(3):180. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480030038007

The theories of the cause of cancer are multiplying and each one is novel in its way. One of the latest is that of Dr. James Braithwaite,1 who recognizes that four chief factors enter into cancer production, viz., over-nutrition, non-oxidation of ingested food, local irritations, and excess of salt in the diet. This last he considers the most important and always present, though it requires the coöperation of at least one, and probably two, of the other factors to make it efficient. The suggestion of the importance of salt as a factor came to him from noticing the infrequency of uterine cancer among Jewesses, whose religion excludes salt pork from their diet. Other considerations in favor of this view in his estimation are the absence of HCl in the vomit of gastric cancer; the fact that salt is a most powerful stimulant to all metabolism; the local prevalence of