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July 8, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(2):84-89. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450540026002j

It is well known to all of us that statistics, those figures which do occasionally lie, have shown that malignant disease is apparently increasing among mankind. I have seen no statistics to prove whether this is altogether an absolute increase or whether it is to some extent a relative one. It must be remembered that the average duration of life has been prolonged into that period which is most liable to malignant disease. Emphasis has of late been given to the old observation that cancer is the disease of the rich and luxurious, of the beef eater, of the high liver and the slothful. There has been considerable evidence advanced to show that some forms of malignant diseases are due to the presence of a micro-organism coming in contact with the soil made suitable for its growth by the general predisposing cause of age, or by coming in contact with