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September 11, 1948


JAMA. 1948;138(2):132. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900020028010

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The attack on cancer is now enlisting general cooperation. The medical attack includes (1) prevention, (2) early detection and (3) adequate treatment. Prevention is possible only to the extent that etiology is recognized. Early detection is imperative and suggests (a) periodic examination of apparently well persons, especially those over 40, for accessible silent tumors, and (b) medical examination of persons with symptoms of "one of the seven danger signals" of cancer. Since there can never be enough "cancer detection clinics" to handle 142,000,000 persons, the detection program should and must be expanded through the offices of practicing physicians.

Every practicing physician should emphasize the need for and the importance of annual physical examination of persons past 40. Approximately 45 per cent of cancer in women involves tissues or organs readily accessible to relatively simple examination. In men. the corresponding figure is unfortunately only 14 per cent. Nevertheless, such examinations in