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Archives a Century Ago
March 2007

Cancer, the Prevention of, Regarded as a Practical Question Ripe for Solution.

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(3):302. doi:10.1001/archderm.143.3.302

C. B. KEETLEY. (The Lancet, 1906, Vol. II., p. 993.)

Keetley lays down the following rules for the prevention of cancer: (1) Sterilize the food, as the majority of cancers attack the alimentary canal, especially where food and feces tarry. Cancers of the biliary and pancreatic passages, as well as those of the uterus, are explicable on ascending currents, and his hypothesis of direct infection does not negative the possibility of infection from the blood. (2) The sufficient and regular toilet and protection of the nipples and genitals. (3) Due care of the mouth and teeth. (4) The careful destruction of dressings of discharging malignant ulcerations. (5) Non-malignant sores and tumors should be cured, and especially not allowed to drift on if chronic. (6) As a matter of course cancerous and doubtful tumors and ulcers should be excised promptly. (7) Abstinence should be practiced from alcohol, tobacco and from foods which leave waste products of which the eliminative organs cannot easily and thoroughly get rid, thereby provoking and sustaining the chronic inflammations and ulcers which so often pave the way for cancer. This rule forbids, among other abuses, excessive meat eating. (8) The avoidance of physical familiarity except with those nearest and dearest to the individual. (9) The exercise of the strictest hygiene in the kitchen, to be applied to servants, utensils and food-stuffs. As all primary carcinomata attack either the alimentary canal, the skin or passages leading into them, milk, owing to its analogy in origin to the secretions of skin glands, is especially to be looked upon with suspicion, and it and its products sterilized.

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