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Article
October 1940

ARSENIC AS THE CAUSE OF CANCER OF MUCOUS MEMBRANE: REPORT OF A CASE

Author Affiliations

LOS ANGELES

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1940;42(4):641-648. doi:10.1001/archderm.1940.01490160101013
Abstract

Arsenic in its inorganic form is now fully accepted as a cancerigenic agent. Whether this is also true of the organic forms is still doubtful; although malignant changes probably follow their administration, the changes may be the result of arsenic as an element. If so, it would seem to work its havoc as the result of chronic irritation rather than of any specific cancerigenic qualities, and the unknown factor is as elusive as ever. In the case reported here the common cutaneous lesions produced by arsenic were present but the case was of unusual interest because it was possible to demonstrate the metal in a papilloma and a carcinoma of the internal mucous membranes by microchemical studies, thus proving beyond much doubt that arsenic was at least a factor.

REPORT OF CASE  The patient, a retired physician now aged 70 years, was first seen by us in 1928. At that

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