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January 1925


Author Affiliations


From the department of pathology, Harvard University Medical School and the pathologic laboratory of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1925;35(1):1-41. doi:10.1001/archinte.1925.00120070006001

It is commonly taught that the lungs are very rarely the seat of a primary carcinoma. According to Ewing,1 it occurs in about 1 per cent. of all cancers.

Adler,2 whose monograph on primary tumors of the lungs is so much quoted, claims that in reality it is not as rare as is believed. He cites statistics given by Hansemann, who found 711 cases of carcinoma among 7,790 routine necropsies, 156, or 21.94 per cent., of which were not diagnosed antemortem. Of the latter, sixteen, or 10.3 per cent., were bronchial and pulmonary tumors. Adler2 himself compiled from the literature, up to 1912, 372 authentic cases of primary carcinoma of the lungs.

Of 1,400 necropsies performed during the last ten years at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, cancer was diagnosed in 136 instances. Of this number, only five were found to be primary in the lungs. For the same period

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