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The clouds of smoke, the considerable heat, and the scanty amount of light surrounding the problem of cancer of the lung and its putative relationship to excessive cigarette smoking has added to the general pall of impervious haze which separates us from the truth. It also confuses and confounds the layman. We must remember that today the vast majority of physicians are laymen in fields away from their own particular specialty, even if their specialty be general practice. In this arena of semiorganized confusion we have excellent examples of passionate devotion to beliefs, of propaganda, both pro and con, and of the failure to obtain the massive and painstaking volumes of data required to extinguish the fire by smothering it or fan the embers into a flame which will cast light on the problem. We have seen a great number of vehement pronouncements claiming that cancer is caused by increased
Bean WB. Cancer of the Lung: Pathology, Diagnosis, and Treatment. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(4):532–533. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250280134026
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