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April 1959

First Metastasis of Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Breast Clinic, Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;78(4):620-628. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320040114025

Few will find fault with the recent statement of Burnet3 that "the understanding and control of cancer is the most urgent problem in medicine today." Yet it is discouraging to realize that over 50 years have elapsed since the first exciting experimental discovery that it was possible to transplant a mammary tumor from one animal to another. Although the patient with breast cancer is assured of receiving treatment which combines the cumulative experience of over half a century, both in surgery and in radiotherapy, nonetheless, in many instances the patient's survival is brief despite the best efforts of the most skilled surgeon. Ultimately the problem must be solved by the continual pooling of knowledge from both clinical and biological fields.

As an organ prone to cyclic changes and to enlargement on physiological demand, the breast is endowed with a copious blood supply, derived from the subclavian and axillary vessels.

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