Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Cancer and Tobacco Smoking: A Preliminary Report

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Cancer and Tobacco Smoking: A Preliminary Report

Article excerpt

The published literature on use of tobacco and its possible association with human cancer fails to show clearcut consistent observations. Reviews" of the literature for the past twenty years reveals that it is often conflicting and that it consists for the most part of studies which are inconclusive because of lack of adequate samples, lack of random selection, lack of proper controls or failure to age-standardize the data. Potter and Tully (1) have reported a higher proportion of smokers in patients with cancer of the "buccal cavity" and "respiratory tract" among males "over the age of 40" who were seen at Massachusetts cancer clinics.

Since 1938 a history of tobacco usage has been obtained routinely from all patients admitted to the Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo. These histories are part of the regular clinical history and are taken before the final diagnosis has been established. This procedure is considered especially important from the standpoint of excluding bias. Approximately half the patients admitted to the institute are subsequently found not to have cancer. Special attention with respect to the history of smoking has not been paid to any single group of conditions; so that these records may be presumed to be free from bias which might result from preconceived ideas as to relation between smoking and a particular form of cancer. …

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