At least 80 per cent of all persons suffering from cancer in Massachusetts have received medical attention in the last two years, we estimate, although of course on such a large subject our records are less complete than we would wish. One thousand of these patients were seen in the State-aided clinics. During the last few years the proportion of persons coming because of the early signs of cancer (a persistent lump, sore, or discharge) has increased, while those motivated by pain (a late sign in cancer) have decreased. The proportion of persons sent to clinics by physicians has increased from a quarter to a third. Doctors all over the State are becoming increasingly alert to the cancer problem. Newspapers still are and always must be an invaluable aid in bringing people to service early. In 1929 only 25 per cent of those going to a cancer clinic had cancer. This must always be, since if a person comes sufficiently early for treatment to be effective he will in the majority of instances be found not to have cancer at all, though he may have some other serious condition needing treatment. In other words, if the patient seeks medical advice only after he is “sure” that he has cancer he has probably waited far too long.

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