There are many cases of cancer which are curable if properly treated early in their course. The responsibility for the eradication of malignant disease rests largely with the general practitioner and the public itself. Yet an attitude of helplessness and hopelessness on the part of both the laity and the profession when confronted with cancer is not unusual. Doctors of medicine tend to forget that following surgical or other special therapeutic procedures, whether their effect is curative or not, patients with cancer should receive such wise medical advice as may increase their happiness, comfort, and health, even if it be for only a brief period of time. The medical aspects of the cancer patient deserve more attention than they usually receive.
Individuals with conditions that predispose to malignant disease and patients with cancer in its early stages seek more often the advice of a general practitioner or internist than that of an individual practising only some special phase of medicine. There is, perhaps, a tendency for the group of physicians most likely to see such early cases to neglect consideration of what can be done toward the prevention of cancer and the establishment of early diagnosis, the first requisites of curability.