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THE EARLY EXTIRPATION OF TUMORS.

indications of the earlier system, which those who reduced the traditions to writing suffered to remain in ignorance of their real meaning; and, as Mr. McLennan, who collected those indications, has shown,[1] there can be no reasonable doubt but that the Greeks had a system of descents through mothers before they had one through fathers.

 

THE EARLY EXTIRPATION OF TUMORS.[2]

(ABSTRACT)

By JOHN W. S. GOULEY, M. D.,

SURGEON TO BELLEVUE HOSPITAL.

IN a paper, bearing the title of A Plea for the Early Extirpation of Tumors, Dr. Gouley makes a succinct argument, based upon long experience, in favor of removing morbid growths from the human economy in a very early stage of their development. What follows is therefrom abstracted, with the object of presenting to the general reader the main points discussed, and of calling his attention to the importance of the subject, in consideration of the fact that more than two thousand persons die annually from the effects of cancerous tumors in the State of New York, and in about the same proportion in other States and countries. How this percentage of mortality may be lessened is suggested in the course of the discussion.

The paper begins with the question, At what period of the development of a tumor is its extirpation justifiable? The answers to this question, for a long time, have been divided between early and late surgical intervention and non-intervention. Some surgeons, at home and abroad, have favored and do now favor early extirpation even in the case of benign tumors, but many advise non-interference so long as tumors are small, painless, stationary, or of slow growth.

If it were generally known among intelligent people that great numbers of innocent tumors sooner or later become malignant, and that malignant tumors often simulate benign tumors and remain quiescent for a great while, the sufferers would unhesitatingly consent to the removal of these morbid growths in their inception, long before the possible advent of serious mischiefs, or when the cure might be effected by minor operations which would leave the smallest scars, especially in such parts as the face, neck, arms, or hands.

In the discussion of the initial question the following points

  1. Studies in Ancient History.
  2. The original paper appeared in the New York Medical Journal, November 26, 1892.