"We do not know the fundamental cause of cancer," stated Henry Jackson Jr. '15, instructor in Medicine, in a free public lecture under the auspices of the Faculty of Medicine at the Medical School in Boston yesterday afternoon.
"We do, however, know many contributory factors," the lecturer explained, "by the avoidance of which we may hope to prevent the disease. Cancer is not contagious, and the best evidence is against the view that it is caused by any specific bacterium as is pneumonia. In animals inbred for many generations the disease would appear to be hereditary, but many factors such as the deliberate universal out-breading makes it possible to say that in many cases cancer is not directly inheritable.
"Cancer is treated by X-ray, radium, or surgery. The earlier competent advice is sought, the greater the chance of cure. It is not a shameful disease to be kept under cover. The average delay before seeking competent advice is eight months, but there should be no such delay.
"One should suspect cancer if the patient has any lump, any persistent sore on the skin, persistent hoarseness, indigestion, or loss of appetite, or any disorder of the bowels over forty years of age.
"One cannot cure disease by contemplating the difficulties before one. If cancer is suspected, go early to a competent physician or to a recognized cancer clinic."