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Egstad, H. M. (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 35, Number VII (April 1934)

Bardeen, C. R.
The significance of the Bowman bequest for cancer research at Wisconsin,   pp. 184-186


Page 185


April, Nineteen thirty-four                                             
                                     Page 185
through eugenics. Nor have we as yet good evidence that        plant cancerous
tissue from one animal to another closely
cancer in the individual can be avoided through known          related and
to test the effect of various remedies on animals
rules of hygienic living, aside from  avoidance of a few       in which cancer
occurs spontaneously or into which it has
known types of chronic irritation. Some believe, however,     been transplanted.
It has been found possible to cultivate
that the origin of a cancer in an individual is due not only  in artificial
media cancerous tissue derived from  some
to conditions at the cite of origin, but also to general       animals and
thus to follow specific characteristics o f cancer
systematic conditions. This is a field that requires further  cells. Along
these and similar lines much useful knowl-
study.                                                         edge concerning
the nature of cancer has been gained but
   At present the best known means of meeting the cancer      much more work
along these lines is necessary for a funda-
problem as a social problem is early recognition of a malig-  mental understanding
of cancer and its control. Associated
nant tumor or even of a precarious condition and its prompt   with these
biological studies are studies in physics, chemis-
removal by surgical means or radiation therapy. The chief     try, physiology,
pharmacology and related fields.
aim of the American Society for the Control of Cancer is         Without
attempting here more than to thus briefly out-
to aid in the education of physicians in diagnosis of early  line a few of
the more general aspects of cancer as a clinical,
cases, and in the education of the public as to the impor-    social and
biological problem, we may now     turn to a
tance of prompt seeking of adequate                            consideration
of what the University is at present doing
medical advice when growths or sores                           in this field.
appear that might be cancerous. When                             Of the patients
referred to the Wisconsin General Hos-
cancer is recognized early and promptly                        pital for
diagnosis or treatment a considerable percentage
removed by a competent surgeon a cure                          suffer from
cancer. Only too often the disease when the
may be made. If it has time to implant                         patient enters
is in too advanced a stage to make a cure
colonies in other parts of the body or                         possible under
known methods of treatment. The most
deeply invades the tissues in the neigh-                       that can be
done is temporarily to alleviate the condition.
borhood in which it appears, the surgeon                       The main tumor
may be removed but if cells have already
may be able to alleviate the condition,                        been scattered
to other parts of the body they are likely
but he cannot cure it.                                         subsequently
to give rise to fatal secondary tumors or
   A  main aim in cancer research has                          metastases.
For removal of tumors, surgery is usually em-
been to discover some remedy that would                        ployed although
for some superficial tissues radium     or
destroy cancerous cells without seri-                          deep x-ray
therapy is efficacious and radiation is frequently
ously injuring the individual who har.-                        employed,
either pre-operatively or post-operatively or both,
bors them. Thus far the only remedy     PROF. M. F. GUYER    in the endeavor
to destroy cancer cells that have wandered
of this kind that has proved scientifically  Will be leader  away from the
main tumor or to promote favorable tissue
successful is radiation through use of    in new research    reaction against
the disease. Radiation therapy is also
powerful x-rays or radium. In some in-                         frequently
employed to treat tumors that cannot be removed
stances the cancer cells are destroyed while the normal      by surgical
means. The hospital is well equipped for these
tissues survive. This remedy is successful only in a limited  various methods
of treatment. It has two modern deep
number of cases so far as cure is concerned, but in many     x-ray therapy
machines and a radium emanation plant in
others it has done much to alleviate the condition. Much     addition to
up-to-date surgical facilities.
progress has been made and is being made in perfecting           Cancer presents
a bewildering variety of conditions. The
methods of radiation therapy. It requires exceptional ex-    nature of a
given tumor depends not only upon the tissue
perience and -facilities for success. - -                     andc organ
in which it originates or in whicr itbecomessec-
  Chemical and serological remedies have thus far failed     ondarily lodged,
but also apparently upon intangible indi-
to prove of scientifically recognized value for specific diag-  vidual characteristics
of the patient. Each patient suffering
nosis or treatment although a vast number have been tried    from cancer
therefore, usually requires cooperative study on
and quacks thrive upon their sale. From this it does not     the part of
a group of specialists, the results of treatment
follow that some day some such remedy of real value may      have to be carefully
observed and upon discharge from the
not be discovered. A great value of animal experimentation   hospital the
subsequent history of the patient has to be
is to avoid subjecting human beings to remedies that have    carefully followed.
Since cancer may arise from most tissues
not experimentally been proved of promise.                     of the body
and may appear in any organ, those in charge
  Cancer as a disease is not confined to man. It has been    of each of the
major medical specialties are called upon
found in many species of animals although in general, at     for diagnosis
and treatment of cancer as it relates to his
least, it is far less frequent in these. A similar condition is  special
field of work. The clinical pathologist is called
likewise found in some plants. Cancer is thus not only a     upon to aid
in the diagnosis of the specific nature of each
clinical problem but also a biological problem. Scientific   tumor available
for such study. Radiologists are called upon
study of cancer involves not only clinical study of patients  for aid both
in diagnosis and treatment. While the major
but also experimental studies with animals and plants. This  responsibility
for radical treatment rests upon those engaged
has been recognized wher-
ever funds have been estab-                                             _
lished for the promotion of                                             
                .
cancer research. Animal col-
onies, chiefly mice or rats,
are maintained to study the
relations of heredity to can-
cer, and the effects of vari-
ous conditions on the devel-
opment of cancer. It has
been found possible to trans-
    The Service Mlemori-
    al Institute-home of
    the Medical School.


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