Historical Events

Dr Urquhart has not yet met with a single case of cancer in the seven years of his practice, the Eskimos of the Canadian Eastern Arctic were still living substantially on their native foods.

May 1935 issue of The Canadian Medical Association Journal (Toronto)

 A health survey made in 1935, with cancer as one of its focal points is described in an article by the senior investigator of the survey, Dr. I. N. Rabinowitch of Montreal, appearing in the May 1935 issue of The Canadian Medical Association Journal (Toronto).

“Two different interests prompted this investigation. The purpose of the Canadian Government was to determine the general health of the Eskimos; whether contact with civilization is causing their deterioration; and, if so, the causes. Quite frankly, this was not the writer's interest ... His interest was primarily in the alleged absence of diabetes, cancer, and arteriosclerosis, and the possible relationship between such absence and the peculiar dietary habits of the people.”

Dr. Rabinowitch found in 1935 that the Eskimos of the northern coastal section of the Canadian eastern Arctic were still living substantially on their native foods, although they were in some places eating enough carbohydrates to materially affect their previously good teeth. Of diabetes and arteriosclerosis he found only slight indication. Of cancer he says on page 493:

“In the western Arctic [from Alaska to Coronation Gulf] Dr. Urquhart has not yet met with a single case of cancer in the seven years of his practice. Cancer must be very rare in the eastern Arctic also. I saw one suspicious case ...” [Dr. Rabinowitch thought it was probably not cancer.]

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