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Dr. Thomas Marcom found only one case of cancer of the penis between 1936-1946

January 1, 1936


Dr. Thomas Marcom Letter


Dr. Thomas Marcom, formerly of northwestern Alaska, wrote from 327 Wesley Gardens, Des Moines, Washington, on January 11, 1958:

“My experience in Nome covered the years from 1936 to 1946, during which time I was privileged to see a large portion of the Eskimo population in Nome and surrounding areas, including the coast, the interior, the Diomedes, King and St. Lawrence Islands. I know of only one case of cancer ... of the penis which had been operated upon by Dr. Rex Swartz, my predecessor. I followed the case for about eight years. The man died at an age beyond 70. I diagnosed no case.”

Nome, though it was a prosperous district for a decade or two after 1900, has not shared much in recent Alaska prosperity. Consequently most natives, between the Yukon delta and Point Hope, still live mainly on fish and game which they themselves secure.