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Dr. Smith had never encountered cancer in the natives before 1936

January 1, 1936


Mrs. Marguerite Smith Letter


Miss Keaton advised us to get in touch with the widow of Dr. Smith, a trained nurse, to check her [Miss Keaton's] report on Dr. Smith's views. Mrs. Marguerite Smith answered on July 19, 1957, from 803 Fourth Avenue, Puyallup, Washington:

“It has long been my wish that Dr. Smith's observations concerning the incidence of cancer ... be made known ... I was with him after 1936, and many times he remarked that he had never encountered cancer among the natives (Eskimos) prior to that time. During the time I was in Kotzebue, 1936-41, we had only two malignancies, one in 1938, the second I believe in 1940 ... Both patients were in their late fifties ...

“Since leaving the hospital, I personally know of two women in their thirties who have died from cancer of the cervix ... Both had acquired the white man's way of living. During the time I was there I believe there were on the average one or two cases of non-native cancer pet year ...”