Medicine: Trauma and Cancer

"I got hit, and I got cancer." This complaint has often echoed through U.S. civil courts, and sympathetic judges or juries have granted hefty cash damages for claims of cancer contracted after an injury, usually suffered on the job. But can a single blow actually cause cancer, even in the sensitive, cancer-prone female breast? Probably not, says Dr. Lionel S. Auster of New York's Bronx Hospital. Speaking at last week's second International Meeting on Forensic Pathology and Medicine at the New York University Medical Center, Dr. Auster said: "Experimentally, a single trauma has never been able to initiate a malignant tumor."

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