London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Deptford 1927

Annual report on the health of the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford

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As to the cause of cancer, some believe that a definite infective
agent enters the body, as in tuberculosis; others say that cancer is due
to a permanent change occurring in the nutrition of a cell or groups of
cells. The evidence as to the communicability or spread of cancer
from one person to another is slight, but it is advisable to disinfect.
We can say that tissues of the body affected by chronic inflammatory
change, often resulting from long standing irritation or from a blow or
injury are liable to become cancerous. In the skin we have seen
chimney sweeper's cancer, the irritation from soot being the cause.
Cancer occurs in workers in tar and paraffin and in cotton spinners
exposed to mineral oil from the "mule." Cancer of the lip occurs in
smokers and ulcer of the stomach may end in cancer.
To prevent cancer as far as we understand it, workers should be
guarded from the irritation of tar and paraffin. Middle aged people
should get rid of anything of the nature of simple tumours, warts and
papillomata, which are liable to chronic irritation.
Early diagnosis is imperative and no one should delay in having an
X-ray examination where there is the slightest reason for suspecting
any growth or unusual conditions..

MATERNITY AND CHILD WELFARE. Summary of Work of Health Visitors. The work done by the health visitorsis summarised in the following Table:-

1st visitsRe-visitsTotal
Still Births51253
Infant Deaths under 1 year108108
Infant Deaths. 1 to 5 years4141
Expectant Mothers586276862
Ophthalmia Neonatorum111728
Infantile Diarrhœa542579
Scabies in children19625
Verminous Children461359
Puerperal Fever9716
Puerperal Pyrexia538
Pemphigus Neonatorum4711
Unsuccessful visits6607731433
Scarlet Fever recoveries252147399
Encephalitis lethargica189
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