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

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Fulham 1931

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Fulham]

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syphilis shows itself in the form of white patches
resembling white paint. From the above statement
preventive measures will suggest themselves, namely,
proper attention to and cleansing of the teeth and
mouth, the avoidance of promiscuous kissing or drinking
out of the same utensils as other people without
thorough cleansing and the avoidance of risk of
exposure to venereal disease.
It should be noted that all ulcers of the tongue
are not due to cancer and that history of syphilis may
be entirely absent.
Smoking should be avoided by patients who have
any abnormal condition of the tongue and they should
pay special attention to the care of their teeth.
The methods employed for treatment include
surgical operations and radiological treatment (radium
and X-rays).
Cancer of the Skin. A small number of men
engaged in certain occupations develop what is called
occupational cancer which mostly affects the genital
organs, more especially the scrotum (skin covering the
testicle). Scrotal cancers are found in mule-spinners,
chimney sweeps and patent fuel workers and are caused
by chronic irritation from substances in the course of
the work. Thus cotton spinners are exposed to the
action of the oil used for lubricating the mules,
chimney sweeps to soot and fuel workers to certain
oils, tar or pitch. Cases of skin cancer have been found
in Cornish smelters and operatives in paraffin manufactories.
Insufficient cleanliness predisposes to occupational
cancer of the skin and thorough cleanliness
among the workers reduces the risk to a minimum. Persons
who have pimples, scabs and other skin troubles
are more liable to the disease and workers in the abovementioned
occupations should take every care to
prevent such conditions.

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