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

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Harrow 1911

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Harrow-on-the-Hill]

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Irritation of the alimentary canal and air passages
is frequently followed by Cancer, for instance, excessive
smoking predisposes to Cancer of the lips, gains, palate,
tongue, tonsils, larynx, etc.
Irritation of the tongue and cheek by a jagged
tooth, the lips by certain kinds of inferior clay pipes,
and the throat by excessively hot food and drink induces
A tribe was recently discovered in the Soudan
the men of which suffered from Cancer of the throat
whilst the women escaped. It was ascertained that
the men habitually took their food at the highest
possible temperature and the women had the food left
by the men when it had subsequently cooled.
Many parts of the alimentary canal, such as the
throat, gullet, the entrance and outlet of the stomach
as well as that organ itself, parts of the small and large
intestines, especially the termination of the latter,
are continuously irritated by the passage of imperfectly
masticated food. This is owing to defective back teeth
and hastily bolting unmasticated food.
The use of alcoholic drinks is a powerful predisposing
cause of Cancer. It is found that 100 deaths
from this disease occur among non-abstainers to 71
among abstainers.
I mention these few facts to interest the public
in this subject, and to ask their help in diminishing
the death rate from a disease which has caused 22 per
cent, more deaths than Consumption in Harrow during
the last five years.
The south side of Alma Road has been numbered
during the year, also Roxeth Hill and Middle Road.
This now practically completes the numbering
of the houses in the district. It only remains to see
that the numbers are kept in a legible state and that the
new streets are numbered on completion.