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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 7. 1962.




Cancer is not hereditary, although we may inherit a weakness which makes us more liable to get the disease. We have learned from laboratory experiments with mice that the ability to pass on cancer is the recessive trait and the ability to resist the dominant trait. If two persons marry, one with each characteristic, their children will not inherit cancer and as all human beings are hybrids, there is little reason to believe that cancer is inherited.

Cancer is not caused by an injury. Women particularly are apt to associate breast cancers with a remembered blow or knock but the evidence is against there being any relation between injuries and cancer. If we developed cancers on the site of injuries, cancer would be rife.

Cancer is not a sign of a misspent life. It is completely indiscriminate in its attacks. It affects all races and physical types. Research into its control therefore is the responsibility of the community. Wide public support is needed to alert people to the menace of cancer and so reduce its appalling toll of human Jives.