THE rarity of cancer among natives races suggests that the disease is primarily induced, or at least increased in relative frequency, by the condition or methods of living which typify our modern civilization. There are no known reasons why cancer should not occasionally occur among any race or people, even though it be of the lowest degree of savagery or barbarism.
Granting the practical difficulties of determining with accuracy the cause of death among non-civilized races, it is nevertheless a safe assumption that the large number of medical missionaries and other trained medical observers, living for years among native races throughout the world, would long ago have provided a more substantial basis of fact regarding the frequency of occurrence of malignant disease among the so-called “uncivilized” races, if cancer were met with among them to anything like the degree common to practically all civilized countries.
Quite to the contrary, the negative evidence is convincing that, in the opinion of qualified medical observers, cancer is exceptionally rare among primitive peoples, including the North American Indians and the Eskimo population of Labrador and Alaska.
Evidence is also available to substantiate the conclusion that cancer was of relatively rare occurrence among our negro population during a condition of slavery, but that the frequency rate has rapidly increased during the last thirty years, until at the present time cancer of the uterus is proportionately more common among negro women than among the white women living under much the same conditions of life in the same localities.