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250 Years of Advances Against Cancer - 1930s

Congress establishes the National Institute of Health in the Ransdell Act.
David H. Patey develops the modified radical mastectomy for breast cancer. This surgical procedure, which involves removal of the entire breast, the axillary lymph nodes under the adjacent arm, and the pectoralis minor muscle behind the breast, is less disfiguring than the radical mastectomy and would eventually replace it as the standard surgical treatment for breast cancer.
Legislation signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt establishes the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

George Keynes describes the treatment of breast cancer with breast-sparing surgery followed by radiation therapy. After surgery to remove the tumor, long needles containing radium were inserted throughout the affected breast and near the adjacent axillary lymph nodes.
  • Updated: February 10, 2014