The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965 Page: 541
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medical persons who contributed to the fight against cancer in
Texas which eventually resulted in the M. D. Anderson Hospital
are too numerous to be included in this brief review.
Unless he is a persistent cuss, the reader is likely to become
lost, after the first chapter, in a welter of historical data: names,
details, statistics, tables, and finally an impressive and lengthy
list of articles written by staff members of the M. D. Anderson
Hospital. The editors make a valiant effort to relieve the mo-
notony resulting from their zeal to be fair and include everyone
and everything which had to do with this project by generously
sprinkling pictures throughout, like the cook with "a heavy hand
with the salt." The illustrations will be of great value to future
historians. In addition, the history is not without overtones of
humor including some in unexpected places.
Some of the difficulties which had to be overcome by the first
courageous physicians to engage in the fight to educate the public
about cancer are illustrated by instructions given to a committee
appointed by the Texas Medical Association in 1907 to write an
educational pamphlet on "Sex, Veneral Disease and Cancer." It
was seven years before TMA saw the error of that classification
and appointed a committee concerned solely with cancer.
The present impressive, multi-million dollar M. D. Anderson
Hospital of 280 beds (1961 statistics), which successfully treats
hundreds of cancer patients, did not arrive at this way station
without hard, bitter struggles and disappointments. Some of these
hardships were met with an unmatched sense of humor by the
sufferers, as is proven by a footnote on page 26 which refers to
the temporary headquarters at 2310o Baldwin, Houston, into
which the first five staff members from the University of Texas
Medical Branch in Galveston moved at Christmas, 1944. The
building was the fine old Baker home, with servant quarters and
stables. In part, the footnote reads:
Anyone who elects to convert a stable into a research laboratory
should recognize certain facts. Pigeons enjoy abundant food supply
afforded by stables ... fleas enjoy pigeons ... generation of pigeons
knew no other home . with the passing of the horses, the pigeons
stayed on . so did the fleas .. they spread throughout the labora-
tory . in clothes, in hair . . an enterprising opportunist initiated
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965, periodical, 1965; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/m1/628/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.