Sunday, January 9, 2011

Letter of the Day: January 9

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 1956

Fort Walla Walla Washington
Saturday, January 9th 1897

Major Walter Reed
Surgeon U.S. Army
Washington, D.C.

My dear Doctor

I have sent you by mail today a piece of a testicle, the organ having been removed about five weeks ago. I will be very much obliged a microscopical examination as well as for a mounted slide if not too much trouble. The former owner, a man about forty years of age denies and I think honestly as far as he knows any syphilitic history, he dates his trouble from an injury received while riding about nine years ago. During the past year the organ has increased very much in size + has been painful. The surrounding lymphatic were not markedly enlarged nor tender, tho there has been a gradual loss of flesh[,] general weakness and cachexia.

On examination there was found an eggshaped tumor adherent in one place to the scrotum, much larger than the other testicle and quite solid with severe pain on pressure.

The diagnosis was a toss up between syphilitic and sarcoma with a leaning toward the latter. Trusting that I am not giving too much trouble I am with best wishes for the New Year

Very sincerely yours
John Phillips
Capt + Asst Surgeon A.S.U

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