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April 1, 1950

APPLICATION OF CYTOLOGIC SMEAR METHODS TO CANCER DIAGNOSIS IN A GENERAL HOSPITAL

Author Affiliations

Boston

From the Surgical Service, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.; Instructor in Surgery, Harvard Medical School (Dr. Botsford).

JAMA. 1950;142(13):975-979. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910310019006
Abstract

Although the value of the cytologic smear as an aid in the diagnosis of cancer has been established by investigators1 working intensively with large groups of potential tumor patients, there are relatively few general hospitals prepared to apply this method to their unselected hospital admissions. Our experience since 1946 in instituting this method of diagnosis at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital represents a practical test of the method in circumstances which it will probably encounter on a wide scale, in that the preparation, staining and interpretation of cytologic smears was undertaken by previously inexperienced personnel in a general hospital. A considerable period of preparatory study was necessary before the laboratory was made available for daily clinical use. This period of study under the guidance of experienced persons is a necessary preliminary to any worth while application of this method, since professional and technical personnel must acquire proficiency in interpreting

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