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October 5, 1964

Sigmoidoscopy Defended

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

JAMA. 1964;190(1):81. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070140087028

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To the Editor:—  During a recent panel discussion, I received from the audience an inquiry implying that sigmoidoscopic examination is, after all, not too important, because such examinations reveal polyps in only a small group of patients and because even with the discovery of a malignant or premalignant lesion, one could still not hope to extend a patient's life for very long.While it is certainly true that only a small percentage (3% to 10%) of sigmoidoscopic examinations result in the detection of polyps, this technique must still be considered a most important procedure and one which should be part of every general physical examination. Unfortunately, recent publications which have thrown doubt on the malignant potential of polyps have been misunderstood and misinterpreted.There is no dispute concerning the value of routine vaginal smears for the detection of female genital cancer, yet the yield here is considerably less than it is

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