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February 9, 1952


Author Affiliations

Dallas, Texas; Waco, Texas; Lawrence, Kan.; Dallas, Texas
From the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the South-western Medical School of the University of Texas and Parkland Hospital.

JAMA. 1952;148(6):457-459. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930060039011

The introduction of cytological methods for the early diagnosis of uterine cancer has been a significant modern development in spite of waning emphasis on the morphological approach to clinical problems. The emergence of the method was the logical outcome of two separate series of investigations—the introduction of the concept of noninvasive carcinoma by Rubin1 and the perfection by Papanicolaou2 of technical methods for studying cells exfoliated from the female genital tract. The principle on which the method rests derives from phenomena implicit in the observations of Coman,3 namely, that the force required mutually to separate normal cervical cells is some 10 times that required to separate the cells of squamous carcinoma of the cervix. The usefulness of exfoliative cytologic studies in the early diagnosis of uterine cancer has been extensively studied during the past eight years. Several investigators4 have convincingly documented its relative reliability, and L'Esperance

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