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September 7, 1979

Medical News

JAMA. 1979;242(10):1005-1010. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300100003001

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New screening test for colorectal cancer developed in Canada  A highly promising screening test for colorectal cancer has been developed at the University of British Columbia, Canada. The brain-child of Charles Culling, FIMLSc, MRCPath, associate professor of pathology, the method now is being tested extensively by Vancouver surgeons and pathologists. The investigators believe that this new swab-staining test may become as important (in terms of sensitivity and specificity) for detecting malignant and even premalignant conditions of the colon as the Papanicolaou smear is for gynecology.If so, it will be one of this decade's most important new screening tests.In the United States, the yearly incidence of colorectal cancer is second only to skin cancer, striking 112,000 persons annually according to the American Cancer Society. (The Canadian incidence rate is similar.) For about 52,000 Americans each year, it is lethal. But oncologists and surgeons say that more than two