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Vaginal bleeding in postmenopausal women may be diagnostic of gynecologic cancer—particularly that of the uterine corpus. When it is not, the physician is faced with a question: Will his patient eventually develop uterine cancer?
This was the problem posed by Frank P. Paloucek, MD, before the Section on Obstetrics and Gynecology. His answer was encouraging. Up to 95% of these women will not develop gynecologic cancer, a followup of 1,257 women for 10 to 40 years at Roswell Park Memorial Institute indicates.
These were women who were admitted to the gynecologic service of the institute between 1923 and 1953 and were diagnosed initially as having benign postmenopausal bleeding. Each patient was matched with a control patient from another service of the hospital in whom carcinoma was suspected but not found upon initial visit. None of the controls had vaginal bleeding.
The study conducted by Dr. Paloucek and John B. Graham,
Postmenopausal Vaginal Bleeding Studied. JAMA. 1966;197(3):31. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110030029021