September 1985

High Incidence of Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

Johnson City, NY

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(9):1744. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360090220049

To the Editor.  —I have just read the article "The Benefits of Systematic Fiberoptic Flexible Sigmoidoscopy" in the January issue of the Archives.1 I believe you have performed a disservice to the medical community by allowing the article to be published without an editorial comment that places these unusual results in perspective. I know of no other study showing a 4% incidence of carcinoma of the colon in asymptomatic patients over 50 years of age and a 2% incidence in symptomatic patients. I believe it is incumbent on the editor to point out this type of discrepancy. This article may represent the harbinger of a new trend in malignant neoplasms of the bowel, or it may be an aberrant report.I believe that flexible sigmoidoscopy is a valuable procedure, but physicians should not expect this method to discover the high incidence of malignant lesions reported by Yarborough and Waisbren.

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