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.
Zinner EN. High Incidence of Carcinoma. Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(9):1744. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360090220049