The sole plan at present which offers any hope of cure of cancer, though often only temporary, is the knife.
Radium is of little avail in columnar-celled growths, that variety of malignant disease which principally affects the lower bowel. Morson1 states that while we may expect retardation of the neoplasm and relief of pain, irradiation is often followed by fibrous stricture, especially if the exposure has been for more than twenty hours, and he strongly advocates colostomy before treatment with radium is carried out.
In 1913, 1914 and 1915, of fifty-one patients treated at the Radium Institute,2 London, thirty-three improved, ten did not, and eight died; while fourteen more abandoned treatment, probably on account of not obtaining any relief. The latest results were not very brilliant either. In 1917, they "were not constant or uniform, but in some instances growths regarded as inoperable were so much improved... that
PENNINGTON JR. THE END-RESULTS OF OPERATIONS FOR CANCER OF THE RECTUM: WITH SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING THEM. JAMA. 1918;71(23):1892–1897. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1918.02600490024006
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