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February 10, 1945


JAMA. 1945;127(6):332-333. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860060030010

In a review of cancer of the cervix Block1 emphasizes that the best results in the treatment of the disease are obtained when it is diagnosed in its early stage. Most authorities agree that the absolute diagnosis of cervical cancer must depend on the microscopic examination, usually of a biopsy specimen. The iodine test of Schiller is useful in determining the suspicious areas in the cervix which should be subjected to biopsy. This test is based on the fact that the upper layers of the normal epithelium of the portio and the vagina contain rich masses of glycogen, which disappear when the epithelium becomes cornified or changed by cancer. In the normal living tissue the glycogen of the upper layers is stained a deep mahogany brown in a few seconds by Lugol's solution. A superficial area of early cancer, being devoid of glycogen, does not receive the stain and