Since January 1927 I have operated on 578 patients for cancer of the rectum and rectosigmoid. This group, on whom many different types of operation have been done—radical, exploratory and palliative—serve as a background for some conclusions as to the merits of different surgical procedures and their accompanying mortality, morbidity and applicability. At the same time, my experience permits emphasis of conclusions which seem to have been relatively well established during the past ten years and allows me to debate with my colleagues on some of the principles of surgery of the lower gastro-intestinal tract.
It is usual in any field of surgery in which continued and progressive advance is made that experience shows many methods to be useless, many to be useful and a few to be essential as gaged by the test of time, and in this respect the progress of surgical treatment for cancer of the rectum—alone
RANKIN FW. MODERN TRENDS IN THE TREATMENT OF CANCER OF THE RECTUM AND RECTOSIGMOID: CLINICAL LECTURE AT ATLANTIC CITY SESSION. JAMA. 1937;109(21):1719–1723. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.92780470002012
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