The importance of cancer of the lower portion of the gastrointestinal tract in the whole picture of cancer is highlighted by the fact that approximately 50,000 persons die in the United States each year from cancer of this segment of the bowel. Such statistics are of necessity inaccurate and probably too low. Certainly a great many times that number of persons are suffering with various stages of the disease. This is a sad commentary on the physician's ability to diagnose these cases earlier, although attention has been focused on this point for several decades. Actually, it is an indictment in part of medical practice, because many of these lesions are permitted to grow to large size and even to metastasize before an adequate examination of the patient is performed. In defense of the members of the medical profession, it must be admitted that many persons refuse to heed early signs
RANKIN FW. CANCER OF THE LOWER PART OF THE GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT: Diagnosis and Treatment. JAMA. 1950;142(9):611–615. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910270001001
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