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July 8, 1939


Author Affiliations


From the Stanford University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1939;113(2):108-111. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800270008002

The mimicry of carcinoma by inflammation is a well recognized occurrence in intra-abdominal infections involving the stomach, colon or pelvic organs and occasionally the breast. Extensive inflammatory disease of the pelvis originating in a diverticulitis of the colon or in a salpingitis has simulated carcinoma so closely that a colostomy has been performed on the basis of a diagnosis of carcinoma followed by a surprising disappearance of the lesion. An extensive inflammatory process involving the cecum was mistakenly attributed to an inoperable carcinoma and to the prediction that the patient had but little time to live. Seven years later the patient returned for correction of a right inguinal hernia with no vestige left of the original palpable mass. Cancer may also mimic inflammation. Carcinoma of the liver not infrequently produces a high swinging fever indistinguishable from that due to an abscess and not correctly diagnosed except at laparotomy.

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