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October 11, 1952


Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.

From the Section of Proctology, Mayo Clinic.

JAMA. 1952;150(6):579-582. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.03680060051014

Although patients do not shrink from examination of the anus and rectum so much as they did a few years ago, even yet many of them do not accept it as a matter of course. Those who, because of false modesty, hesitate to undergo this examination are likely to defer consultation until discomfort is unbearable. By then, of course, valuable time may have been lost. When the patient seeks advice, whether he seeks it early or late, he is entitled to immediate, careful attention. The causes of pain in the anorectal region are many, but fortunately diagnosis usually is made easily. Nevertheless, complete examination, including sigmoidoscopy, should be performed before a patient is operated on or dismissed, even though the cause of discomfort may appear to be of anal origin. Only by application of thorough methods can a grave mistake be avoided if a patient harbors a serious lesion that