[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
May 11, 1957

SPUTUM SPECIMENS VERSUS BRONCHIAL ASPIRATES IN DIAGNOSIS OF BRONCHOGENIC CANCER

JAMA. 1957;164(2):167-169. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.62980020001010
Abstract

A marked increase in the incidence of bronchogenic carcinoma is evident in virtually all reports, and five-year survival rates are less than 5% in most series. It has been shown to be possible to suspect the diagnosis of lung cancer in asymptomatic patients by routine roentgenographic examination, and the survival of these patients after pneumonectomy is longer than that of patients with symptoms. In a series of cases of bronchogenic carcinoma at the Albany Hospital a diagnosis of pulmonary illness, usually considered to be pneumonia and associated with expectoration, preceded the diagnosis of cancer in 18.1% of cases.

Since the cytological examination of sputum specimens for malignant cells is a reliable method of suspecting pulmonary cancer,1 the use of this method in all adults with expectoration seems indicated. Cytological examination of bronchial washings2 is considered to produce fewer false-positive and false-negative results than examination of sputum. Bronchoscopy probably

×