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December 1938


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pathology and Surgery, the Jewish Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1938;37(6):994-1003. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1938.01200060131009

The present study was undertaken primarily in order to supply clinical data supported by pathologic findings on the existence of malignant tumors of the large intestine which pursue an atypical course and render clinical diagnosis difficult. The classic syndrome of constipation alternating with diarrhea, blood in the stools, loss of weight and palpable abdominal tumor leads one to suspect carcinoma of the large bowel, but it does not cover the entire situation. By no means do all malignant tumors of the colon present this syndrome. Autopsies repeatedly disclose the fact that many such tumors are symptomatically silent throughout life; on the other hand, they do at times initiate acute symptoms which threaten the life of the patient unless they are accurately diagnosed and prompt, efficient treatment is rendered. The present investigation covers 45 necropsies at which unusual types of carcinoma of the large intestine were observed. The cases reported have