THE DISCREPANCY in results obtained in the treatment of cancer as reported by various groups has been pointed out in the past by Saltzstein1 and Ewing.2 That such wide differences still exist is suggested by Table 1. These variations are disconcerting despite obvious explanations such as differing economic strata of the patients, charity versus private care, and private clinic surgery as against that done by many surgeons in a general hospital. To add to the confusion, there are no generally accepted definitions of "five-year survival rates" and "resectability rates," and the bleak or brilliant results reported may depend upon a choice of definition. Buser, Kirsner, and Palmer5 demonstrated this fact very well in 1950. By varying their method of computation the five-year survival rate could be brought as low as 25.6% or raised as high as 57%. To compare one's results with others reported is difficult.
CAMERON DA, CHAPNICK HA, McLEAN DW. CANCER OF THE LARGE BOWEL: A Follow-Up Study of Four Hundred and Twenty Cases from a Private, a Charity, and a Veterans Hospital. AMA Arch Surg. 1954;69(2):242–246. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1954.01270020108012
Artificial Intelligence Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.