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April 1955

Prostatic Cancer X: Comparison of Open and "Punch" Biopsy Techniques

AMA Arch Surg. 1955;70(4):508-512. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1955.01270100034006

With the progressive increase in life span of the average American man, there has been a concomitant increase in the clinical incidence of and the death rate from adenocarcinoma of the prostate gland.1 This increasing death rate from prostatic cancer seems surprising when one considers that a curative operation for early prostatic cancer was described almost 50 years ago.2 Moreover, the cancer-free survival of properly selected prostatic cancer patients subjected to radical perineal prostatectomy compares favorably with curative surgery for adenocarcinoma arising in other parts of the body.3 The increasing prostatic cancer death rate must then be attributed to the well known fact that even today approximately 95% of all prostatic cancers are first diagnosed clinically in metastatic phase.4 Although promising palliative methods, notably castration and the administration of estrogenic substances, have altered the prognosis for the metastatically involved patient somewhat, such an individual lives only