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February 1964


Arch Surg. 1964;88(2):326. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01310200164034

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To the Editor:  As much as I agree with the special article "A Proposed Glossary of Cancer," (Arch Surg 87:192, 1963), I must disagree with Dr. Martin's use of the word "resectable" as a synonym for "complete removal."The term "resection," both in Dorland's Medical Dictionary and in Dr. O. H. Perry Pepper's delightful book Medical Etymology, is defined as the removal of the part of an organ, not a synonym for the removal of an entire organ.Gastrectomy and gastric resection are different operations performed for different purposes, and the difference in meaning should be kept clear by the proper use of the words, not by the appending of the word "total" to cover up our sloppiness.There is no such thing as a total gastric resection, nor should there be such a thing as a partial gastrectomy.In the field of Gynecology, the terms oophorectomy, ovarian cystectomy, and

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