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February 1964


Author Affiliations

737 Park Ave New York 10021

Arch Surg. 1964;88(2):326. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01310200164035

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To the Editor:  I agree with the soundness of Dr. Goddard's proposition that the modified noun complete removal expresses the nature of certain operations for cancer. On the other hand, there is need for an adjective rather than a modified noun to define what would otherwise have to be designated by the rather cumbersome capable (or incapable) of complete removal.As I understand Dr. Goddard, he agrees that the terms operable and inoperable are highly objectionable, and that in the past, the latter designation (inoperable), especially when coupled with the phrase because of age and general condition, and by timid or incompetent surgeons or by nonsurgeons has often been tantamount to a sentence of death from cancer in cases where competent and courageous surgery would have saved lives.I see little difference in meaning between completely (or incompletely) removable and resectible or nonresectible (in toto), but having become used to

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