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Positive Cancer Smears in Teenage Girls—A Warning

Bernard Seligman, M.D.
JAMA. 1962;180(2):177. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050150083021.
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To the Editor:—  The lead article in the Oct. 28, 1961, issue of The Journal (Ferguson, J. H.: 178:365) is an example of ingenuity and deductions that belong to a research journal. Busy physicians reading The Journal of the American Medical Association will accept the words of our journal as gospel. The statement is made that "the preinvasive lesion which can produce a positive cancer smear has a permanent cure rate of 100%." This is yet to be proven. Many of these cases desquamate and do not become invasive. These have a 100% chance of cure. As far as surgical intervention is concerned, it remains to be proven that cancer in situ becomes invasive, and if it does that the treated patient with an invasive type of cancer will live significantly longer and have a more useful life.Cancer in situ is still a field beclouded with uncertainties in


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