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Positive Cancer Smears in Teenage Girls—A Warning

James Henry Ferguson, M.D.
JAMA. 1962;180(2):177-178. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050150083023.
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To the Editor:—  Dr. Seligman is quite right when he states that it remains to be proven that cancer in situ (intra-epithelial) becomes invasive. The weight of the circumstantial evidence indicates strongly that such a sequence can occur in many women. Hence, most of us feel that we have to accept this malignant potentiality as a fact until proved otherwise. The greatest service to our patients can be rendered by maintaining a high suspicion towards the malignant intent of this epithelium that is completely filled with cancer cells.Dr. Seligman has not quoted me accurately in my comment of the possibility of 100% cure-rate for intra-epithelial carcinoma; and he has omitted a very important pair of my commas which qualified my statement and thereby changed my intended meaning. I wished to say the following in my misconstrued sentence: The preinvasion lesion (intra-epithelial carcinoma) has a permanent curerate of practically 100%


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