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Positive Cancer Smears in Teenage Girls—A Warning

James Henry Ferguson, M.D.
JAMA. 1962;180(2):178. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050150083024.
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To the Editor:—  The purpose of the article was missed. A clinician familiar with practices through the nation knows how dangerous are the age-barriers that many (including in Boston) place in the way of the opportunity we have to eradicate cervical carcinoma. If a few men, as a result of my article, will stop using 30 and 35 as ages at which cytology begins, then it all will have been worthwhile.Looseness in grading vaginal smears is something we have never suspected in our cytology laboratory. I see nothing unusual in "only 3 of the girls with carcinoma in situ (intraepithelia) had Class 4 smears." I asked several of my colleagues what could be meant. Did he think the patient with intraepithelial carcinoma should have a Class 2, 3, or 5 smear? Because of our experience in the correlation of cytology and tissue diagnoses and the smearing of slides on


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