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EXPLORATORY THORACOTOMY IN DIAGNOSIS AND MANAGEMENT OF CERTAIN PULMONARY LESIONS

Philip E. Bernatz, M.D.; O. Theron Clagett, M.D.
JAMA. 1953;152(5):379-381. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690050003002.
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Repeated pleas for early detection of bronchogenic carcinoma have been published. Periodic thoracic roentgenograms, and particularly the mass surveys designed principally to find tuberculosis, have played important roles in answering these pleas; however, the entire array of diagnostic aids that is available today often does not provide the accurate diagnosis necessary for effective treatment of pulmonary diseases. We should like to emphasize the use of exploratory thoracotomy as a valuable diagnostic procedure and to decry the use of prolonged observation for diagnosis of certain pulmonary lesions.

DIAGNOSTIC AIDS  The symptoms of pulmonary disease offer little toward specific diagnosis. Often they seem insignificant to the patient, and members of the medical profession may erroneously concur in this impression. With monotonous regularity patients present themselves because of cough, hemoptysis, thoracic pain, dyspnea, wheezing, recurrent fever, arthritis, and easy fatigue. These symptoms, unfortunately, are common to both benign and malignant pulmonary disease. A

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