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J. Ernest Ayre, M.D.
JAMA. 1954;156(8):770-771. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950080018007a.
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The diagnosis of cancer of the larynx is dependent upon surgical biopsy from a target lesion recognizable by the otolaryngologist. Symptoms such as chronic hoarseness, cough, and hemoptysis are often present before final diagnosis for a variable period of time. A new method of collecting cells from the throat is presented here as a diagnostic aid to biopsy in visual lesions. It is proposed that clinical trials be made to determine the practicability of brush cytology as a screening method for early cancer. The common malignant lesion involving the throat is epidermoid carcinoma, the same type of neoplasm as is commonly encountered in the female uterine cervix. The widespread use of the cytological method of detection of cancer of the cervix has proved the extended duration of the preclinical carcinoma-in-situ stage. Direct cervical cell scraping yields diagnostic cells of carcinoma in situ with great accuracy during the period preceding the


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