Cancer of the rectum is an easily diagnosed lesion which when extirpated radically by surgical methods has a most favorable prognosis. While there is small difference of opinion that radical surgery is the method of choice in its treatment, the rediscovery of the "pull through operation" has in recent years created a certain amount of controversy as to the type of procedure most acceptable in the majority of cases. A cursory survey of the literature of a quarter of a century ago would have revealed to the most ardent enthusiast for the sphincter-saving type of operation a paucity of data on favorable end results of such attacks.
In this day and generation of intense haste and progress in the many fields of scientific endeavor, one is often prone to rationalize more than is justified, in order to keep pace with rapidly moving trends. New methods are devised from old ideas