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Sponge Biopsy in Cancer Diagnosis

Sidney A. Gladstone, M.D.
JAMA. 1961;175(12):1112. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040120074031.
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To the Editor:—  In The Journal, Dec. 3,1960, page 1783, appears a report from the University of Minnesota Hospitals on the evaluation of annual examinations in the detection of cancer. On page 1786 (lower left) Jenson and co-workers state, "... visual inspection of the cervix, with biopsy of suspicious lesions, has proved the best means of early detection of cancer of the cervix." On page 1784 (upper left) the authors state that every woman receives a Papanicolaou smear. Can this mean that the latter method is inferior in competence, and that the expenditure of many millions of dollars in its promotion by the American Cancer Society and the U. S. Public Health Service has been ill advised?Dr. Jenson's answer to this question may be the same as my own, published first in the American Journal of Medicine (5:849 [Dec.] 1948). At that time I introduced the method of sponge


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