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Cancer of the Uterine Cervix

Gray H. Twombly, MD
JAMA. 1973;226(2):207. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230020049032.
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This book, with ten contributors, is concerned with the detection of cancer of the cervix among women in Manchester and the surrounding area, and treatment by the wellknown Manchester system of radium therapy. Screening of the female population by Papanicolaou smears was begun in 1965, when 5,171 smears were received in the laboratory. By 1971 this had risen to 115,097, and perhaps 25% of the adult female population have been screened once. The effect of screening on the incidence or curability of cervical cancer is thus not available from the data. But of 7,500 women asked to return for a second smear at three months, about 18% had carcinoma in situ or invasive cancer missed in the first screening. These data point to the importance of repeated smears—at least three—to reduce the false-negative rate to a safe figure.

The choice of therapy, surgery vs irradiation, was determined by the opinion


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