THE HISTORY of gastrology is shot through with uncertainties over the interrelationships of the benign and malignant diseases of the stomach. Most of the scriptive emphasis, of course, has centered on the difficulty of differentiating the benign ulcer from the malignant, a problem that will no doubt continue to plague the clinician as long as there are stomach diseases.
Because occasional apparent diagnostic errors could not be explained in any other fashion, it was proposed long ago that some benign ulcers in time become malignant. Both pathologist and observant clinician have objected to this concept, and it is now thought that benign gastric ulcers never (or almost never) become malignant. A few observations have suggested another possible progression, the conversion of a gastric carcinoma to a benign crater through sloughing of the malignant portion.
An association of malignant and benign that is more clear-cut concerns development of carcinoma in the