When reading the recent literature on carcinoma of the sigmoid, we were impressed by the fact that the most important question is not so much one of operative technic, but one of early diagnosis, the point dwelt on by Armstrong and by Bloodgood.
The classic symptoms of this disease are all signs of a late stage, namely, obstruction of the bowels or its results. There is a dearth of signs which indicate this condition in its incipiency. Sigmoid carcinoma gives a good prognosis only when operated on in its earliest stage. This paucity of signs in the early stage justifies a more frequent employment of explorative laparotomy even when the symptoms are insufficient to establish an early diagnosis. The so-called pathognomonic symptoms of this disease are in reality manifestations of a late stage at which we can seldom expect a cure by operation.
A history of the