Certain definite results are desired in operations on cancer of the rectum, namely, permanent cure, low operative mortality and a controllable anus, or its best substitute. These results are modified by location, stage of progress and the age and condition of the patient.
The gradual evolution which has led up to the treatment in vogue to-day makes an interesting study. Previous to 1870, operative treatment on cancer of the rectum was but limited in extent, and only performed by the great surgeons of that time; in fact, it was almost limited to nothing, palliation, and lumbar colostomy. Yet the results of these methods compared most favorably with radical operations.
At present a diminishing number of patients present themselves at such a late period that they fall within the limits of this type of surgery. Inguinal colostomy has replaced the lumbar. During the next ten years to 1880 there was