A Comparison of the Results of Surgery and of Radiation in the Treatment of Cancer of the Cervix

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General Discussion

A review of 325 cases of carcinoma of the cervix in which the patients were examined, treated, and observed personally between the years 1920 and 1929, inclusive, discloses the fact that in the cases seen in 1929 the disease was just as far advanced as in those seen in 1920, notwithstanding the numerous articles which have been written on the subject and the publicity given it by the Society for the Control of Cancer.

It has been correctly stated that for many years women have refused operation for cancer of the cervix because they felt that it was useless because of the frequent early recurrence. The extensive, successful use of radium within the past ten years should have eliminated this objection, but nevertheless the fact still remains that patients with this condition are presenting themselves too late for a cure to be accomplished. Moreover, the attempt to treat these advanced cases with radium has had a tendency to bring this method into disrepute because the pain with which the late stages of the disease are attended is believed by the laity to be due to a radium burn. For this reason many patients refuse radium treatment.

In most cases thorough questioning reveals the fact that the patient did consult a physician from four to six months before the disease was recognized and proper treatment instituted. If a patient consults her family physician because of some supposed menstrual disorder, he must assume the responsibility and convince himself by a. . .