The Early Detection of Pelvic Carcinoma — Methods and Their Limitations

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EARLY detection of pelvic carcinomas is not a guarantee of the eradication of such tumors, but nevertheless is highly desirable. The effectiveness of treatment is dependent not only on the stage of the disease when treatment is instituted, but also on the response of the tumor to varieties of treatment, and the invasiveness or ability of the tumor to replace normal host tissues. Some tumors already have metastasized when the primary lesion is small and otherwise would be considered favorable for treatment.

Because early diagnosis generally will improve survival rates, the American Cancer Society and other interested agencies have conducted intensive educational campaigns directed at the layman as well as at the physician. A great quantity of literature directed at the public, points out the desirability of frequent and regular examinations for cancers. The medical literature contains a multitude of reports pertaining to various methods of detection. As a result, many women are having yearly pelvic examinations. Despite these efforts there are many misconceptions regarding the whole problem of cancer detection. The laity is prone to look on the diagnosis of cancer as a problem with a precise answer, and to expect all physicians to have the facilities for full and complete detection of cancer. In some instances, people seem to regard the detection process as simple as dropping a coin in a penny scale and obtaining a weight and fortune. The answer to malignant disease is not so easily obtained.

It is unfortunate that physicians in some regions do . . .



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