One hundred and seventy-nine cases of cancer involving the esophagus, stomach, colon, and rectum were analyzed for the incidence of constipation. The resulting findings were compared with a similar analysis of 4,700 unselected patients suffering from various digestive disorders.
Constipation of all durations occurred on the average as frequently in the cancer cases as in the general series.
Constipation of 1 1/2 years duration or less (“recent constipation”) was relatively much more frequent in the cancer cases than in the general series.
Accordingly, there is no evidence that constipation is the cause of digestive tract cancer.
Conversely, there is evidence that digestive tract cancer causes constipation.
The incidence of constipation increases as one follows the course of cancer from the proximal to the distal portion of the alimentary canal.
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Kantor, J.L. Relation of constipation to cancer. American Journal of Digestive Diseases 6, 254–256 (1939). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02997127
- Unselected Patient
- Alimentary Canal
- General Series