To the Editor.—In assessing your editorial, "Hemorrhoids" (Arch Surg 108:762, 1974), some readers might be astounded that the chief editor has not yet found a new cause for hemorrhoids.
Until there is a more widespread acceptance of a precise definition of "hemorrhoids," it is easy to understand why the chief editor has had difficulty in finding the cause for a still poorly defined illness.
This generation has inherited the word "hemorrhoids" along with a large variety of definitions of hemorrhoids. To illustrate this point, refer to the medical dictionaries, the surgical textbooks, and the books on anorectal diseases. Moreover, ask your colleagues to give a precise definition of "hemorrhoids." And, when you discover confusion over terminology within the medical profession, you will have understandable pity for the lay person who regards nearly all anorectal ailments as "hemorrhoids."
In the past, the term "fever" was used to indicate any