"When you go to the doctor for a routine blood test or mole removal, when you have an appendectomy, tonsillectomy or any other kind of ectomy, the stuff you leave behind doesn't always get thrown out. Doctors, hospitals and laboratories keep them. Often indefinitely. Some get consent with admission forms that say something like, I give my doctor permission to dispose of my tissues or use them in research. Others don't."
"To date, no central database captures information about stored tissue samples. This handbook serves as a national resource, to bring together for the first time, in a single document, information about tissue storage in the United States. It provides information about several aspects of stored tissue samples, such as how many samples exist in the United States, where they are, who has access to them, and for what purposes they are used. A conservative estimate from the tissue collections described in this book is that more than 307 million specimens from more than 178 million cases are stored in the United States, accumulating at a rate of more than 20 million per year."